Former Governor Terry McAuliffe is campaigning for reelection with the help of national Democrats, even the currently-unpopular President Joe Biden, but GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin says he wants to keep the race focused on Virginia. Youngkin is largely avoiding the in-state presence of national Republicans, and he highlighted the contrast between the two campaign strategies in comments about his bus tour. On Thursday, Youngkin said that former President Donald Trump would not visit Virginia before the election.
On Wednesday, Trump hinted at a visit to Virginia without saying when he would come.
“Chanting, ‘We love Trump’ in Arlington, Va. Thank you, Arlington, see you soon,” Trump wrote in a brief press release.
The next day, reporters asked Youngkin if Trump would come before the election on Tuesday.
“He’s not coming. And in fact, we’re campaigning as Virginians in Virginia with Virginians. And we’ve got another four days left on our bus tour and then we’ve gotta fly around and then we’ve gotta vote,” Youngkin told reporters.
On Thursday, The Virginia Star’s Publisher John Fredericks said, “President Trump has given his full-throated endorsement to Glenn Youngkin, and we’re on a bus tour going to Richmond, Virginia, trying very hard to get Trump voters out for the Republican ticket so that they can take back Virginia and then take back America. Trump voters are very enthusiastic about this race.”
Fredericks served as chairman of the Trump Virginia Delegation in 2016 and 2020.
He said, “We look forward to President Trump coming to Virginia in November, and holding one of the biggest rallies in the history of the Commonwealth.”
Also on Thursday, Bloomberg reported based on an anonymous source that Trump plans to hold a tele-rally for Youngkin the day before the election; Youngkin’s campaign hasn’t said if he will attend.
McAuliffe is fairly well-known politically, but Youngkin is neither burdened nor blessed by a political past. McAuliffe has tried to paint Youngkin as a dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporter, but it’s unclear how closely Youngkin as governor would follow either Trump or the Republican Party.
Democratic operative Paul Goldman said, “Terry is a national Democrat. He governed as a national Democrat. That’s not going to change. Youngkin’s an unknown. What’s Youngkin going to do?”
Goldman continued, “He can do whatever he wants for four years, he doesn’t have to worry about getting re-elected. Is he going to toe the Republican party line? Who knows?”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Glenn Youngkin.Background Photo “Virginia State Capitol” by Martin Kraft CC BY-SA 3.0.
John Fredericks is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Virginia Star.
He is also a Trump 2020 delegate and the chairman of the Trump Virginia Delegation.