It’s hard to even know where to start with the following interview, aired this morning on the John Fredericks radio show, with former Virginia Governor and possible 2020 presidential candidate Terry McAuliffe. The bottom line is that it demonstrates why, under no circumstances, should McAuliffe be (or WILL he be) the Dems’ presidential nominee in 2020. See below the audio for “highlights” of why I say that.
First, and weirdest, is the discussion about Saudi Arabia and Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. According to McAuliffe, “I’ve actually seen some video which I won’t even mention on the radio of what they did to this man, it is unbelievable.” I’ve asked a bunch of folks about this claim, and mostly what I’ve gotten is responses like “so bizarre,” “I think he is wacky,” “I cannot see how it’s possible,” etc. I mean, first of all, is there even video of Khashoggi’s murder? If so, wouldn’t it be highly classified/restricted? Regardless, how on earth could the former governor of Virginia have seen it? Makes no sense at all. As for McAuliffe’s comments about the U.S. not having to care about Saudi Arabia anymore because we are a “net exporter of energy” (we’re not, actually, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), because “we are bigger and better than Saudi Arabia,” and because Saudi Arabia is a “little country,” that’s not exactly sophisticated foreign policy or international energy markets analysis right there. Kind of embarrassing and even sort of Trumpian, actually.
Second, McAuliffe’s spiel on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is just brain-shrinkingly stupid. Asked whether he regrets being one of the most “boisterous and zealous advocates” of the ACP, McAuliffe repeats his completely nonsensical claims about the ACP: that it will supposedly bring down “unemployment in our rural communities” (hint: natural gas pipelines are NOT the way – certainly not the best way! – to bring jobs, let alone in an environmentally or economically sustainable manner); that Hampton Roads is in “dire need today of gas” (hint: that is not true); that “there is no manner in which the governor can stop it” (note: that is at best highly debatable – see Section 401 of the Clean Water Act); that the “only way we can [attract large manufacturing facilities to Virginia] is to bring in more natural gas” (note: that’s completely false); that “I am not for any pipeline that would do any…harm to the environment” (note: the ACP and Mountain Valley Pipeline are the greenhouse gas equivalent of 45 new coal-fired power plants, which of course will do ENORMOUS harm to the environment – not to even mention the damage being done in construction of the pipelines and in the fracking going on in West Virginia and Pennsylvania to produce the gas in the first place). God, my head hurts.
Third, on 2020, McAuliffe says he’s “seriously considering it” and will decide in the “first quarter of next year.” On his potential path to the nomination, the discussion is just weird, with John Fredericks repeatedly referring to “Beth” Warren (who on earth calls Senator Elizabeth Warren “Beth?”). Fredericks then explains how McAuliffe can’t win in Iowa, and if he loses New Hampshire (where he has to deal with Bernie Sanders and “Beth” Warren), he’s “oh for two.” McAuliffe chuckles and responds, “you’re making the exact argument many of my top advisors makes me.” Haha, alrighty. As for McAuliffe’s argument for why he could/should be the Dem 2020 nominee, he touts the fact that he is “pro-high-jobs” (huh? other than the weird phrasing, who is NOT “pro-high-jobs?”), that he’d “love to run” and would have “more fun running…than any man alive” (well that’s reassuring – lol), that he turned Virginia from a red state to a blue state (he did?), etc. Perhaps most amusing is when Trump’s former Virginia Chair lays out McAuliffe’s path to the Democratic nomination: