McAuliffe gets in tense exchange with Virginia sheriff over anti-police group's endorsement

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Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe defended touting an endorsement from an organization in support of defunding the police.

McAuliffe was confronted on the July endorsement he received from the progressive group New Virginia Majority by Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin while speaking at an event Wednesday with the Virginia Sheriffs Association (VSA).

The sheriff noted New Virginia Majority is a “large defund the police organization who want to abolish prisons and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]” and pointed out that McAuliffe had expressed pride in accepting the group’s endorsement of him for governor.

VIRGINIA’S MCAULIFFE TOUTS ENDORSEMENT FROM GROUP THAT SUPPORTS DEFUNDING POLICE, ABOLISHING PRISONS

“Now, first of all, sheriff, I’m proud to accept any endorsements. I get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds,” McAuliffe shot back. “Groups that endorse me, I don’t know what they’re going to do.”

“Have I ever supported defund the police? Are you out of your mind? 

“I’ve invested in law enforcement – I just went through 25 minutes of telling you what I do for the police. Not defunded, I funded them!”

Partin, who WSHV notes previously appeared in a campaign ad for Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, pushed back against McAuliffe and asked if the Democrat candidate for governor would “never support” defunding the police.

“I won’t even dignify that with an answer,” McAuliffe responded, voice raised. “If my track record of four years as governor is not enough for you to understand how I feel on law enforcement, I will not dignify that with an answer.”

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“Unbelievable,” the sheriff said, despondent. “I don’t believe an answer to either one of those questions.”

McAuliffe cut the sheriff off, saying he does not “care” what the sheriff believed.

“I’ve got a track record,” McAuliffe said. “And I’m proud of that track record.”

Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.

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