Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for the presidency more than two years ago and someone who has also teased a possible run again in 2020, has joined others in calling for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign his office amid a huge firestorm about a racist photo showing a man in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan.
The photo appeared on Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page, though he now says — contradicting his earlier remarks — that he did not take part in that image and knew nothing about it after first apologizing for it on Friday when it surfaced.
Clinton wrote Saturday night in a tweet, “This has gone on too long. There is nothing to debate. He must resign.”
Clinton’s tweet also included a retweet of an Associated Press news story, which indicated that the two Virginia senators — including Clinton’s 2016 running mate, Tim Kaine — also had called for Northam to resign.
This has gone on too long. There is nothing to debate. He must resign. https://t.co/TjfS3vbcws
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 3, 2019
“I no longer believe Gov. Northam can effectively serve as governor of Virginia,” Tim Kaine tweeted in his message.
“The events of the past 24 hours have inflicted immense pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders.”
“He should step down and allow the Commonwealth to begin healing,” he also said.
I no longer believe Governor Northam can effectively serve as Governor of Virginia. The events of the past 24 hours have inflicted immense pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders. He should step down and allow the Commonwealth to begin healing.
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) February 3, 2019
In addition, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the newly minted lawmaker who calls herself a Democratic socialist, also chimed in.
“Northam must resign, and those who try to help him stumble past this deserve scrutiny,” she wrote on Twitter, in part.
“If you can’t understand how painful [and] eroding this is to American society, let alone the state of Virginia, take some time to read up this weekend.”
Northam must resign, and those who try to help him stumble past this deserve scrutiny.
If you can’t understand how painful + eroding this is to American society, let alone the state of Virginia, take some time to read up this weekend.
To start, try “Between the World and Me.” https://t.co/Fm0srrPZgN
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2019
Prior to their tweets, President Donald Trump also condemned Gov. Northam for his actions on Saturday, saying in a tweet, “Democrat Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia just stated, ‘I believe that I am not either of the people in that photo.’ This was 24 hours after apologizing for appearing in the picture and after making the most horrible statement on ‘super’ late-term abortion. Unforgivable!”
On Saturday, during a mid-afternoon press conference, Northam insisted he would not resign his governor’s position, which he won in the fall of 2017.
He said he did not appear in the photo in question on his yearbook page — a direct contradiction of his earlier remarks in which he apologized for being in the picture.
“When I was confronted with the image, I was appalled that it appeared on my page, but I believed then and I believe now that I am not either of the people in that photograph,” he said on Saturday at a news conference at the governor’s mansion.
He also said on Saturday, in part, that he is now asking Virginians “for the opportunity to earn your forgiveness.”
But he admitted he had darkened his face on a different occasion — to appear as Michael Jackson in a dance contest, he said.
The governor already had been under fire earlier in the week for his chilling comments in a radio interview related to third-trimester abortions and infanticide.
Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, earlier last week did a radio interview — captured on video — in which he was asked about a bill supporting late-term abortions. He said that third-trimester abortions are done with “the consent of obviously the mother, with consent of the physician, multiple physicians by the way, and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities or there may be a fetus that’s not viable.”
“So in this particular example if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
It seemed quite clear to most people that he was discussing — in an eerily calm and chilling manner — the possibility of letting a newborn die, even “infanticide.”
“This is morally repugnant,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a statement to National Review after the Northam remarks. “In just a few years pro-abortion zealots went from ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to ‘keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide.’ I don’t care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office.”
On Friday, NAACP leader Derrick Johnson weighed in on Twitter, saying, “Black face in any manner is always racist and never OK.”
Regarding the racist photo controversy, on Friday, Northam said in a statement, “Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive.”
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”
Also on Friday, NAACP leader Derrick Johnson weighed in on Twitter, saying, “Black face in any manner is always racist and never OK.”
He then said, “No matter the party affiliation, we cannot stand for such behavior, which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham.”
A long list of other individuals on the Left also called for the governor to resign prior to his remarks on Saturday.
That includes 2020 presidential hopefuls Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Julian Castro of Texas, who previously worked in the Obama administration.
Others as well have called for the resignation.
I would not accept this behavior or this apology from an employee in my business, and I expect more from my Governor. @GovernorVA, your actions remain unacceptable and I call on you again to resign. pic.twitter.com/HkeOkhvq1m
— Congressman Denver Riggleman (@RepRiggleman) February 2, 2019
The same Gov. Northam first apologizes for being photographed in black face or a KKK outfit and day later remembered it was not him. But remembers being in black face to imitate Michael Jackson. In one week Infanticide, racism and a liar. Governor, Doctor no mas!
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) February 3, 2019
— MediaResearchCenter (@theMRC) February 3, 2019
Even pro-abortion groups Planned Parenthood and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) called on him to step down as well, as The Daily Caller noted.
“Gov. Ralph Northam admitted that he is pictured in the racist photo in his medical school yearbook,” NARAL president Ilyse Hogue tweeted. “Making amends and rebuilding trust must start with resigning his post. Virginians deserve better,” she added.
“As the nation’s largest provider of reproductive health care, we have a responsibility to advocate for all patients, and to provide compassionate health care to all people who walk through our doors,” Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen said in a statement.
“There is no place for Gov. Ralph Northam’s racist actions or language. He must step down as Governor. The people of Virginia need to be able to trust that their leaders will fight for them and support policies that protect their health, safety, and value their communities. Gov. Northam’s actions put that in doubt.”
Watch this video about the abortion-related remarks — and share your thoughts.