WATCH: Northam Botches 'Slavery' Comment, Suggests Others May Need To Resign

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images
 

Embattled Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam said in an interview that aired Monday on "CBS This Morning" that he is not going to resign but that others around him who have become engulfed in scandals triggered by his scandal may need to resign.

 

Northam, who is reading "Roots" in an attempt to save his governorship, made racially insensitive remarks during the interview that drew scorn from the political Left.

"The first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe, and while—" Northam said.

"Also known as slavery," CBS's Gayle King interjected.

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Northam explained that he was not resigning because "Virginia needs someone that can heal. There's no better person to do that than a doctor."

Northam also reassured voters that he's guided by a "moral compass," an assertion that comes approximately a week after he defended infanticide.

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Northam also weighed in on the sexual assault allegations against Democrat Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, allegations that surfaced immediately after Northam's KKK/blackface photo emerged, saying that he's not going to have "any other option but to resign" if the allegations are true.

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Northam then weighed in on Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring's blackface scandal, suggesting that Herring may end up resigning over his scandal. "I regret that our attorney general is in this position," said the governor. "But this is a decision that he's going to need to make."

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Transcript provided via CBS News:

GAYLE KING (CBS THIS MORNING/CBS THIS MORNING Co-Host/@GayleKing): I know this has been a very difficult week for you in the state of Virginia. So where would you like to begin?

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM (CBS THIS MORNING/D-Virginia/@GovernorVA): Well, it has been a difficult week. And-- and, you know, if you look at Virginia's history we're now at the four hundred year anniversary, just ninety miles from here in 1619 the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort what we call now Fort Monroe and while--

GAYLE KING: Also known as slavery.

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: Yes.

GAYLE KING: Yeah, yeah.

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: And, you know, while we have made a lot of progress in-- in Virginia, slavery has ended, schools have been desegregated. We have ended the Jim Crow laws, easier access to voting. It is abundantly clear that we still have a lot of work to do and I-- I really think this week raised a level of awareness in the Commonwealth and in this country--

GAYLE KING: Mm-Mm.

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: --that we haven't seen certainly in my lifetime.

GAYLE KING: And why you think you still deserve this job when so many people are calling for you to step down?

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: Well, again we-- we have worked very hard. We've had a good first year. And-- and I'm a leader. I've been in some very difficult situations, life and death situations taking care of sick children. And right now--

GAYLE KING: Because you're a doctor, yes?

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: --right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal. There's no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass. And that's why I'm not going anywhere. I have learned from this. I have a lot more to learn. But we're in a unique opportunity now. Again the four hundred year anniversary of-- of the history whether it be good or bad in Virginia to really make some impactful changes--

GAYLE KING: Of slavery in this country?

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: Yes.

GAYLE KING: In this state, yeah. Did you ever think about resigning when the drumbeat became so loud and, by the way, there was still beating for you to step down?

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: I don't live in a vacuum.

GAYLE KING: Yes.

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: And so, yes, I-- I have heard it. And I've had-- this has been a difficult week. And again, I'm-- I'm fine. It's been mainly difficult for Virginia in this country. So, yes, I have thought about resigning but-- but I've also thought about what Virginia needs right now. And I-- I really think that I'm in a position where-- where I can take Virginia to the next level and it-- it will be very positive and, you know, we have a number of inequities in this country right now and in Virginia and-- and we're in a position to really stop talking so much and now to take action with policy to address a lot of these inequities.

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