McAuliffe ignored Northam’s blackface photo as a “stupid mistake 40 years ago” months after calling her racist

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In a 2019 interview, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe denied in a 2019 interview that the current governor of Virginia. Ralph northam wore a blackface in a college yearbook photo and shrugged it like a stupid mistake.

“Look, even if it had been him in the blackface, you know,” McAuliffe noted when promoting her book in July 2019. “It was a stupid mistake 40 years ago.”

ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 22: Democratic gubernatorial candidate former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a bus tour kickoff rally on October 22, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.  The election for the governor of Virginia is on November 2, where McAuliffe will face Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.  (Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
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ARLINGTON, VA – OCTOBER 22: Democratic gubernatorial candidate former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a bus tour kickoff rally on October 22, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. The election for the governor of Virginia is on November 2, where McAuliffe will face Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. (Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

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“I grew up in New York City,” McAuliffe added. “And in all honesty, I didn’t know what blackface was. You know, I hadn’t experienced it, we had no problem with racism, honestly, growing up in Syracuse.”

McAuliffe, who served as governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018, previously had called on Northam to resign on the phone book photo. The former governor called the photo “racist” and “inexcusable at any age.”

“Terry has always been clear that what happened in this photo was wrong,” said Christina Freundlich, spokesperson for the McAuliffe campaign. noted in a statement to CNN.

Northam backed McAuliffe in the Democratic primary earlier this year and previously served as McAuliffe’s lieutenant governor.

ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 22: Democratic gubernatorial candidate former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe speaks to reporters after a stop at a local business on October 22, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.  The election for the governor of Virginia is on November 2, where McAuliffe will face Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.  (Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA – OCTOBER 22: Democratic gubernatorial candidate former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe speaks to reporters after a stop at a local business on October 22, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. The election for the governor of Virginia is on November 2, where McAuliffe will face Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. (Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Northam immediately apologized for the photo in February 2019 after it was posted by the Big League Politics website, although he did not resign due to controversy.

“Earlier today, a website posted a photo of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a clearly racist and offensive costume,” Northam said at the time. “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the harm that decision caused then and now.”

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But a day later Northam backtrack on the confession, saying instead that neither of the two men in the photo was him.

An investigation into the photo proved inconclusive as investigators were unable to determine whether or not the governor was in the photo.

“No one we interviewed told us the governor was in the photo, and no one could say for sure who was in the photo,” investigators said.

With about two weeks before Election day in Virginia, the of the governor The showdown between McAuliffe and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin is deadlocked, according to a new poll.

McAuliffe and Youngkin are both 46% among Virginia registered voters, according to a Monmouth University survey conducted Oct. 16-19 and released Wednesday.

DUMFRIES, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 21: Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (C) dances after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (R) speaks at his campaign event on October 21, 2021 in Dumfries, Virginia .  The election for governor of Virginia, pitting McAuliffe against Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, takes place on November 2.  Also pictured is McAuliffe's wife Dorothy (L).  (Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images)

DUMFRIES, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 21: Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (C) dances after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (R) speaks at his campaign event on October 21, 2021 in Dumfries, Virginia . The election for governor of Virginia, pitting McAuliffe against Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, takes place on November 2. Also pictured is McAuliffe’s wife Dorothy (L). (Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images)

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It’s a change from Monmouth’s September and August investigations into the closely watched statewide race with likely national implications, when McAuliffe held a 5-point lead.

The McAuliffe campaign this week issued a media advisory alerting the press that Biden would be campaigning with McAuliffe in Arlington next Tuesday, exactly one week before the election.

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