Embattled Virginia governor: 'I'm not going anywhere'

Embattled Virginia governor: 'I'm not going anywhere'

Embattled Virginia governor: 'I'm not going anywhere'

First came news of a photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page featuring individuals in a Klan outfit and blackface.

Today, Gov. Northam sat down with CBS "This Morning" to discuss the current quagmire his administration finds itself forced to deal with. The state's Attorney General also admitted to donning blackface for a party in the 1980s, and the state's Lieutenant Governor, Justin Fairfax, has been hit with two allegations of sexual assault, both of which appear, so far, to be credible. "There's no better person to do that than a doctor", he said.

Virginia needs a leader "who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass".

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called Black Americans who were forcefully enslaved "indentured servants" and Gayle King had to correct him.

"The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia presides over the Virginia Senate and must be prepared to fill the role of Governor", they said. Shortly thereafter Northam made a gaffe when he bragged about the state's 400 year history and King reminded him not to forget that part of that history included spreading slavery to the future United States.

Northam, who is a year into his four-year term, announced his intention to stay during an afternoon Cabinet meeting, according to a senior official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Many Democrats have since called for Northam to step down, but he's now vowing he'll stay in office. If Northam decides to resign, Fairfax would be next in line as governor. He also repeated his contention that he is not the one pictured on his yearbook page in blackface. "I want to heal that pain, and I want to make sure that all Virginians have equal opportunity ... and I think I'm the person that can do that for Virginia".

"It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do", he said in an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday.

Norfolk native Joe Dillard said Northam should resign, and that the allegations against Fairfax should be investigated before discussing what consequences he should face.

"The legacy of slavery, racism and the Jim Crow era remains an albatross around the necks of African Americans", said a statement from the state assembly's powerful Black Caucus, which like the NAACP has urged Northam to stand down. He added: "That's why I'm not going anywhere".

Virginia fought against interracial marriages until the U.S. Supreme Court's 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, which struck down state laws banning interracial marriage.

At the start of the week, Cox said there was little appetite among lawmakers to remove Northam through impeachment, saying resignation "would obviously be less pain for everyone". Meredith Watson, a classmate of Fairfax's at Duke University, claims that he assaulted her in college in 2000 in an "attack [that] was premeditated and aggressive". Fairfax denied Watson's allegation as well.

The university's College Democrats - many of whom campaigned for Northam, Fairfax and Herring - had reacted with a sense of deep "betrayal", said the group's president Jackson Samples, who described members as "morally.appalled and disgusted".

Fairfax has insisted that his encounter with Tyson, now a California professor, was 100 per cent "consensual".

".I can not agree with a description of events I know is not true", he wrote.

"If these accusations are determined to be true, I don't think he's going to have any other option but to resign", Northam said.

Related news