McAuliffe announces nonstop flights between Dulles and India, says Virginia welcomes everyone

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) at Dulles Airport 

As former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe travels the country promoting his new book about a deadly white nationalist rally, others involved in the mayhem nearly two years ago are pushing back at his characterization of the events.

Charlottesville’s former mayor said the book “blames everyone else,” and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia called it an effort to “pass the buck.” Some of the anti-racism protesters injured during a car attack after the rally confronted McAuliffe at a book talk in Washington on Thursday, accusing him of supporting a police response that was widely criticized as too passive.

For his part, McAuliffe said the book isn’t about assigning blame, it’s about remembering a seminal moment in the nation’s history and taking steps to make sure nothing similar happens again.

“Racism is alive and well in this county, it exists today in our country, and we need to do something about it,” McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who in April ruled out a 2020 presidential run, said in an interview Friday. “That’s the overarching theme of the book.”

“Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism” offers the governor’s account of preparations ahead of the Aug. 12, 2017 rally, which drew a loosely connected mix of far-right extremists for the largest gathering of its kind in at least a decade. The Associated Press received an advance copy of the book, which went on sale Tuesday.

It also describes his and other state officials’ roles in managing the events as they unfolded — including his interaction with President Donald Trump and his reaction to the deaths of two state troopers who had been monitoring the rally in a helicopter that crashed — plus more general reflections about his time in office and about how to move forward and address the legacies of racism.

Large crowds of heavily armed, mostly young, white men chanting racist slurs converged in a downtown park Aug. 12, and hundreds of counterprotesters showed up, too. Street fighting exploded before the scheduled event could begin and went on for nearly an hour in view of police until authorities forced the crowd to disperse.

As counterprotesters were marching peacefully through a downtown street, an avowed white supremacist who kept a photo of Adolf Hitler on his bedside table plowed his car into them. Heather Heyer , a 32-year-old paralegal, was killed and dozens more were injured.

A scathing independent report by a former federal prosecutor released several months later found problems at the state and local level, including a lack of planning, poor communication and a law enforcement plan that put officer safety over public safety.

McAuliffe, who doesn’t mention that report, writes in the book that he knew “without a doubt that we’d done everything we could at the state level to prepare” ahead of the rally but that the city “did itself no favors.”

He wrote that his staff didn’t see a sense of urgency from local officials, who he said weren’t taking necessary precautions. He called the city’s permitting process “pathetic,” and said it boxed authorities “into a corner.”

Charlottesville spokesman Brian Wheeler declined a request for comment.

Former Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, now a city councilman, said he read the book for the first time this week.

“Instead of evenly examining all of the state’s decisions, including its mistakes, so we can learn and grow, the book instead blames everyone else, while making significant errors in the process,” Signer said in the statement.

At a book talk in Washington Thursday, several women who were injured in the car attack addressed McAuliffe, challenging his characterization of the police response as dozens of attendees looked on. They asked why part of the proceeds had been pledged to the Virginia State Police Association but not to the survivors of the car attack.

WAMU reported the 20-minute exchange became heated, with one protester moving toward McAuliffe and then chanting, “Cops and the Klan go hand in hand.”

The crowd eventually began to boo the women, who were escorted out, according to The Washington Post .

McAuliffe said Friday the protesters were entitled to their opinions and noted that he had agreed to meet with the victims. He also agreed during the event to direct part of the book proceeds to support survivors of the car attack, many of whom have faced significant medical bills. He had previously said the proceeds would go to the police association and the Heather Heyer Foundation.

One benefit of Charlottesville is it reignited conversations about racism, McAuliffe said, adding: “Get up and do something about it. That is what I hope the takeaway will be.”

In addition to the many state officials quoted in the book is Susan Bro, Heyer’s mother. Bro said Friday that she sent her book contributions by email to McAuliffe and others working on the project and that she had reviewed the manuscript to make sure everything that pertained to her daughter was correct.

Bro said she thinks McAuliffe sees himself as a “hero” in the retelling of the events, a tendency she called typical human nature.

“It’s always interesting how everybody has a different remembrance ... of the day. I always say the truth lies somewhere in the midst of all that,” Bro said.

