President Trump on Tuesday quickly sought to distance himself from Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race as Democrat Ralph Northam was projected to win by multiple news outlets.
“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for,” Trump said on Twitter in the midst of his visit to South Korea, as Virginia results continued to roll in, suggesting a comfortable Northam victory.
Only 15 hours earlier, Trump took to Twitter to urge Virginians to vote for Gillespie, saying he would “totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA.”
“MS-13 and crime will be gone,” Trump added, referring to a Latino gang that was featured in Gillespie television ads and has been targeted by Trump. “Vote today, ASAP!”
Besides several other positive tweets about Gillespie during the campaign, Trump also recorded a robo-call for Gillespie in the closing stretch of the race, telling voters: “With your help, Ed Gillespie will help make America great again, a phrase that I like a lot.”
Trump did not travel to Virginia to campaign for Gillespie, but Vice President Pence was among the surrogates who came in to try to rally support for the fellow Republican.
In his Tuesday night tweet, Trump reminded his Twitter followers of previous GOP successes in special U.S. House races this year.
“Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!” the president said.