Youngkin dodges saying whether he wants Trump to stump for him
Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin wouldn’t say Thursday whether he wanted former President Trump stumping for him, highlighting the tightrope he is walking in trying to appeal to Trump supporters and critics in an increasingly blue state.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Youngkin said that the person who would be stumping for him leading up to the election “is Glenn Youngkin,” according to NBC News.
“Anybody who calls me a good man, I so appreciate it, including President Trump,” Youngkin responded after being asked again whether he wanted the former president to campaign alongside him.
The comments followed a “Take Back Virginia” rally on Wednesday, in which attendees pledged allegiance to a flag that was reportedly flown just prior to the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol.
Trump also called into the rally, praising Youngkin as a “great gentleman” and even saying the two should campaign together.
“We’ll have to do one together when we’re live together too,” Trump said.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe quickly seized on Trump’s comments during the Wednesday rally in an ad released Thursday that linked Trump to Youngkin.
“Glenn Youngkin is a great gentleman. I hope Glenn gets in there, and he’ll do all of the things that we want a governor to do,” Trump is heard saying in the ad.
The ad then lays out “The Youngkin/Trump Agenda,” listing “prohibit vaccine requirements for health care workers,” “cut money from public schools to fund private schools” and “ban abortion in Virginia.”
Toward the end of the attack ad, it claims that “Glenn Youngkin is Donald Trump’s candidate not yours.”
Youngkin has previously distanced himself from Trump’s comments that cheating might occur in the Virginia gubernatorial election.
“No, I think we’re going to have a clean, fair election and I fully expect to win,” Youngkin said during a debate in mid-September.
On Thursday, he also said that individuals should not be honoring a flag that symbolized the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol.
“I wasn’t involved and so I don’t know,” Youngkin said of the Wednesday rally. “But if that is the case, then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag. And oh by the way, I’ve been so clear, there is no place for violence — none, none — in America today.”
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