Richmond, VA — Today, Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker and DGA Political Director Marshall Cohen held a press call to discuss the state of the Virginia governor’s race. After months of infighting, confusion, corruption, and disarray, Republican Party insiders finally chose their candidate for governor: pro-Trump extremist Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin earned an immediate enthusiastic endorsement from Donald Trump today, further solidifying his far-right views. With the Virginia GOP bitterly divided, Youngkin will have to embrace the most divisive and extreme parts of Trump’s agenda to win over the GOP base. Youngkin has already alienated Virginia voters after aligning himself with the likes of Ted Cruz and Corey Stewart. Today Virginia Democrats discussed Youngkin’s far-right record and the ongoing problems facing the GOP.
See below for key excerpts and watch the full conversation here.
DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker
On Glenn Youngkin’s Dangerous Extremism
"Glenn Youngkin is the epitome of a pro-Trump Republican who has demonstrated complete allegiance to the former president’s most dangerous conspiracy theories.”
“Throughout this campaign, Glenn Youngkin has shown Virginians that he is running on a dangerous Republican agenda. Youngkin has steadfastly opposed the COVID-19 relief that has been a crucial lifeline for working families and small businesses across the Commonwealth.”
“Youngkin’s pro-Trump extremism is flat-out wrong for Virginia. We’re just beginning to move on from the pandemic, and Youngkin is threatening to take us backwards."
On Virginia Democrats’ Strong Record to Run On
"We are very proud of the progress we have made in Virginia these last years, particularly with having the trifecta. So we are going to be able to point to that — restoration of rights to vote, major voting reforms, Medicaid expansion, raising the minimum wage, justice reform, and much much more.”
“We have a very positive message that we are going to run on, but make no mistake about it — we are going to point out every step of the way the right wing extremism of Glenn Youngkin."
DGA Political Director Marshall Cohen
On Glenn Youngkin’s Complete Allegiance to Donald Trump
"This Trump endorsement is going to be the first thing many of these millions of [Virginia] voters learn about Glenn Youngkin — and they're not going to like it. Virginians overwhelmingly voted to get rid of Donald Trump from the White House, and they're not going to put a Trump loyalist like Glenn Youngkin into the governor's office this fall."
"I think the speed in which Trump endorsed Youngkin just shows you how much of this convention fight was a dance in order to get the Trump stamp of approval. It really was a Trump litmus and loyalty test, and Youngkin passed with flying colors."
On Glenn Youngkin’s Dangerous, Trumpian Agenda
"[Youngkin's] loyalty to Trump not only is about style and substance, it is also infecting his policy priorities. He's said over the course of the campaign that the number one priority he had as governor was pushing the Big Lie and restricting voting rights, simply because he refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the election and Donald Trump lost."
"That means he does not think Virginians should be caring about things like schools, the economy, health care — he only wants to prove his loyalty to Donald Trump."
On the General Election Fight Ahead
"I don't think any amount of money is going to change Virginians' minds about who Glenn Youngkin is and why he has put Trump first and Virginia second. I think his actions have alienated — and will continue to alienate — voters across the Commonwealth when he pushes the Trump agenda onto Richmond.”
“Republicans who embrace that kind of mentality have not been successful despite fundraising advantages in some places. So, I think it might have helped him in convention — he obviously went far to the right in order to win it — but it's not going to help him in a general election. DGA, Democratic Party of Virginia — everyone is all aligned to make sure that we're moving Virginia forward and not bringing a Trump loyalist to Richmond."