President Donald Trump criticizes losing Virginia candidate Ed Gillespie


President Donald Trump tried to blame Ed Gillespie's loss in the Virginia governor's race on Gillespie's failure to sufficiently tie himself to Trump and Trumpism.

"Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for," Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday night.

Gillespie, the Republican nominee, lost the race to Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Trump, a Republican, never campaigned personally with Gillespie in Virginia but he used Twitter and automated phone calls to strongly back the GOP candidate, who is a former lobbyist and ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee. Gillespie adopted a number of Trump's policies, such as opposing sanctuary cities, and ran a highly negative campaign, as Trump did in 2016.

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Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia Ed Gillespie speaks during a campaign event at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Tysons, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2017. Picture taken October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
ABINGDON, VA - OCTOBER 14: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, points to gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, R-VA, during a campaign rally at the Washington County Fairgrounds on October 14, 2017 in Abingdon, Virginia. Virginia voters head to the polls on Nov. 7. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia Ed Gillespie speaks during a campaign event at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Tysons, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2017. Picture taken October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican Party contender Ed Gillespie, who is campaigning to be elected as Virginia's governor, greets supporters during a rally in Chesapeake, Virginia, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Julia Rendleman
Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia Ed Gillespie gestures to supporters after voting at Washington Mill Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia Ed Gillespie arrives for a campaign event at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Tysons, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2017. Picture taken October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
SPRINGFIELD, VA - November, 4: Ed Gillespie campaigns for the upcoming election at the Accotink Academy in Springfield, VA, November 4, 2017. Ed Gillespie is the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, running against Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D). (Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 26: Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie, speaks to the media during a press conference at the Fairfax County Government Center on Thursday, October 26, 2017 in Fairfax, Virginia. Gillespie was joined by attorney general nominee John Adams and other republican leaders. (Photo by Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MCLEAN, VA - SEPTEMBER 19: Gubernatorial debate between Republican candidate Ed Gillespie, left, and Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, Democrat, on September, 19, 2017 in McLean, VA. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ABINGDON, VA - OCTOBER 14: Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, R-VA, and his wife Cathy during a campaign rally at the Washington County Fairgrounds on October 14, 2017 in Abingdon, Virginia. Virginia voters head to the polls on Nov. 7. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
MCLEAN, VA - SEPTEMBER 19: Republican candidate Ed Gillespie makes his opening statement during his debate with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, Democrat, on September, 19, 2017 in McLean, VA. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia Ed Gillespie speaks during a campaign event at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Tysons, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2017. Picture taken October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Some Virginians used the election to send an anti-Trump message. One-third of those who cast ballots said their vote in the race was meant to demonstrate opposition to Trump, twice as many as those who said it was designed to show support for Trump, according to exit polls reported by the Washington Post.

"The Trump message is a big loser in swing states and he hurts the GOP far more than helps in those states," Republican strategist and Trump critic Mike Murphy told the New York Times. "Suburban voters don't like Trump, and his antics energize Democrats. The myth of Trump electoral power will now start to melt. A wildly unpopular president is a big political problem for the GOP in swing states."

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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