Northam hits back at Trump: 'Don’t talk to me about showing up'

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee in the commonwealth’s gubernatorial race, hit back Thursday against tweeted criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.

Trump is backing Republican Ed Gillespie in the off-year race, and on Thursday he said Northam will be “weak on crime” and “doesn’t even show up to meetings/work.”

“Don’t talk to me about showing up,” Northam responded.

A subsequent tweet knocked the president directly, including a video showing Northam, a physician, working at a remote-area medical clinic.

A separate tweet from the president said Gillespie will turn the Virginia economy around and “might even save our great statues/heritage!”


Both campaigns have been using the controversy over Confederate statues against the other. Gillespie supports keeping the statues up in the name of history, and Northam this week defended a mailer linking Trump and Gillespie to the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August.

Trump has not hit the campaign trail in support of Gillespie, but Vice President Pence stumped for the former Republican National Committee chairman earlier this month.

A Hampton University Center for Public Policy poll released Wednesday showed Gillespie leading Northam by 8 points among likely voters. That poll broke from most others, which show Northam leading.