VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) endorsed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump surveys South Carolina supporters on preferred Democratic opponent Watch live: Trump holds a rally in South Carolina Biden, Klobuchar to address AIPAC via video MORE for president on Saturday, days before Virginians vote on Super Tuesday.
“I’m going to endorse Joe Biden,” McAuliffe, a CNN commentator, said on the network following Biden’s decisive win in the South Carolina primary.
“I’ve thought long and hard about this,” he continued. “To me, it’s an electability issue — who has the best shot of beating Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump endorses former White House physician Ronny Jackson for Congress Newly released emails reveal officials’ panic over loss of credibility after Trump’s Dorian claims Lindsey Graham thanks Trump, bemoans ‘never-ending bull—-‘ at South Carolina rally MORE.”
“I want someone who’s going to protect ObamaCare,” he said. “I think Joe Biden has the best chance of winning Virginia in the general election. You can’t sit on the sidelines, so I’m going to go all-in for Joe Biden.”
McAuliffe also cited Biden’s potential positive impact on down-ballot races as a reason for supporting the former vice president in the primary.
“I worry in Virginia. We’ve got two new [House] members, Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerOvernight Defense: Lawmakers clash during Pompeo hearing on Iran | Trump touts Taliban deal ahead of signing | Trump sued over plan to use Pentagon funds for border wall GOP rep, Democrats exchange heated remarks during Pompeo hearing on Iran House approves bill banning flavored tobacco products MORE and Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaHouse approves bill banning flavored tobacco products M ad buy praises swing-district Democrats’ environmental work Vulnerable Democrats fret over surging Sanders MORE, in very tough districts,” he said. “Joe Biden will be the best person at the top of the ticket to make sure we keep those seats.”
McAuliffe’s endorsement comes after Biden scored another notable endorsement from the state’s Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden looks to South Carolina to turn around campaign How to avert the direct care workforce shortage The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Crunch time for Dems ahead of South Carolina, Super Tuesday MORE‘s (D) on Friday.
The former Virginia governor will join Biden in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday.
Virginians will vote in the state’s Democratic primary on Tuesday where 99 pledged delegates are at stake.
Recent polling shows Biden with newfound momentum in the commonwealth. A Wason Center poll released Friday showed Biden leading the Democratic field in the state with 22 percent support. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMSNBC’s Chris Matthews confuses South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate with GOP’s Tim Scott Trump surveys South Carolina supporters on preferred Democratic opponent Watch live: Trump holds a rally in South Carolina MORE (I-Vt.) trailed with 17 percent support, while former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg came in at 13 percent.
Sanders and Bloomberg have also made plays in Virginia ahead of Super Tuesday. Bloomberg visited McLean, Va., on Saturday, while Sanders held a rally in the state on Thursday and two on Saturday.