However after Gillespie’s defeat, the narrative changed quickly. While on his 12 day trip to visit Asian allies, Trump claimed Gillespie failed to follow his lead and that was why he lost.
But earlier Tuesday, the president urged Virginians to vote for Gillespie, saying he would “totally turn around” “high crime and poor economic performance” in the state. The president’s prerecorded robocall expressed his support, saying the Republican would “help make America great again.”
This isn’t the first time the president has disavowed his candidate after a loss.
President Trump notably deleted several tweets supporting Luther Strange, an Alabama senator who lost his bid to be the Republican nominee to retain his seat despite a massive outpouring of support from the White House.
But it’s not only Trump who proved disloyal Tuesday night.
Steve Bannon stated earlier this week, “[I]t was the Trump-Stewart talking points that got Gillespie close and even maybe to victory. It was embracing Trump’s agenda…. This was not a competitive race four weeks ago. You could have stuck a fork in Gillespie.”
After his defeat, Steve Bannon’s Breitbart home page also championed Trump’s argument that Gillespie didn’t embrace the president’s politics leading to his loss.