Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam should not yet resign despite the revelation that his medical school yearbook page included a racist photograph, former Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman told CNN on Monday.
Northam has faced near-universal calls, including from his fellow Democrats, to step down after the photo from 1984 surfaced on Friday, according to The Hill.
The picture shows one person in blackface and another in the white hood and robes of the Ku Klux Klan.
When asked by CNN if he believes Northam should resign, Lieberman said, "I don't today. I mean, I think there's a rush to judgment that is unfair to him."
The former senator went on to specify his reasoning, saying "One, he says he wasn't in that picture. Two, I think we ought to fairly ask him, 'Did he know the picture was on his page of that yearbook?" And then three, really he ought to be judged in the context of his whole life."
Lieberman also explained his compassion, telling CNN that "You know, I pray every day that God is merciful. I know how imperfect I am, and I always feel that I've got to show the same kind of mercy to other people in judgment until they're actually proven guilty. And I think he deserves a chance to prove what really is his essence - not to rush him out of office, unfortunately, for political reasons."
Lieberman is one of the few public figures to show any support for the governor. Former Democratic Virginia Rep. Jim Moran also said Northam should not resign, insisting that “redemption is a very powerful factor,” The Hill reported.
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