Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) said there were plenty of factors that contributed to Democrat Ralph Northam’s big win in Virginia on Tuesday, but the “overwhelming thing” that pushed Democrats to come out and vote was the “divisive rhetoric” spurred on by President Donald Trump.
“You have to give credit where credit is due. Democrats showed up last night, there’s no question about it,” he said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning. “You can attribute some of the things to the candidate, Gillespie, as well too, but there was an overwhelming thing that was looming large and that was the divisive rhetoric.”
Taylor, who has consistently said he supports Trump, but “not blindly,” said last night’s Democratic wins were “a referendum” on the President.
“I don’t think there’s any way you can look at it in a different way, to be honest with you, and be intellectually consistent,” he said, adding he doesn’t agree with Trump’s assessment that Republican candidate Ed Gillespie lost because he didn’t fully “embrace” the President.
“With all due respect to the President, I simply profoundly disagree with that,” he said.
The significant Democratic wins in Virginia and New Jersey, and in other state and local races coast-to-coast Tuesday, had Democrats hopeful for the beginning of a turning point for the party.
Republicans tried to downplay the results. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) said his party would probably be “saying the same kind of thing” if roles were reversed. “That’s the way the spin works on these things,” he said on Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade’s radio show.
Watch the interview with Taylor below: