Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus discussed E.W. Jackson, the GOP’s nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, in an interview on Washington D.C. radio station WMAL Friday. Priebus praised Jackson after he was asked whether numerous controversies surrounding him might be “a distraction” in Virginia’s hotly-contested gubernatorial race. He also said he believes voters in the race will remain focused on the Republican nominee for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, and his Democratic rival, Terry McAuliffe.
“I think that he’s a pretty dynamic guy. But ultimately this is about Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe,” Preibus said of Jackson. “I think we know that, you know it’s never, just like in the Presidential election. It’s usually never about the VP, it’s always about the presidential candidate, it’s all about the governor. … That’s what’s going to matter, in the end, but, obviously, I think it’s good to have an articulate lieutenant governor that can work hard underneath, and move votes, and help out the top of the ticket.”
Since he won the GOP’s nomination to run for lieutenant governor last month, Jackson has generated a slew of headlines for past statements he made criticizing gays, accusing President Barack Obama of harboring “Muslim sensibilities,” comparing Planned Parenthood to the KKK, praising the Constitution’s original clause to count blacks as three-fifths of a person, and for his efforts in the late 1980’s to fight desegregation in Boston.
Listen to a clip of Priebus’ comments on Jackson, which a Democratic strategist flagged to TPM, below.