Youngkin says in video he can't discuss abortion for fear of losing independent votes

Youngkin says in video he can't discuss abortion for fear of losing independent votes
© Screenshot

Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin says in a video released late Wednesday by a liberal activist group that he can't discuss abortion on the campaign trail too much or risk turning away the commonwealth's independent voters. 

In a clip posted online by the liberal news site the American Independent, Youngkin was asked if he would “take it to the abortionists,” to which he responded that he was “staunchly, unabashedly” anti-abortion but could not discuss the issue much ahead of the November election. 

“I’m going to be really honest with you. The short answer is in this campaign, I can’t. When I’m governor and I have a majority in the House we can start going on offense. But as a campaign topic, sadly, that in fact won’t win my independent votes that I have to get,” he said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“So you'll never hear me support Planned Parenthood, what you'll hear me talk about is actually taking back the radical abortion policies that Virginians don't want,” he added.

Youngkin goes on to say that “we got to stop using taxpayer money for abortions. And we got to stop allowing abortions all the way up until the last week before birth.”

Virginia law only allows abortions after the second trimester in cases where the mother’s health is at risk, and funding for the procedure through Medicaid is only allowed in instances where a pregnancy is the product of rape or incest, the mother’s life is at risk or if the fetus is determined by a doctor to have an “incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency.”

The video was taken by the Undercurrent, an outlet that dubs itself “a grassroots political web-show for investigative and field reporting.”

Youngkin’s campaign told The Hill that the clip was "deceptively recorded" and that the candidate was trying to not engage in a divisive conversation.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Glenn Youngkin tells everyone he meets the same thing: He can’t wait to go on offense for the people of Virginia by building a rip-roaring economy, creating more jobs with bigger paychecks, restoring excellence in education, prioritizing public safety, and making Virginia the best place in America to live, work, and raise a family,” Youngkin spokesman Matt Wolking said. 

“This deceptively recorded audio demonstrates that Glenn Youngkin says the same thing no matter who he is talking to, unlike Terry McAuliffe who knowingly makes false allegations and decides what to say based on whatever poll is in front of him.”

Democrats seized on the video, using it to claim Youngkin is deceiving voters as to his actual intentions should he win the governorship.

“This is the truth: Glenn Youngkin wants to defund Planned Parenthood and ban abortion in Virginia. Glenn knows he is completely out of step with Virginians, and he's now admitted to hiding his real agenda just to get elected. Virginians cannot trust a word that comes out of his mouth,” said former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in the gubernatorial race. 

“Virginians deserve the truth from Glenn, but he's made clear we'll only get it behind closed doors. Now Glenn needs to tell us: what else is he hiding?”

Youngkin and McAuliffe are running to replace Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is barred by Virginia law from serving a second consecutive term.

Once a swing state, Virginia has lurched to the left in recent cycles as Democrats consolidate their hold on its cities and suburbs, delivering a 10-point victory to President BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response MORE in November.