Virginia Sen. Kaine: ‘Congressional Democrats Hurt Terry McAuliffe’

Virginia Sen. Kaine: ‘Congressional Democrats Hurt Terry McAuliffe’

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29 min agoVirginia Sen. Kaine: “Congressional Democrats hurt Terry McAuliffe”From CNN’s Ted Barrett and Ali Zaslav

(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine said Wednesday that congressional Democrats are to blame for Terry McAuliffe losing the VA governor’s race to Republican Glenn Youngkin.

“Look, congressional Dems hurt Terry McAuliffe,” said Kaine. “Our inability to come together and get a result hurt him.”

Kaine said McAuliffe was a “solid candidate.”

“I think it was on the shoulders of Democrats here who have the majority,” he said. “People had a lot of hope for Joe Biden and the Joe Biden agenda, but Democrats didn’t want to give Biden a win,” he said.

He continued to say that he thinks the responsibility is shared between all congressional Democrats.

“It’s on progressives who wanted to be too purist, it’s on moderates who wanted to be too purist, on the House who wanted it their way and the Senate who wanted it their way,” he said. “You got to be able to make a deal and deliver results … They want more results and we got to deliver because we are the majority and they expect us to deliver.”

With Democrats losing in Virginia and a really narrow result in New Jersey, Kaine said they “now have a tough narrative that we have to face.”

 “Democrats control both houses and they have to act like it,” he added. “Have to be disciplined, have to get results.”

Kaine also pushed back on the idea that the result in Virginia was a rejection of Democrats’ proposed sweeping social policy changes.   

“No, they would love, absolutely love like pre K and childcare, are you kidding me that’s exactly what suburban parents are hungry for, especially after a tough pandemic,” he said.

41 min agoThe mood aboard Air Force One last night was grim as election night took shapeFrom CNN’s Kevin Liptak

Aboard Air Force One, people familiar with the matter said the mood was grim as a weary Biden team returned to what undoubtedly will become a swirl of recrimination and second-guessing. 

After months of in-fighting over the President’s multi-trillion dollar legislative agenda, which laid bare the divisions in the Democratic party, it has not taken long for finger-pointing and panic to set in among Biden’s allies.

Over the final weeks of the campaign, Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, and his allies repeatedly raised warnings that Biden’s inability to pass a sweeping social safety net expansion was hindering his race.

Some of Biden’s advisers have chaffed at the notion the President’s stalled domestic agenda was to blame, pointing instead to a lingering pandemic and its economic aftereffects. Some Democrats close to Biden have also privately lamented at McAuliffe’s stumbles, including sparking outrage with a comment on education that came to define the closing weeks of the race.

Read more about what this means for Biden here.

31 min agoBiden arrives back in DC to a transforming political landscapeFrom CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, John Harwood, Betsy Klein, Kate Sullivan and Kevin Liptak

(Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)President Biden on Wednesday received an unwelcome wake up call for his still-new presidency as the Democrat arrived back in Washington from a European excursion suddenly facing a transformed political landscape.

Republican Glenn Youngkin’s projected victory over Democratic former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, which Biden won by 10 points, and a too-close-to-call race in New Jersey made for unwelcome news for the Democratic President as he flew over the Atlantic.

Returning to the White House in the dark, Biden declined to answer questions about the race, which he’d incorrectly predicted Democrats would win eight hours earlier. The results had been called a half-hour before Biden touched down at Joint Base Andrews. Aboard Air Force One, people familiar with the matter said the mood was grim as a weary team returned to what undoubtedly will become a swirl of recrimination and second-guessing.

After months of in-fighting over Biden’s multi-trillion dollar legislative agenda, which laid bare the divisions in the Democratic party, it has not taken long for finger-pointing and panic to set in among Biden’s allies.

Over the final weeks of the campaign, McAuliffe and his allies repeatedly raised warnings that Biden’s inability to pass a sweeping social safety net expansion was hindering his race.

Some of Biden’s advisers have chaffed at the notion the President’s stalled domestic agenda was to blame, pointing instead to a lingering pandemic and its economic aftereffects. Some Democrats close to Biden have also privately lamented at McAuliffe’s stumbles, including sparking outrage with a comment on education that came to define the closing weeks of the race.

Questions remain over how the shifting dynamic will play out in the coming days, weeks and months.

Biden has for months been locked in a repeating cycle of pressure-packed weeks for his legislative agenda as his party has failed to pass his sweeping domestic agenda, comprised of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan and a $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion bill. Those priorities remain unfinished – and a potential government shutdown and default on the nation’s debt looms in early December.

Read more here.

57 min agoAnalysis: Democrats missed the nation’s moodAnalysis from CNN’s Stephen Collinson

Demoralized Democrats need a reckoning after a rough election night that sent serious warning signs that they have misjudged the nation’s mood as their window closes before next year’s midterms.

While the party feuds over its vast social spending agenda, Republicans are highlighting issues that preoccupy voters more immediately, like a sluggish economy, high gas prices, expensive groceries, crime rates and concerns about the rights of parents to influence what is taught in schools. Those concerns in many cases have been exacerbated by a prolonged pandemic, which President Biden declared all but over in July but that spiked over the summer in a new blow to an exhausted nation’s morale.

Virginia governor’s race especially was seen as a one-year referendum on Biden’s presidency in a state he won by a whopping 10 points a year ago. Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin didn’t just triumph, according to a CNN projection, he showed Republicans everywhere how to win, keeping former President Donald Trump out of the state to make inroads in suburbs lost to the GOP in 2018 and 2020 elections.

If Democrats only underperformed in Virginia, they could have put their misfortune down to an erratic and unfocused campaign by veteran party heavyweight Terry McAuliffe, who was trying to win a second, non-consecutive term as governor.

But in New Jersey, a state Biden won by an even more comfortable margin, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s squeaker reelection race – which is still too close to call – reinforced a sense that the President’s party has lost the country’s confidence as he struggles to live up to his vow to restore competency to the White House and post-pandemic normality to American life.

As the President arrived home from Europe in the early hours of Wednesday, it was not clear that Democratic leaders and many of the voters that ejected Trump from the White House last year are still on the same page. The party’s lawmakers in Washington have spent weeks feuding with one another over the most sweeping social spending plan in generations – a cornerstone of Biden’s agenda.

Read the full story here.

1 hr 8 min agoMcAuliffe concedes Virginia race: “Congratulations to Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory”From CNN’s Dan Merica

(AP)Democrat Terry McAuliffe conceded the Virginia gubernatorial contest to Republican Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday morning. 

“Congratulations to Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory. I hope Virginians will join me in wishing the best to him and his family,” McAuliffe said in a statement.1 hr 23 min agoGov. Phil Murphy’s camp says the

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Virginia Sen. Kaine: ‘Congressional Democrats hurt Terry McAuliffe’

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