Biden jabs at Trump during campaign event in Virginia: ‘This is not a Trump rally’


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) at the Lubber Run Community Center on July 22, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. President Biden joined McCauliffe to help campaign, marking the President’s return to the campaign trail since he entered the White House. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – President Biden appeared at a rally for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Friday, taking shots at McAuliffe’s opponent by describing him as an “acolyte of Donald Trump.”

President Biden spoke to a crowd of nearly 3,000 people at the Arlington event — many of whom were unmasked — at times likening his own victory over Trump to his projection that McAuliffe will win over Glenn Youngkin, a businessman-turned-politician running as the Republican nominee.  

“Terry and I share a lot in common. I ran against Donald Trump and so is Terry,” said Biden. “And I whipped Donald Trump in Virginia and so will Terry.”

McAuliffe, the former Democratic governor of Virginia between 2014 and 2018, is seen as a moderate Democrat, with political views similar to Biden’s. Youngkin, too, has positioned himself as a more moderate Republican, but did say he was “honored” by Trump’s endorsement.

As of Friday evening’s rally in Arlington, polls show McAuliffe with a lead over Youngkin, though Virginia’s gubernatorial race is said to be competitive, the Associated Press reported.

Being his first campaign stop for a specific candidate since becoming president, Biden’s appearance in Virginia and any future influence on the outcome of the election are viewed as a measure of his political weight.

“You’re not gonna find anyone, I mean anyone, who knows how to get more done for Virginia than Terry,” Biden said. “Off-year election, the country’s looking. This is a big deal.”

Biden also took one other swipe at Trump when protestors against an oil pipeline interrupted his speech.

“That’s OK. Look, this is not a Trump rally. Let him holler. No one’s paying attention,” he said, eliciting cheers from the audience.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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