President Trump took to Twitter this morning to praise Republican Ed Gillespie as being tough on crime and protective of Confederate statues and “heritage.”
“Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #’s around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!” Trump tweeted, a reference to a new Gillespie ad that calls for preservation of the state’s Confederate monuments.
Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #’s around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2017
Gillespie, who is running for governor of Virginia, was born and raised in New Jersey. Trump was born in New York.
Minutes later, Trump tweeted, “Ed Gillespie will be a great Governor of Virginia. His opponent doesn’t even show up to meetings/work, and will be VERY weak on crime!”
Gillespie’s Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam, responded to the president’s tweet with his own: “I served 8 years in the Army, took care of sick kids, and am running to build a more inclusive Virginia. Don’t talk to me about showing up.”
The Post adds:
White nationalists rallied in Charlottesville in support of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, leading to violent clashes in August that stunned the country and left three people dead. Trump blamed both sides for violence and lamented the “history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” While Gillespie condemned the white nationalists, he said the statues should remain in place with additional historical context.