Chuck Todd asked McAuliffe to comment on a video from an earlier debate in which McAuliffe complained that “parents had the right to veto books, not to be knowledgeable about it, also take them off the shelves,” and declared: “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision. So yeah, stopped a bill that I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they teach.”
Noting that McAuliffe had claimed that criticism he received for this had stemmed from his words being taken out of context, Todd followed up: “Governor, what about that makes you feel as if you were taken out of context? Do you feel as if anything you said there should reassure parents that they have some say in their kid’s schooling?”
To that, McAuliffe dug the hole he was already in even deeper: “Listen, that was about a bill I vetoed which people were very happy that I vetoed the bill, that literally parents could take books out of the curriculum. I love Billy and Jack McAuliffe, my parents, but they should not have been picking my math or science book. We have experts who actually do that. He is closing his campaign on banning books. It’s created controversy all over the book. He wants to ban Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved. He’s going after someone who won a Nobel Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom. He wants her books banned. In all the hundreds of books, you could look at, why the one black female author? Why did you do it? He’s ending the campaign on a racist dog whistle.”
McAuliffe, resorting to a tried-and-true Leftist strategy, was trying to make the issue all about racism while ignoring the genuine, and quite serious, issues that were actually involved. A volume of gay pornography, Gender Queer, which is a graphic novel in both senses of the word “graphic,” has been available in Virginia school libraries.