A panelist scheduled to appear at the upcoming debate between Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin is withdrawing from the political showdown after tweets attacking Republicans and evangelicals surfaced.
George Mason University Associate Professor Michael Fauntroy was set to appear alongside local NBC affiliate News4 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey and Telemundo 44 reporter Alberto Pimienta to ask questions at the second face-off on Sept. 28, which is being moderated by NBC News anchor Chuck Todd.
However, Fauntroy told Fox News he will “not be serving as a panelist at the debate” after he was asked about his past rhetoric.
“It was my decision. I have not communicated with anyone from NBC,” Fauntroy added.
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Fauntroy, the founding director of GMU’s Race, Politics, and Policy Center, is a longtime Democratic donor, according to FEC filings, contributing $4,000 to the Biden campaign last year. Additionally, he donated $250 to Virginia Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax’s campaign per the Virginia Public Access Project.
However, what could have been more problematic for Fauntroy was his heated commentary on social media.
In May 2020, Fauntroy insisted Democratic Alabama Gov. George Wallace “would be a Republican these days.” In Sept. 2020, Fauntroy shamed Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. for his support for then-President Trump.
“.@SenatorTimScott, I get that you are a Republican & have chosen to support the nominee, but there is no way as a Black man you should be out here covering 4 @realDonaldTrump. He’s a racist, misogynist, & xenophobe. You know it. Be quiet about it if you want, just don’t defend it,” Fauntroy tweeted.
In November, just days before the election, Fauntroy wrote, “Not every Republican is a racist But every racist seems to votes Republican” in response to a similar remark Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., made about Democrats and socialists.
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Fauntroy’s rhetoric escalated following the events of Jan. 6, telling Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Tx., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., “F— you.”
“F— you, @tedcruz. Your craven behavior has helped create this mob scene,” Fauntroy told Cruz, which was followed by a tweet in reaction Hawley’s book being canceled by Simon & Shuster, writing, “@HawleyMO I’m sure your contract has language that allows it to be cancelled for seditious behavior. Good luck in court. And by good luck, I mean: F— you.”
He also took aim at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeting “F— McCarthy! He’s part of the problem.”
However, Fauntroy’s most controversial tweet was made the day before Jan. 6 in response to another Twitter user who asked, “Why are Evangelicals supporting Kyle Rittenhouse?”
“Because White Evangelicals and White Nationalists are largely indistinguishable from one another,” Fauntroy responded.
Youngkin is a White Evangelical.
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The event is being hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and co-partnered by the local NBC/Telemundo affiliates, George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and Northern Virginia Community College.
Neither The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce nor GMU’s Schar School of Policy and Government immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.
NBC 4 Washington assistant news director Matt Glassman responded by pointing to the commonwealth’s chamber of commerce, who he stressed was “hosting the debate.”