Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vows to see out term amid yearbook controversy

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"Pictures as close as that, I would have had to have chosen those. That was not Ralph Northam".

Northam said that because he remembered that incident so well, he believed he could earnestly say it wasn't him in the picture that exploded over the internet. They were joined by former Vice President Joe Biden, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the Democratic Party of Virginia, and the powerful Democratic Governors Association.

"I could spare myself from the hard path that lies ahead". "I could avoid an honest conversation about harmful actions from my past". "That's not me in that photo". I did not purchase the EVMS yearbook and I was unaware of what was on my page.

He said he got to know Northam when the two campaigned together.

"What has happened, I finally had a chance to sit down and look at the photo in detail".

Homan said the panel for the investigation will include "advocates for diversity and inclusion representative of our greater community, including African Americans and other people of color". "Coonman", he said, was used by only two people and he didn't know why. "That is not my person on the pictures". I am "not the person in that uniform".

"He has been very supportive, and he will continue to be supportive", he said.

- Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) February 2, 2019To Ralph Northam's credit, he did not appear at his press conference in blackface.

Ralph Northam said he will not leave his office despite pressure from prominent lawmakers to resign over a racially offensive photo that appeared on his medical school yearbook page.

Northam issued a statement apologizing for being in that racist costume, though he didn't specify which one.

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In his news conference Saturday, Northam seemed to suggest that appearing in blackface was an accepted part of the culture in 1984 where he grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The NAACP also said that Northam should step down.

In the hours that I made my statements yesterday, I reflected with my family and classmates from the time and I formed my conclusion that I am not the person in that photo.

Stephanopoulos pressed Moran on his argument that Northam should stay in office, pointing out that it would be nearly impossible to govern when so many have called on him to step aside.

"We just finished meeting with the governor". But given what was revealed today, it is clear that he can no longer effectively serve as Governor. Almost his entire political base has called for him to resign. So Northam called a press conference on Saturday to tell his side of the story, while admitting to a separate act of blackface, as if to remind us yet again that we live in the weirdest, worst timeline.

"I am not either of those people in that photo", Northam, a Democrat, told media gathered at the Executive Mansion, referring to the image of a person dressed in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe on his yearbook page. He's obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed, as seen when asked if he could still do the moonwalk, it seemed for a second Northam was contemplating doing it.

The head of Mr Northam's party in the state also called on him to quit.

The yearbook images were first published on Friday afternoon by the conservative news outlet Big League Politics.

Northam and his inner circle had been preparing to fight as news of the photograph broke - he issued a written apology, then a video mea culpa.

"Then everything changed", the ally said, as national Democrats unleashed a torrent of calls for his resignation.

The president also appeared to make reference to Northam's comments earlier this week about a controversial abortion bill that one sponsor said could allow women to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment before birth.