McAuliffe Calls on Northam to Resign, Says He Will Do the 'Right Thing'

February 3, 2019

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) on Sunday said Gov. Ralph Northam (D., Va.) should resign after a racist photo surfaced on his 1984 yearbook page showing two men, one wearing a Klu Klux Klan hood and the other wearing blackface.

McAuliffe, who is mulling a run for president, appeared on CNN's "State of the Union"  to discuss his former lieutenant governor's controversial yearbook photo that has national Democrats calling for him to step aside. Host Jake Tapper referenced Northam's press conference on Saturday, where he said it wasn't him in the photo and asked, "If It's not him in the photo, which is what he is saying, why do you think he should still resign?"

McAuliffe pointed out that Northam initially acknowledged it was him in the photo and apologized. He went on to say that if he wasn't in the photo, he should have come out from the beginning and said that it wasn't him.

"You know if you put black paint on your face. You know if you put a hood on and so if it isn't you, you come out immediately saying, 'This is not me,' so I can't understand what's going on," McAuliffe said. "We have all made mistakes. Ralph will do the right thing for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He will put Virginia first and I think that will happen relatively soon."

"The head of the Black Caucus yesterday said that if he doesn't resign they'll move to remove him themselves from legislature, so we just need to put this behind us. We need to move forward and that's what we have to," McAuliffe added.

Tapper followed up by asking McAuliffe whether he believes Northam should be removed by the black caucus if he does not resign.

"I know Ralph very well. It will not come to that and if Ralph is watching this today, I know how much he loves this Commonwealth of Virginia and you've got to make the right decision," McAuliffe said. "You've got to make the right moral decision. We have to bring people together. We've had a horrible history in Virginia."

McAuliffe joins a long list of potential 2020 Democrats who have called for Northam to resign, including Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). Several liberal groups that supported Northam's campaign have also called on him to resign, including Priorities USA and Planned Parenthood.