Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D.) said he is not resigning because Virginia needs a doctor during a Sunday interview on CBS's "Face the Nation." Northam has been facing pressure to resign since a photograph of someone in blackface and someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood was found on his medical school yearbook page
"Why do you think you still deserve this job when so many people are calling for you to step down?" CBS's Gayle King asked.
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"Well, again, we have worked very hard. We've had a good first year, and I'm a leader. I've been in some very difficult situations, life-and-death situations, taking care of sick children," Northam said.
"Because you're a doctor, yes," King interjected.
"Right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal. There's no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage, and who has a moral compass. And that's why I am not going anywhere. I have learned from this. I have a lot more to learn. But we are in a unique opportunity now, again the 400-year anniversary of the history, whether it be good or bad in Virginia, to really make some impactful changes," Northam continued.
Northam apologized for the picture after it was released, saying he was "sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo." During a press conference the following day, however, Northam denied being one of the individuals in the photo. Democrats from each wing of the party have called on Northam to resign.
The allegation against Northam is one of the three scandals that have embroiled the top elected leaders in Virginia. Revelations that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D.) faces two accusations of sexual assault and Attorney General Mark Herring (D.) wore blackface while a student in the 1980s have also caused controversy across the state.