Trump blasts Gillespie, saying he lost Virginia election because he 'did not embrace me'

Ed Gillespie.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Trump waited (checks watch) about 20 minutes after the Virginia election was called in favor of Democrat Ralph Northam to try to distance himself from the Republican who lost the contentious race.

"Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for," Trump tweeted Tuesday night from South Korea. "Don't forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!" Gillespie did take out ads in favor of some of Trump's positions, including being strict on immigration and keeping Confederate monuments up.

Trump tweeted his support of Gillespie as late as Tuesday morning, and recorded a robocall that was released in waves on Monday and Tuesday. "I need you to vote for Ed Gillespie to be your new governor of Virginia," he said. "If you let Ralph Northam be governor, he will be a total disaster for your state. Northam is weak on crime, weak on immigration, and as your lieutenant governor, Northam has driven your economy right into a ditch, and he didn't even show up to the most important meetings." He also said Gillespie "will make America great again, a phrase that I like a lot." Virginia's economy is humming and its crime and unemployment rates are low.

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It's always possible Gillespie suffered because Virginia residents who might have voted for him checked Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter account before heading to the polls: Trump's eldest son urged voters — twice — on Tuesday morning (a.k.a. the day of the election) to "take [Gillespie] across the finish line tomorrow!"

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.