Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s blackface scandal has largely dropped from public view, and one Democratic presidential hopeful says it’s time to move on.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, said Sunday that “we have to move on” after being asked about Mr. Northam in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Al Franken is not in the Senate and Ralph Northam is still governor of Virginia. What’s wrong with that picture to you?” asked moderator Chuck Todd.
Ms. Klobuchar pointed out that she called for the Democrat Northam to step down, which he has refused to do, after he admitted last month to donning blackface while in medical school for a dance contest, but denied wearing blackface or a Ku Klux Klan hood in a 1984 yearbook photo.
“If we spend our whole time, Chuck, talking about what men did wrong, we are never going to talk about what women can do right, including running for president and winning,” she said.
After Mr. Todd said that the Northam situation wasn’t a “great picture” for Democrats, Ms. Klobuchar replied, “It is not. But again, we have to move on,” before proceeding to criticize President Trump.
Mr. Northam apologized for the episode but said he intends to serve out his term as governor. He was elected in November 2017.
Ms. Klobuchar, who announced her run for the nomination last month during a snowstorm, is one of more than a dozen Democratic candidates seeking to unseat Mr. Trump in 2020.
As for Mr. Franken, who resigned in December 2017 after several women accused him of groping them, Ms. Klobuchar said she would have preferred to see her fellow Minnesota Democrat undergo an ethics review.
“I think that he should have gone through the ethics process. He didn’t, and then he made his own decision based on a number of his colleagues asking him to leave,” she said.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Feb. 20 found that 48 percent of Virginia voters surveyed wanted Mr. Northam to remain in office, while 42 percent said he should resign. Among black voters, 56 percent said he should stay and 31 percent wanted him to go.
In Virginia, the uproar over the yearbook photo largely overshadowed Mr. Northam’s comments days earlier on a late-term abortion bill, in which he appeared to condone allowing a newborn survivor of abortion to die.
“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired,” he told WTOP in a Jan. 30 interview. “And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”