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Biden Headlines Rally For McAuliffe

President Joe Biden speaks at the rally for Terry McAuliffe in Arlington.
Michael Pope
President Joe Biden speaks at the rally for Terry McAuliffe in Arlington.

The Democratic ticket has a new running mate: Toni Morrison, the author of the Pulitzer-prize winning novel "Beloved."

Earlier this week, Republican Glenn Youngkin released a TV commercial with the closing argument of his campaign, embracing parents who objected to the novel being taught in public schools.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe opened his speech Tuesday night at a rally in Arlington by drawing a contrast on that issue. "He promotes an effort to ban books by Toni Morrison from Virginia schools, one of America's most famous authors, the winner of the presidential medal of freedom, the winner of the Nobel Prize."

Taking the stage to a crowd of about 2,500 people at a chilly outdoor park in Arlington, President Joe Biden says Youngkin wants to ban women from having abortions and ban books from public schools. "Extremism can come in many forms," Biden warned. "It can come in the rage of a mob driven to assault the Capitol. It can come in a smile and a fleece vest. Either way, the big lie is still a big lie."

To underscore the point, McAuliffe's campaign handed out copies of Toni Morrison's "Beloved" at the rally — an indication that Glenn Youngkin's closing argument might just end up being Terry McAuliffe's closing argument in reverse.

Biden also attempted to tie Youngkin to the man he beat to get to the White House. "He's willing to pledge his loyalty to Trump in private. Why not in public? What's he trying to hide," Biden asked the crowd? "Is there a problem with Trump being here? Is he embarrassed? Look who's been here for Terry: my wife Jill, Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams and so many more."

Donald Trump has not made any appearances for Youngkin in person, but he did call into a rally that was held in support of the Republican ticket.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.