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Biden Heckled While Campaigning for Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe

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  • President Biden was heckled while appearing at a rally for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
  • The disturbance was fueled by opposition to an oil pipeline, according to The Associated Press.
  • McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, is seeking to reclaim his old job this fall.
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President Joe Biden was heckled during a Virginia campaign appearance on Friday, brushing off the disturbance while rallying support for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is seeking to reclaim his old job later this year.

Biden, who traveled a short distance from the White House to Arlington, Va., spoke before roughly 3,000 people for McAuliffe, a prodigious fundraiser and former Democratic National Committee chairman who served as governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018.

In November, McAuliffe will face Republican Glenn Youngkin, a former private-equity chief, in what is expected to be a competitive race in a state that the president won easily last year.

“You’re not gonna find anyone, I mean anyone, who knows how to get more done for Virginia than Terry,” Biden said to the crowd. “Off-year election, the country’s looking. This is a big deal.”

According to The Associated Press, protestors against an oil pipeline began to interrupt Biden, with the president taking a dig at his 2020 opponent, former President Donald Trump.

When the crowd started to boo and try to drown out the protestors with chants of “Let’s go, Joe,” Biden responded, “It’s not a Trump rally … let them holler. No one’s paying attention.”

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It will be crucial for Democrats to hold the Virginia Governor’s Mansion as the party heads into the 2022 midterm election cycle. (New Jersey will also host a gubernatorial contest this year, with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy favored to win that race, and California will hold a gubernatorial recall election on Sept. 14.)

For Republicans, the Virginia race provides an opportunity to potentially regain a foothold in a state that was once reliably conservative but has shifted to the left in recent cycles due to population growth and the increasing strength of the suburban vote.

The GOP has not won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009.

In Virginia, governors are barred from seeking a second consecutive term, so incumbent Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam cannot run for reelection.

Biden, in seeking to prop up McAuliffe and downballot Democrats, highlighted his stewardship of the country’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to earn him high marks relative to his overall approval rating.

The president also touted the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that issued a new set of stimulus checks and renewed enhanced unemployment insurance, among other measures.

But he then returned to his role as a party warrior, promoting McAuliffe and linking Youngkin to Trump.

“You got to elect him again, and I mean this, not just for Virginia, for the country,” Biden said. “The country is looking, these off-year elections, the country’s looking. This is a big deal. Terry and I share a lot in common. I ran against Donald Trump and so is Terry. And I whipped Donald Trump in Virginia and so will Terry.”

He added: “The guy Terry is running against is an acolyte of Donald Trump — for real, I mean it’s just like, I don’t know where these guys come from.”

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