(25) comments


WellIsntThatSpecial, how many ult-right were there vs. antifa? Be real. That is nothing but trying to distract from the real problem. The majority of anti-protesters were not antifa,.


you may be correct. there are plenty of regular run of the mill liberals that also are violent and intolerant. So what's your point?


The point is you are making a problem where there isn’t one trying to deflect from the increasing problem this country has with white nationalist. As the news outlets said there were a “relatively small number of counter-protesters who engage in confrontational tactics, including violence, in their opposition to the right-wing extremists.” They are fighting because of oppression whereas the ult-right is fighting because of hatred. Hatred of blacks, liberals, Jews, liberals, immigrants, basically anyone who is not white. Look at El Paso. Mimicking trump that idiot felt he had the right to kill as “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”. 2018 saw a national rise in hate crimes, and that almost all extremist homicides were carried out by the far right, The rise is the fifth consecutive increase and the steepest rise since 2015, and the trend has continued to rise so far in 2019. It’s time for the lawmakers to label these people as domestic terrorist and create laws that equate the punishment to the crime.


When did we all lose the ability to be civil to one another? I ask this as I read back and forth comments which want to place the blame(?) on the other side. One side wants to rewrite history, the other wants to conveniently forget other aspects of history. If I tell someone with different ancestry than me that today is Tuesday, I can be attacked for being racist because we all know it is Tuesday. If I don't agree with someone's argument I don't have to place a negative about their person on facebook


I think it was when trump started campaigning in 2015-6 and belittled everyone that he thought wasn't as good as him. Mexican rapist, Warren is Pocahontas, Blacks aren't smart enough to vote for him, imitating a spaz referencing a reporter with an illness, saying Muslims celebrated when the towers fell etc.


Wait. What? Conveniently forgetting the Race Peddler in Chief this country suffered through from 2008-2016.


ace10 - I have no idea what you are talking about - striving for equality is not the same as urgin on the klan


Ace, find one comment from Obama that was racist, see if you an find any. You are just trying to deflect. What is the Obama obsession that trump has? He constantly compares himself to Obama and lies to make himself look better than Obama. Has he ever had a speech or rally where he hasn't brought up Obama and told lies about him?


Mc Awful is a Clinton Weasel who was a worthless governor and now a feckless writer.


Proof? That's your opinion, what is it based on? I doubt you have a clue about anything he has or hasn't done, just another righteous right.




Thought of that all by yourself did ya?



More Cowbell

Terry forgets he turned down the mayor to send National Guard for that rally. Mayor asked him, he said No. If National Guard was there, perhaps a life would have been saved.

Count Quackula

Of course the AP doesn’t miss a single opportunity to print blatant lies as though they are established facts.


The cartoonish terry mcauliffe.

Chris McHale

Is he really looking to profit from this tragedy,? How can anyone be okay with that?


The Carpetbagger is presenting that terrible incident as something other than a violent clash between Right-wing and Left-wing trash?


McAuliffe wanted a spectacle and got it, the people hurt/killed were simply collateral damage. For example, Virginia (due to its proximity to DC) has a long history of dealing with extremist groups (i.e., Westboro Baptist Church) and doing a good job keeping tensions down. Good planning/policing means keeping the two groups (protesters and counter protesters) separated, at a safe distance. McAuliffe et al. made sure the two groups clashed - what the heck do you think was going to happen?

David Dickinson

If governments would stop the stupidity of granting permits to protesters and counter-protesters for the same date and time, tragedies like this would be avoided. Protest one day, counter-protest the next day. Problems avoided.

And does anyone other than Terry McAuliffe think Terry McAuliffe is doing a book tour for anyone other than Terry McAuliffe? Does he really care about race relations or does he came more for himself? Go back to smoking dope with Willie Nelson and crawl back under your rock.

Count Quackula

I agree, but do you really think that you could stop antifa terrorists by denying them a permit?


Too bad that it was the alt-right that was the problem, kinda ruins your point.


scheduling is your answer, David? Nothing about rejecting white nationalism?


or rejecting the violence and totalitarianism of antifa?


that would be good also, but maybe we start with the ones actually killing us?

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