McAuliffe knocks Youngkin for Trump's closing endorsement

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) knocked Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinOvernight Health Care — White House sees quick uptake for free tests Governors declare state of emergency ahead of severe winter weather Virginia's new AG tells state colleges they can't require COVID-19 vaccine for students MORE on Monday over a closing endorsement former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon tells Russia to stand down Billionaire GOP donor maxed out to Manchin following his Build Back Better opposition MORE issued Monday morning, heightening the tension between the two campaigns one day before Virginians head to the polls to choose the next governor of the Old Dominion.

McAuliffe, who has sought to link Trump to Youngkin throughout the race, said his opponent’s campaign “will close today just like it started: with Donald Trump.”

The former governor said Youngkin “made his entire campaign about touting the Trump agenda,” pointing to the Republican’s past statements on election integrity and campaign rallies with people who attended the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in addition to his positions on education and abortion.

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“The one thing Glenn has been upfront with Virginians is about his total allegiance and full embrace of Donald Trump’s agenda and dangerous lies,” McAuliffe said.

The Hill has reached out to Youngkin's campaign for comment.

Trump has been a central topic throughout the campaign season. McAuliffe has worked to tie the Republican nominee to the former president, but Youngkin has sought to toe the line, working to win over Trump supporters while putting some distance between himself and Trump. 

Youngkin said he was honored to receive Trump’s initial endorsement, but the two did not appear together at a rally. Trump is scheduled to stump for Youngkin at a tele-rally Monday night.

Trump lost Virginia in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential races.

The former president issued a strong closing endorsement for Youngkin Monday morning, writing that the two Republicans “get along very well together and strongly believe in many of the same policies.”

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“Get out and vote for a man who will be a great governor, Glenn Youngkin,” Trump wrote.

He also blamed the media for creating the appearance that the two men do not get along, citing ads that have aired on Fox News.

McAuliffe said Trump’s last-minute pitch is “nothing nothing but the culmination of a dangerous alliance to bring division, hate, and Trumpism to Virginia disguised in a fleece vest and khakis,” referring to the outfit Youngkin is frequently seen wearing on the campaign trail.

He accused Youngkin of “running for governor for one person and one person only: Donald Trump.”

“Now, with less than 24 hours until Election Day, Trump is helping Glenn close his campaign and rewarding his total allegiance for the last eight months,” McAuliffe added.

Recent polls have shown that the race, which is being watched by many as a potential harbinger for next year’s midterm elections, is in a dead heat.