Politics Trump calls into Take Back Virginia Rally to hype Youngkin
Youngkin continues call for ‘audit’ of election machines in Virginia
The Republican candidate for governor is locked in a tight race with Democrat Terry McAuliffe.“I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines,” Youngkin said at a Monday event hosted by a Richmond civics group, according to a video reviewed by POLITICO. “I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit. So let's just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it.
Former President Trump called into the "Take Back Virginia Rally" on Wednesday ahead of the state's gubernatorial and House of Delegates elections next month, praising GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin.
"Glenn Youngkin is a great gentleman. Really successful, he loves this state, we gotta get him in," Trump told rally goers before calling Democratic nominee and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) "a lousy governor."
Youngkin was never slated to attend the rally, which was hosted by Virginia-based conservative talk show host John Fredericks in Glen Allen, Va. The event featured other well-known GOP figures in the state, including lieutenant governor nominee Winsome Sears and state Sen. Amanda Chase (R).
Trump's false election claims in focus in Va. governor race
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican Glenn Youngkin has not talked much about the 2020 election, President Donald Trump's lies about fraud and the insurrection on Jan. 6. But when he has, it has not gone smoothly. The GOP nominee for governor of Virginia argued this week that the state's voting machines must be regularly audited, suggesting that would ensure “everybody can trust” the process. Left unsaid was that the machines already undergo annual audits. The comment followed a recent interview in which Youngkin did not directly say whether he would have voted to certify Democrat Joe Biden's victory, had he been in Congress. He later followed up to say he would have.
Trump's less than five-minute call-in to the rally was a contrast to a rally he held in Iowa over the weekend where he stood side-by-side with senior Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is running for reelection next year.
While the former president endorsed Youngkin earlier this year, he has yet to campaign with the Republican nominee in Virginia this year. Trump lost Virginia in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, and major Democratic gains were made in the governor's mansion and General Assembly during his administration.
Youngkin has said before that he was honored to have received Trump's endorsement.
The former president said during his call-in that he was interested in holding a rally in Virginia in the future.
Glenn Youngkin's Complicated History on Critical Race Theory
In an effort to court skeptical right-wing voters, investment firm exec turned Republican candidate for governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin has made banning critical race theory from public schools a cornerstone of his campaign. But there are a couple of problems with Youngkin’s pledge. First, Virginia schools say CRT doesn’t appear in educational or training material. And second, just last year, Youngkin incentivized his employees to donate to organizations which champion the same social justice policies he now pledges to outlaw—and promised that his company would match those contributions.
"We'll have to do one together when we're live together too," Trump said.
The former president also stressed the need to keep GOP enthusiasm up in the state.
"I believe that Virginia is very, very winnable, but we have to get everyone to get out and vote," he said.
Recent polls show Youngkin and McAuliffe neck-and-neck, with most surveys showing McAuliffe ahead but within the margin of error. Democrats and Republicans are viewing the race as a bellwether ahead of next year's midterms.
A number of high-profile Democrats will campaign with McAuliffe in the days ahead, including President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, former President Obama, and former U.S. Senate candidate Stacey Abrams.
Abortion, schools take center stage in Virginia governor's election ad wars .
National issues such as abortion and schools have taken center stage in Virginia's television ad wars between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glen Youngkin.The commonwealth's competitive race for governor is viewed by many as a harbinger of what's to come in the 2022 midterms, and the race is already proving to be a testing ground for some of the biggest national issues that could influence next year's elections.