Politics

In a stump speech for McAuliffe, the president called the GOP nominee for governor “an acolyte for Donald Trump — for real.”

President Joe Biden stands with Virginia democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe during a campaign event McAuliffe at Lubber Run Park on July 23, 2021, in Arlington, Va. | AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

By CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO and ZACH MONTELLARO

07/23/2021 09:45 PM EDT

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For six months, Joe Biden managed to mostly ignore his predecessor, viewing Donald Trump’s lies and conspiracies as a distraction. But returning to the campaign trail Friday in Northern Virginia, the president rolled Trump into his emerging pitch for down-ballot Democrats.

“I ran against Donald Trump, and so is Terry,” Biden said at a rally for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s comeback bid, joining in comparing his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, to the former president. “I whipped Donald Trump in Virginia, and so will Terry.”

Biden, continuing his riff, suggested Youngkin was “an acolyte for Donald Trump — for real.”

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