Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has resisted the mounting calls for his resignation amid controversy surrounding his racist yearbook page and at this point, he has “no choice” but to remain in office, argued Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt.
On Friday, Northam’s page from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook went viral, which featured a photo of someone in blackface and another in a KKK robe. The governor apologized, but backtracked the next day, insisting that he was not in the photo. He did, however, admit to wearing blackface while dressing up as Michael Jackson for a dance contest that year.
During the Special Report All-Star panel, Stirewalt, USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page, and Washington Times opinion editor Charles Hurt weighed in on whether Northam can survive the political firestorm.
Stirewalt told the panel that Northam has “no choice” and that he’s “got to dig in” because, as he said, leaving office would be “admitting it.”
“Quite frankly, I don’t blame him. At this point, he screwed up Friday to a fare-thee-well, from pen to post, he did that wrong in every way possible,” Stirewalt said.
Susan Page disagreed, insisting he has “no option” but to resign.
“Legally, he can continue to be governor, but he can no longer govern,” Page elaborated. “Politicians can survive scandals, Bill Clinton did, Donald Trump did, but they did that by maintaining their support of their base and he has lost the support of just about every Democrat in America.”
Charles Hurt told the panel that the “silence” from Democrats and much of the media on Northam’s remarks on late-term abortion was “shocking” and how they’ve been outspoken in the wake of the racist yearbook photo.
Hurt also slammed Northam for “weaponizing” racial politics by portraying his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie of being a racist during the 2017 campaign, calling that “unforgivable.”