Les Smith Reports: The handshake that wasn’t…

Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-04 17:32:09-05

The handshake that wasn't -- It's being seen all around the world, thanks to the Internet.

It happened last Thursday night at the end of a live discussion between the candidates for Virginia Lieutenant Governor.

The Republican candidate, E.W. Jackson, extended his hand to the Democrat, Ralph Northam, who did not shake it.

The two men had engaged in a spirited debate over abortion, same-sex marriage, Obamacare, and other issues facing voters. But it was the tone of the live debate and the way it ended that caught the critics' attention.

Jackson claimed Northam disrespected him by not shaking his hand. It was picked up by the Conservative website Breitbart and then posted on the Drudge Report. The report quoted two civil rights leaders criticizing Northam, questioning whether there were racial undertones.

Northam's spokesman, Grant Herring, issued a statement saying, "Both candidates shook each others hands before and after the appearance. It is a shame that Mr. Jackson would manufacture such a misleading distraction. Jackson is so desperate to attract voters from his rigid ideology that will cut over $100 million from our public schools. It is frankly very sad that he has to resort to such antics."

Jackson has not responded. He is campaigning elsewhere in Virginia.

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