Joe Scarborough Says Democrats Must Tackle 'Wokism' After Virginia Loss

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough suggested that Democrats' upset by defeat in the Virginia governor's race showed that the party needs to come "face to face" with what he called "wokism."

Scarborough, who co-hosts the network's Morning Joe program, said on Wednesday that voters in the state were paying attention to what was happening on college campuses.

Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat and former governor Terry McAuliffe in a victory that will be seen as a blow to Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Discussing the outcome of the election with the Morning Joe panel, Scarborough said: "The Democrats are gonna have to come face to face with this issue of wokism. Not CRT [Critical Race Theory], but wokism."

"You have a lot of people saying oh, he [Youngkin] won based on something that's not real, that doesn't exist, CRT or wokism, whatever you want to call it," Scarborough went on.

"I can tell you, I mean [...] I've said this on the show before. People say, oh, it's just because they're racist. No, they're lifelong Democrats, and they're talking about what's going on on college campuses. They're talking about what's going on in high schools," he said.

"People can get mad if they want to. Don't shoot me, Elton John said. I'm only the piano player, but this is what we're hearing all the time, wherever we go, when nobody's watching, when the cameras are off when people aren't worried about people calling them bigots, it's just happening. And that played out last night in Virginia," Scarborough said.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele suggested that Democrats should have had a counter-narrative. Scarborough, who was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001, agreed.

"If you're making something up that's not true, I'm gonna just—I'm gonna chase you all over the state," Scarborough said. "Mock and ridicule you. People are gonna be laughing at you.

"The fact that he kept bringing this up and Terry didn't have an answer other than to say parents shouldn't be involved in their kids' classrooms? Oh my god," he said.

Scarborough was referring to remarks McAuliffe had made during the second and final gubernatorial debate with Youngkin on September 28.

"I'm not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision," the Democrat said.

"I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," McAuliffe later added. His comments were subsequently used in an ad by the Youngkin campaign.

The issues of schools, parental rights and CRT played a central part in the Virginia governor's race as the contest between McAuliffe and Youngkin appeared to be extremely close.

Youngkin's victory could lead to more Republican candidates focusing on schools as a potential winning strategy as the 2022 midterms approach.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Are Interviewed
MSNBC '"Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough (R) and Mika Brzezinski are interviewed by philanthropist and financier David Rubenstein during a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics event in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives July 12, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Scarborough has said Democrats will have to come "face to face" with "wokism" following their defeat in the Virginia governor's race. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images