Former President Barack Obama delivered a campaign speech in support of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Saturday as the state’s razor close gubernatorial race enters the stretch. Obama decried Trump’s rhetoric while also denouncing “phony culture wars” as a distraction. The former president’s comments were seemingly in reference to backlash against leftist initiatives in public schools, namely CRT.
“We don’t have time to be wasting on these phony, trumped-up culture wars, this fake outrage, the right-wing media’s pedals to juice their ratings, ” Obama said to a crowd in Richmond. He then chastised GOP challenger Glenn Youngkin for not talking about “serious issues that affect serious people.”
Former President @BarackObama: "We don't have time to be wasted on these phony trumped-up culture wars, this fake outrage, the right-wing media's pedals to juice their ratings." pic.twitter.com/PkDUg8GXjE
— The Hill (@thehill) October 24, 2021
The statement was given not far from Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County, Virginia, where a young girl was raped by a boy wearing a skirt in a girls’ bathroom. The attack was initially covered up by the school’s superintendent, Scott Ziegler, who denied it happened at a June board meeting.
The June school board meeting in reference initially went viral a large crowd showed up in protest of leftist board initiatives, including a motion on transgender bathroom issues. The event was eventually declared an unlawful assembly and two protesters were arrested. The incident was then used as an example of supposed threats of violence against school board members, which ultimately resulted in the creation of an FBI task force.
Though not known at the time, one of the two protesters arrested was the father of the girl who was raped. Scott Smith, who was ultimately dragged out of the meeting, had hoped to address the issue but was not allowed to speak. This prompted Ziegler to deny the assault and then accuse the protesters of creating a strawman in order to justify their opposition to the proposed transgender policies.
Though Obama did not specifically reference either Loudoun County or school board developments across the country, it was implied and in line with left-wing talking points. Proponents of CRT and other leftist initiatives on school boards deny the issues even exist, often masking them with euphemisms like “equity.” This is done despite high profile incidents such as Loudoun County and CRT-themed lesson plans in districts across the country.
Obama’s Virginia stump speech comes as Joe Biden’s poll numbers continue to sink to new lows. Biden campaigned for McAuliffe in late July but has since seen his approval rating slip to 38%, according to an October Quinnipiac poll. The current president is currently not scheduled for any events in Virginia before the election, though McAuliffe campaigned with Jill Biden in Norfolk on Friday.