Home 2021 Elections Audio: Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax Discusses His Run for Governor in 2021,...

Audio: Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax Discusses His Run for Governor in 2021, the Budget, Gun Legislation, Campaign Finance, Redistricting, etc.

"Meredith Watson fabricated the story. Dr. Vanessa Tyson as well...CBS no longer vouches for the story."

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This past Wednesday, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax announced that he was “planning to run” for governor of Virginia in 2021, but it was reportedly a very brief comment and there apparently was no audio recording. Fortunately, Fairfax was on yesterday’s Kojo Nnamdi Show’s Politics Hour – click here to listen to the entire show – so we have a much more fleshed-out discussion of Fairfax’s thinking. See below for audio of the first few minutes of the show, during which Fairfax says:

  • I *do* plan to run for governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2021, and we’ve seen tremendous excitement around that announcement…”
  • “The response has been really tremendous and positive and overwhelming…Everywhere we go, there are crowds of people who are just energized by the positive message, the more hopeful politics that we represent; they’re really, frankly tired of people who try to tear people and communities down and they want people who are going to build people and communities up, and that’s really what we’ve represented in politics in Virginia.”
  • “I think what people have gotten to see over the last 10 months is that these allegations were false, fabricated and politically motivated…these have been debunked…I’ve taken and passed two lie-detector tests…As folks like to mindlessly rehash these allegations without actually asking questions, are they true…Virginians have really rejected that…”
  • “For anyone who wants to keep talking about this without actually asking the specific questions, I would tell them, please call Nancy Erika Smith, who is the lawyer for Meredith Watson, the accuser from Duke, and ask her some very simple questions – whose dorm room did this happen in and was there anyone else there? Because they can’t answer those questions, because once they answer them, for five months they have refused to answer those questions, because it will reveal that Meredith Watson fabricated the story. Dr. Vanessa Tyson as well; we’ve shown many fabrications in her account, including that she claims to have met me on a day when I wasn’t even in the city…”
  • “What Virginians are doing is they’re rejecting smear tactics…They are really exhausted…of people in politics…orchestrating smear campaigns and doing hit pieces and not wanting to get to the truth…People are going to be really surprised at the reaction they’re seeing…The backlash has been tremendous.”
  • Later, Fairfax stated that “CBS no longer vouches for the story.”

Also: “WAMU reporter and guest analyst Martin Austermuhle compared Fairfax’s defense against the sexual assault allegations to that of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. ‘What’s different about your case?’ asked Austermuhle. Fairfax responded by listing multiple cases where allegations of sexual assault were found to be discredited: ‘Do you believe the accuser in the UVA case? The Rolling Stone case? Do you believe the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case? Do you believe the folks in the exonerated five?'”

Fairfax commented on potential gun legislation: “The two [bills] that you mentioned, I absolutely support them…universal background checks, also red-flag laws…This is a constant issue, so we have got to take commonsense steps to address this. We all want to be safe and we respect people’s Second Amendment rights…I have people in my family who are avid hunters and very responsible gun owners, but they tell me all the time, ‘I don’t need an assault weapon to hunt deer.’ Those are meant for mass carnage.”

And on “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” Fairfax said: “As has been made clear, those have no legal force or effect…I think what it is is people are riling people up and stoking this fear that really is unfounded; again, doing nothing is not an option when we see the level of gun violence that we’ve seen.” Fairfax added that he didn’t believe the General Assembly would go “too far, too fast.” He said “the voters spoke loudly and clearly in November…they want to see change…commonsense gun violence prevention was on the ballot, it’s something that everybody ran on.”

On Gov. Northam’s proposed budget, Fairfax called it “the most progressive budget in Virginia’s history.”

Fairfax also said he supports campaign finance reform, including barring state-regulated monopolies from donating to politicians in Virginia. Fairfax said he supports redistricting reform, but that we “really have to work on the mechanics of this, there’s a lot of debate right now about what the right vehicle is.”