Pandering Establishment GOP Governor Wannabe Ed Gillespie Alienates Both the Trump Base and the Mainstream Republicans in Virginia Race
It’s the worst of both worlds for Republican Ed Gillespie as the governor’s race enters the final weekend.
Down the homestretch, Gillespie managed to disappoint (and is some cases anger) establishment Republicans with an inauthentic panic-driven foray into the world of Trump-style politics. As fears that a victory was moving out of reach, the Gillespie campaign began airing hate-filled TV ads meant to woo the Trump base.
The GOP establishment was shocked, but an inside source tells The Back Forty that the Gillespie campaign has quietly sought to assure the mainstream Republican critics that he is still one of them.
That news won’t sit well with the Trump backers in Rural Virginia, who will see through Gillespie’s two-faced pandering as a fake attempt to get their vote. Trump followers in Virginia were already suspicious of Gillespie, a GOP insider and big-business lobbyist with a clear establishment pedigree.
A disrespectful Gillespie even got caught snubbing a top rural Trump activist and evangelical minister two weeks ago. Polling data backs up that a significant chunk of the Trump base has not rallied to Gillespie’s side and is not excited by his establishment record.
Gillespie clearly wants it both ways: to be both an establishment insider and to pretend to be a Trump loyalist. So far he hasn’t even invited Trump to campaign with him, but he’s desperate enough to try use Trump-style Alt-Right campaign tactics to charm the Trump base. And even if Trump makes a last-minute appearance for Gillespie the final days it will leave Virginians shaking their heads at his fake politics.
Gillespie, a New Jersey native, clearly thinks he can fool Virginia, but Virginians are no fools.