Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain spins Virginia election losses by touting Dem victories in deep blue areas

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White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain said Sunday that the Democrats should “take pride” in winning deep blue areas like New Jersey and New York City after suffering a devastating loss to Republicans in the Virginia gubernatorial race last week. 

During an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd, Klain said Terry McAuliffe’s loss to Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin in Virginia on Tuesday was “painful” but that the silver lining is in areas like New York City, where Democrat Eric Adams won the mayoral race, and New Jersey, where voters reelected incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 30: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain attends an event with governors of western states and members of the Biden administration cabinet June 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“Terry McAuliffe is an old friend of mine. So sad to see him lose the Virginia legislature,” Klain said. “But it’s also worth noting, on Tuesday night, we did get Governor Murphy, the first Democrat in 44 years to get re-elected in New Jersey. We held on to the mayorship in New York, Eric Adams, is a great new leader for our party. We lost the mayorship of New York in 2009, the last time we had a new democratic president.

“We had a lot of great, exciting Democrats elected around the country,” he continued. “The first woman, the first person of color elected mayor of Boston. We had Shontel Brown elected to the U.S. House in Ohio. So we definitely suffered some losses on Tuesday, no question about it. We have to learn from that, we have to do better from that. But I also think we had wins on Tuesday and we can take pride in that, too.”

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 24: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain joins a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, members of his cabinet and immigration advisors in the State Dining Room on March 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Klain was referring to Michelle Wu, who is a progressive, though her position as mayor is nonpartisan. 

Brown was elected to represent Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, which encompasses most of Cleveland and much of Akron and is considered the state’s most Democratic district.

Klain said the Democrats’ loss in Virginia was a “message” sent by voters who want to see more action on Capitol Hill.

“They wanted to see more action in Washington, they wanted to see things move more quickly, and three days later Congress responded by passing the president’s infrastructure bill,” he said.


Ron Klain, former White House Ebola response coordinator, speaks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Klain’s comments mirrored that of Vice President Kamala Harris, who said Democrats had some “great wins” Tuesday.

“We have Eric Adams in New York. In Ohio, we had Mrs. Brown, Shontel Brown, a great win and what I think will be a great addition to the United States Congress,” said Harris, who campaigned for McCauliffe in the lead-up to Tuesday’s election.

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