As we noted earlier, Donald Trump got plenty of love from Religious Right leaders at Saturday’s rally at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. He was also embraced by a number of Republican officeholders and candidates who were happy to tie their fortunes to Trump’s. Among them was Scott Taylor, who is running for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, which includes the Virginia Beach-Norfolk area and is considered safely Republican.
Virginia holds its state elections in the off years, so candidates for statewide office are people who have thrown their hats into the Republican primary for 2017. Among those who spoke at Trump’s Regent rally: state Sen. Frank Wagner, who is running for the gubernatorial nomination; Del. Glenn Davis, who is making a bid to be lieutenant governor; and Chuck Smith, a former Marine and Navy JAG commander who is a candidate for attorney general.
Wagner was the most colorful, declaring that Hillary Clinton believes that if you’re a person of faith or a hard-working southerner you’re deplorable. “We’re in a war,” said Wagner. “We’re in a war for this country.” We are at a decision point, he said, that will decide whether we turn into a socialist country or take the country back and make it great again.
Arguing that when you’re at war, you run toward the sound of gunfire, Wagner cited Admiral David Farragut’s famous line, “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” And he cited Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee galvanizing rebel troops at the Battle of the Wilderness as a metaphor for the need for Trump’s supporters to pick up his fight and help turn out the vote:
A hundred and sixty-two years ago, in a place called the Wilderness, right here in Virginia, the entire center of the rebel line was collapsing. Lee saw it. He ran to the sound of the gunfire. And when all those troops saw Lee running to the sound of the gunfire, they finally rallied and said, ‘Lee to the rear, Lee to the rear, it’s our fight now, Lee to the rear.’ Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump has been fighting our fight and it’s time we said, ‘Donald, it’s our turn now, we’re fighting for you.’