Democrat Terry McAuliffe Uses ‘Very Fine People’ Hoax in Campaign Ad Attacking Youngkin

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe addresses the Virginia FREE Le
Cliff Owen/AP Photo

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) released a campaign ad this week featuring a selectively edited clip of former President Donald Trump that perpetuates the “very fine people” hoax used repeatedly by Democrats attempting to paint Trump as a neo-Nazi sympathizer.

The ad links McAuliffe’s gubernatorial race opponent, Republican Glenn Youngkin, to the former president, a strategy McAuliffe has employed exhaustively throughout the duration of his campaign after Virginia voted ten points in favor of President Joe Biden in 2020.

The ad begins with visuals of the January 6 riot, and then switches to torch-bearing protesters marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. The ad then cuts to a brief clip of Trump responding to the Charlottesville protests — which had included violent encounters and resulted in one death — that “you also had very fine people on both sides.” The ad then displays marchers with a confederate flag, Youngkin speaking about Trump, and McAuliffe condemning the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who were present at the protests.


Democrats have on countless occasions stripped Trump’s “very fine people” comment of all context to suggest the former president was describing neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “fine people,” when, in reality, Trump unequivocally condemned such protesters, as transcripts of Trump’s comments prove.

Breitbart News’s Joel Pollak fact-checked the false narrative several times after Biden repeatedly used it on the campaign trail in 2020, noting last August:

As to “very fine people,” Trump had been referring to peaceful protests both for and against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

He completely condemned the extremists — as the timeline and transcript confirm:

  • Aug. 12, 2017: Trump condemned violence “on many sides” in Charlottesville, after neo-Nazi and Antifa clashes
  • Aug. 14, 2017: Trump condemned “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups” in White House statement
  • Aug. 15, 2017: Trump condemned neo-Nazis “totally,” praised non-violent protesters “on both sides” of statue debate

McAuliffe’s ad comes as part of the former governor’s overarching effort to tie Youngkin to Trump in the eyes of Virginia voters.

While Trump endorsed Youngkin in April, aside from expressing his gratitude for Trump’s support, Youngkin has rarely mentioned the former president during his campaign and has no plans at present to rally with Trump ahead of the November 2 election.

Write to Ashley Oliver at


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