A group of demonstrators with tiki torches stand on a sidewalk as Republican candidate for governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin arrives on his bus for a campaign event in Charlottesville, Va., October 29, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Democratic strategist James Carville defended the Lincoln Project’s attempt to tie Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin to the 2017 white nationalist march in Charlottesville, in an appearance on CNN on Friday with Lincoln Project member Stuart Stevens.

Stevens called the demonstration an example of playing “hardball” to win elections, adding that “the question here is not about some guys who showed up at a rally, it’s why hasn’t Glenn Youngkin denounced Donald Trump for saying that there are good people on both sides?”

Carville concurred with Stevens’s remarks.

“I…agree with what Stuart said: it was to illustrate a point that Youngkin has not denounced Trump saying there were ‘fine people on both sides’ in Charlottesville,” Carville said.

“It was to illustrate a point that Youngkin has not denounced Trump saying there were ‘fine people on both sides’ in Charlottesville.” — Democratic Strategist @JamesCarville pic.twitter.com/tVRTjkNJIU

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 30, 2021

As part of the demonstration, five people dressed like Charlottesville marchers posed for pictures outside Youngkin’s campaign bus while holding tiki torches. Staffers for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe pushed the demonstration on social media.

“Today’s demonstration was our way of reminding Virginia voters of what happened in Charlottesville four years ago, the Republican party’s embrace of those values, and Glenn Youngkin’s failure to condemn it,” the Lincoln Project said on Friday.

The statement came after Vice News identified one of the five demonstrators as a Democratic operative.

The Lincoln Project’s demonstration came amid a tight race between Youngkin and McAuliffe. The RealClearPolitics polling average showed Youngkin leading McAuliffe as of Saturday morning, with several recent individual polls showing Youngkin in the lead.

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