Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the 46th President will take a hop across the Potomac this upcoming Friday. According to an event page released by Governor McAuliffe’s campaign, President Joe Biden will be coming to Arlington, Virginia on July 23 to campaign for McAuliffe. The former governor is locked in a tight race between himself and former Carlyle Group CEO and the Republican nominee for Governor, Glenn Youngkin.

The White House sent out this press release on Friday:

On Friday, July 23, the President will travel to Arlington, Virginia to particpate in a campaign event for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. The trip will be pooled press. Additional details to follow.”

McAuliffe also tweeted out this registration link to the event.

Honored that President Biden will be joining me in Northern Virginia next Friday. Time and location to come. Join us!”

In a press release from the McAuliffe campaign:

“On Friday, July 23, President Joe Biden will host a grassroots event with Terry McAuliffe in Arlington, Virginia…President Biden and Terry will discuss Terry’s commitment to creating good-paying jobs, making health care more affordable, and giving every Virginia child a world-class education.”

In 2020, McAuliffe endorsed Biden’s campaign ahead of Super Tuesday 2020, only to then tell the Democratic Party of Virginia that Biden needed to “stay in the basement.” McAuliffe said, “People say all the time, ‘Oh, we got to get the vice president out of the basement. He’s fine in the basement.”

Biden endorsed McAuliffe in March of 2020, long before the former governor had announced his campaign. In a pre-Super Tuesday Rally in Norfolk, then-candidate Biden referred to McAuliffe as “the once and future governor of Virginia.

This comes on the heels of polling showing Youngkin and McAuliffe in a close race. Recent Trafalgar Group polling shows McAuliffe only leading by two percent, the same lead that the former Democratic National Committee chairman led by in June. McAuliffe barely outraised Youngkin in the month of June, but both candidates are shattering fundraising records in Virginia gubernatorial elections. In addition, Youngkin chose to skip the Virginia Bar Association debate at the Omni Homestead, resulting in criticism from his opponent’s campaign.

The Republican Party of Virginia used this announcement as an opportunity to attack President Biden and Governor McAuliffe. They tweeted this shortly after the announcement of the campaign stop:

Must be a huge winner in Virginia for the McAuliffe team to dump this on a Friday afternoon.

Hey, @bluevirginia, was Two-Faced Terry’s impeached mentor not available this Friday? When are he and Hillary coming to Virginia to campaign?”

When reached for comment, the Virginia Republican Party Chairman Rich Anderson told The Virginia Star:

It struck me when the McAuliffe campaign announced President Biden was coming to Virginia in July. It tells me that McAuliffe is in trouble. The Youngkin campaign and RPV know McAuliffe is in trouble. The President and his handlers know he is in trouble.

He was a flawed candidate in 2009, he was a flawed candidate who lost. In 2013, McAuliffe was a flawed candidate. He was a flawed Governor. McAuliffe is the former flawed Governor of Virginia.

McAuliffe is yesterday. Glenn Youngkin is tomorrow and Virginia’s future.”

A Republican Party of Virginia spokesperson offered a more scathing statement:

“Two-Faced Terry McAuliffe must be terrified that all of his lies and hypocrisy have caught up to him if he needs Presdient Biden to bail him out this early in the race.

“After standing in the way of two qualified Black women this year, Two-Faced Terry’s presidential ambitions are becoming clearer, with zero regard for Kamala Harris. Terry is more entitled than Britney Spears’ father.”

No President, either Republican or Democrat, has crossed the Potomac River this early in the election cycle to campaign for their parties’ respective nominees for Governor. This was noted by Virginia Political Commentator and Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter Jeff Schapiro, who also suggested in his tweet this may be a move to unify Democrats after a divisive primary battle.

But it’s only July.

@JoeBiden coming into #Va next week for @TerryMcAuliffe

POTUS will headline rally in Arlington for Dem gov nominee.

It may be more of a sweat party in this heat.

Message in this early visit: Reunite base post-primary? W/ Trump out the picture, jazz Ds?”

Over the past four Virginia gubernatorial elections, the President of the United States has not publically campaigned in Virginia for their parties’ nominee for Governor in July. While former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley was endorsed by President George W. Bush in July of 2001, President Bush did not campaign in the Commonwealth with Earley due to the 9/11 attacks.   In 2009, President Barack Obama campaigned for State Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) in his 2009 losing bid for governor on August 6.  Former President Donald Trump did not campaign for 2017 GOP nominee Ed Gillespie, but Vice President Pence made a stop in Abingdon for the Republican’s campaign in mid-October. Obama campaigned for McAuliffe during his first gubernatorial campaign in late October. Obama came in late October for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in 2017. President Obama and President Bush both came to Virginia in the final November days before the Virginia gubernatorial elections in 2009 and 2005, respectively campaigning for McAuliffe and former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore.

The election for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and all 100 House of Delegates seats will be held on November 2nd. Early voting in Virginia begins on September 17.

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Matt Colt Hall is a reporter for The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattColtHall on Twitter. Send tips to [email protected].
Photo “Terry McAuliffe” by Terry McAuliffe.