In the following video, State Senate Democratic candidate Qasim Rashid systematically demolishes his Republican opponent (Sen. Richard Stuart)’s demonstrable, verifiable, ridiculous LIES that he’s spread throughout this campaign. I’m posting this, not just because Qasim Rashid does a great job in demolishing his particular Republican opponent’s lies, but because this debunking could apply to many, if not most, Virginia Republican candidates this year. Thus:
- Just like the vast majority of Democrats running this year, Stuart FALSELY claims that Rashid is a “Socialist,” in fact Rashid and other Democrats are…yep, Democrats. “This is like the tenth time I’ve had to correct him on this lie,” just like Amanda Chase, Paul Milde, and many other Virginia Republicans are doing.
- Stuart claims that Rashid has some sort of “radical agenda,” when in fact Rashid’s views – universal background checks, a higher minimum wage, greater access to health care coverage, etc. – are overwhelmingly popular.
- Stuart claims that Rashid supports “open borders” – another common claim by Republicans, who are obviously playing to xenophobia and ignorance. First off, as Rashid explains, he does NOT support “open borders,” nor has he even “remotely mentioned” such a thing. Second, as Rashid points out, there WERE open borders when Europeans came to America when there weren’t any immigration restrictions, and that the “crackdown on immigration began when people of color started immigrating to the United States.”
- Stuart makes some bizarre claim about Rashid supposedly compared the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment to slavery. Rashid says he went back and looked and there’s “literally nothing even remotely close, so that’s another lie.” What on earth is Stuart doing, then? Rashid’s explanation: “at this point what he’s doing is thinking, how can I use words like ‘socialism’ and ‘radical’…and just throw as much nonsense and trash on there, and hopefully people will buy into it.” Which is what many Virginia Republicans are doing this cycle. Hopefully, it will backfire big time on them.
- Stuart claims that Rashid wants to restrict free speech, when in fact what Rashid simply wants is to take online threats and incitements to violence/terrorism seriously.
- Stuart claims that Rashid wants to let former drug felons be “eligible for food stamps.” In fact, as Rashid explains, he *does* believe that people: a) “deserve second chances”; b) “should not be denied the basic, fundamental right of food”; c) that their “children…shouldn’t suffer because of the mistakes of their parents”; and d) that “when you allow people to have food, they commit less crime.” Rashid also notes that Stuart has, himself, been endorsed by a “former drug dealer,” yet criticizes Rashid for arguing that former drug dealers should have access to *food*. WTF?
- Stuart claims that Rashid wants higher taxes. In fact, as Rashid points out, “I want lower taxes on the middle class…on small business…on the lower income class, and I have been adamantly clear about this.“
- Rashid also notes that Stuart voted against Medicaid expansion, while voting to protect Dominion Energy and receiving an “F” rating from the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, as well as a “D” from the Virginia Education Association, etc.
- The bottom line (and again, this could apply to EVERY SINGLE Republican running this year in Virginia): “My opponent is engaging in these lies to fearmonger, to distract from the real issues, to distract from the fact that on every view he holds, it is the minority view. 94% of Virginians want to have commonsense laws that uphold the 2nd amendment while ensuring that extremists and terrorists can’t get guns. He opposes it. 83% of Virginians want to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. He opposes it. 76% want Medicaid expansion. He opposes it. 74% want a living wage increase. He opposes it. He is not talking about any of these issues…Every climate justice organization has endorsed me and has given him an “F.” He hides that from you. He takes money from mega-corporations while giving them hundreds of millions of dollars of our money without our permission. He hides that from you… Win or lose, when it comes down to November 5th, we are doing everything we can to win with integrity, with dignity and with compassion. But win or lose, I know I can wake up on November 6th, look myself in the mirror and say, you ran an honest race…He won’t be able to.”