Liberal Former MSNBC Host: There’s a ‘Tremendous Lack of Enthusiasm’ for Northam

'People don't know where he stands on anything'

• November 6, 2017 11:28 am


Liberal pundit and former Democratic House candidate Krystal Ball slammed Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam on Saturday for creating a "tremendous lack of enthusiasm" for his campaign.

Ball, formerly the host of MSNBC's "The Cycle" and a 2010 candidate in Virginia's first congressional district, appeared on MSNBC's "AM Joy" with host Joy Reid and a full panel to discuss the Virginia gubernatorial race.

"The Democrats, you know the problem with Ralph Northam isn't that that he is racist or that he doesn't know where he stands on sanctuary cities; it's that people don't know where he stands on anything," Ball said.

"He has tried to reinvent himself for this moment, and it has led to tremendous lack of enthusiasm," Ball continued. "So, yeah, the [Ed] Gillespie playbook has really worked in this case, and I just hope that we can hold on."

Ball also said that she has "a really queasy feeling in her stomach" about the gubernatorial race. While the former MSNBC host said that she is optimistic about the race, she compared it to the 2016 presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Later in the segment, Reid mentioned how liberal groups are backing away from their support of Northam because he appeared to flip-flop on the issue of so-called sanctuary cities, now saying that he opposes them.

The most notable group to rescind its support of his candidacy is Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee headquartered in Vermont and founded by former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, who has cut ties with the group.

Reid then asked panelist Jason Johnson, politics editor of The Root, an online magazine dedicated to black culture, about Northam omitting lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Justin Fairfax, his "black running mate," from thousands of campaign fliers last month in northern Virginia at the request of the Laborers' International Union of North America because the group had not endorsed him.

"If [Ralph Northam] does lose, it's not necessarily because [Republican gubernatorial candidate] Ed Gillespie has managed to tap into the DNA of bigots in northern Virginia; it's because Ralph Northam has made some very serious mistakes," Johnson said. "Leaving Justin Fairfax off of campaign literature and then turning around and saying that Fairfax had actually signed off on it, that angered a lot of the enthusiastic supporters  of Justin Fairfax."

Johnson went on to say that Northam has allowed Gillespie to control the narrative and that Northam made a mistake by saying he opposes sanctuary cities days before the election.