Former President Barack Obama campaigned for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Saturday, urging voters to dismiss controversial issues raised by parents of children in public schools.
Parents in Virginia and around the country are furious over a report of a female student who was allegedly raped by a “gender fluid” boy in a in a public school girls’ bathroom in Loudoun County.
They were even more furious after the Loudoun County school system tried to cover up the assault, and prosecute the victim’s father for speaking out during a school board meeting. The 14-year-old was arrested in July and charged with two counts of forcible sodomy.
Obama dismissed the recent controversies as “fake outrage,” and “trumped-up culture wars” although he did not specifically refer to the incident. Parents are also deeply upset by efforts to implement critical race theory into the public school curriculum.
“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,” Obama said.
Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin has focused on the incident as evidence that major reforms are needed in public schools to protect children.
Obama argued that Youngkin was campaigning on the outrage, rather than talking about “serious problems that actually affect serious people.”
“That’s a shame,” he said. “That’s not what this election is about. That’s not what you need Virginia.
Obama also accused Youngkin of fueling “conspiracy theories” that led to the Capitol Hill protest on January 6.
“Either he actually believes in the same conspiracy theories that resulted in a mob, or he doesn’t believe it but he is willing to go along with it, to say or do anything to get elected,” Obama said. “And maybe that’s worse … because that says something about character.”