"It’s him demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding of how the government works. The school board is elected by the parents, the parents are the authority, the citizens are the authority over the school board, and actually, over all governments in the United States. So, I know he was governor before, but he seems to be confused about how these things work," disabled U.S. Army veteran Joe Mobley told "Fox & Friends."
Mobley, a Virginia father of three, said McAuliffe's support for teaching critical race theory in schools will "absolutely" drive turnout for Republican Glenn Youngkin.
Former Virginia governor McAuliffe and Youngkin sparred during the second and final debate of Virginia’s governor’s race on Tuesday, but it was one comment on schools by McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, that drew the ire of conservatives.
"I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," McAuliffe, who previously served as governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018, said during the debate in Alexandria, Virginia.
McAuliffe made the remarks in response to Youngkin, the Republican candidate, who argued that parents should be more involved in the decisions of local school districts. Conservative social media responded.
"Parents are in control of their kids. Not @TerryMcAuliffe. Never," one user wrote on Twitter.
"Make sure every parent in Virginia hears this before they vote," tweeted former Trump adviser Stephen Miller.
"Terry McAuliffe is pro-choice unless the decision belongs to the parents of a school-aged kid," replied Autumn Johnson.
"Terry McAuliffe tonight in a debate.......I don't think parents should have a say in what is taught in schools...... This is exactly why he should never hold a position of power ever again," another user wrote.
"Oh no? Who should decide what kids get taught @TerryMcAuliffe? You?" another replied.
At the debate, Youngkin agreed that local school districts should make those decisions, but he demanded they include parents in the dialogue and "concepts of safety and privacy" in the discussion.
President of Loudon County GOP Women’s Club Patti Hidalgo Menders said McAuliffe’s comments are "just wrong." Menders is a mother of six boys.
"Parents are the first educators of any child, and we do elect these local elected officials to represent us and our children, and what he said is that parents are not allowed to have a say on what our children learn, and that’s just wrong," Menders said.
Fox News' Michael Lee contributed to this report