WJLA 7News reporter Nick Minock conducted interviews with the former governor and his GOP rival Glenn Youngkin, sharing highlights on air while releasing the full interviews and transcripts online.
However, WJLA anchor Jonathan Elias offered a disclaimer to viewers who may notice that Youngkin’s interview was much longer than McAuliffe’s.
“So if you watch those entire interviews on our website, we do want to point out that the Terry McAuliffe interview is shorter than our interview with Glenn Youngkin. That was not by our doing,” Elias told viewers during Tuesday’s evening newscast. “Nick offered both candidates 20 minutes exactly to be fair for the interviews. McAuliffe abruptly ended 7News’ interview after just 10 minutes and told Nick that he should have asked better questions and that Nick should have asked questions 7News viewers care about. That’s what he said.”
— Team Youngkin (@TeamYoungkin) October 19, 2021
During the interview with McAuliffe, Minock began by pressing him on his controversial remarks at last month’s gubernatorial debate where he said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
“So are you saying parents shouldn’t have a voice in their kids’ education?” Minock asked.
“Sure, parents should have a voice. And parents do have a voice,” McAuliffe responded, before pointing to his record as governor of eliminating standards of learning exams parents had complained about, listing campaign promises on improving education in Virginia and attempting to tie Youngkin to former President Trump and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
“So did you misspeak during that debate?” Minock followed.
“No!” McAuliffe quickly responded. “I was talking about what we need to do, bringing people together. We have the state boards, we have the board of education and we have the local school boards who are all involved in this process. But the issue is how do we deliver a world class education.”
Minock asked McAuliffe if his administration would “issue mandates” telling schools what and how they should teach, to which McAuliffe punted to the state board to decide before attacking Youngkin for using a “racist dog whistle” responding to the Republican’s call to ban critical race theory.
“He’s talking about issues that don’t even exist in Virginia and we’ve got to move past that,” McAuliffe said.
Minock then inquired whether McAuliffe agreed with the memo from the Biden DOJ suggesting future involvement in cases between parents and school boards. McAuliffe dismissed concerns, saying the DOJ will “make their own decisions.”
The reporter moved on to grill McAuliffe’s record on crime and how much he would invest in public safety. Shortly after, a McAuliffe staffer can be heard interrupting off-screen attempting to wrap up the interview.
Minock went on to ask the Democrat about his support for vaccine mandates for state employees as well as for children in schools.
“All right, Nick. We are already over time,” the McAuliffe aide told the reporter.
“All right, we are over. That’s it. That’s it,” McAuliffe said as he stood up from the chair and began walking off camera. “Hey, I gave you extra time. C’mon man.”
“You should have asked better questions early on. You should have asked questions your viewers care about,” McAuliffe added.
“Well, we did,” Minock responded.