Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe “abruptly” walked out of a TV interview where he’d been asked about COVID-19 mandates and angry school board meetings — scolding the reporter for not asking “better questions.”
The prominent Democrat clashed with WJLA reporter Nick Minock when discussing a series of state-wide hot-topic items, including parents being branded domestic terrorists and the teaching of critical race theory.
His interview was supposed to be 20 minutes — but one of his staffers interrupted halfway through, just as McAuliffe accused his Republican rival of being “anti-vaxxer” with a “Donald Trump, right-wing agenda.”
“All right, we are over,” McAuliffe said, getting to his feet and walking off camera, the footage shows.
“C’mon man. You should have asked better questions early on,” the Democrat admonished his interviewer, whose bio lists interviews with a who’s who of political leaders.
“You should have asked questions your viewers care about,” the politician complained — with Minock replying, “Well, we did.”
WJLA stressed that the Democrat had been offered the same 20-minute one-on-one time as Republican Glenn Youngkin — but “McAuliffe abruptly ended the interview after 10 minutes.”
McAuliffe, a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton who now has Vice President Kamala Harris starring in controversial ads backing him, was Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018.
His WJLA sitdown got off to a frosty start when it started with earlier comments he made saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what to teach.”
After insisting that “parents should have a voice,” he denied that meant he misspoke in his earlier comments brushing off such rights.
He then grew irate at Youngkin’s promise to “ban critical race theory as soon as he is elected.”
“Let me be clear: critical race theory is not taught in Virginia. Nor has it ever been taught,” he insisted of the controversial subject that sparked many of the angry school-board confrontations.
“I’ll be honest with you. I find it so offensive. It is a racist dog whistle and all he’s trying to do is divide parents and use children as political pawns,” he insisted.
He refused to get drawn when asked about the prospect of parents getting labeled domestic terrorists for violent confrontations over school policies, especially in volatile districts such as Loudoun County.
“I will leave the Attorney General of the United States to make their decisions. I have no knowledge of it,” he said. “They are going to make their own decisions. We want to keep our schools safe.”
Asked if he supports “vaccine mandates for state employees,” he replied, “Of course, I do! … I’m for everybody getting vaccinated,” he said, including children once they are eligible.
“Schools, nurses, doctors, I want every employer to mandate that their employees be required to be vaccinated,” he said, calling Youngkin an “anti-vaxxer.”
“I want every teacher vaccinated. And people need to wear masks,” he said of schools.
The interview ended seconds after he attacked his rival’s “right-wing agenda” that he says “wants to ban abortions” and puts “election integrity as the number one issue.”
“No, it isn’t. Healthcare, COVID, education, job creation,” he said, his final words before ending the sitdown.
Youngkin shared a clip of WJLA discussing McAuliffe’s exit from the interview, with the Republican insisting it showed how he’d “berated a reporter for asking tough questions.”
McAuliffe’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.