August 9, 2021 News & Press Releases

ICYMI: Glenn Youngkin Headlined An Insurrectionist-Sponsored “Election Integrity” Rally

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Youngkin spent his weekend advancing Donald Trump’s dangerous election conspiracies

Richmond, VA — Over the weekend, Glenn Youngkin took to the campaign trail to peddle Donald Trump’s dangerous conspiracy theories -- despite there being absolutely no evidence that the 2020 election results were fraudulent. Last week, Glenn Youngkin was caught suggesting that Donald Trump could be reinstated as president after months of calling election integrity “the most important issue” facing Virginians.

Despite Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Democrats’ forceful calls for Youngkin to withdraw from this dangerous event, Glenn went ahead and headlined it anyway. Youngkin’s decision to peddle these dangerous conspiracies and then pretend he never did so has Virginians wondering:

“How Stupid Does Glenn Youngkin Think We Are?”

See key excerpts below and read the full report on Youngkin’s attendance here.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: ​​Youngkin speaks at 'election integrity' rally at Liberty University
By Patrick Wilson

GOP gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin made a campaign stop Saturday at an “election integrity” rally in Lynchburg that his ticketmates opted not to attend, taking criticism from Democrats who said his appearance helped spread falsehoods about the 2020 election.

The two-day event at Liberty University hosted by the 5th Congressional District GOP was not open to the press.

While some Republicans are demanding what they describe as a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election in Virginia, there is no evidence of election fraud.

The Virginia Department of Elections said in March that a risk-limiting audit of the 2020 election confirmed Virginia’s election results accurately portrayed the winners.

Former President Donald Trump made baseless claims of election fraud that preceded the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, in which many protesters sought to overturn the results of the presidential race. The former president and many other Republicans have continued to question the legitimacy of the presidential election, even though it wasn’t close and there’s no evidence of any widespread fraud.

The website for the rally had listed as featured guests Youngkin, Del. Jason Miyares, the GOP nominee for attorney general, and Winsome Sears, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor. But Miyares and Sears opted to attend an event with a Northern Virginia candidate instead.

“Glenn, Terry McAuliffe called on you to step down from this dangerous rally and you didn’t — even as the other extreme members of the GOP ticket removed themselves,” Susan Swecker, chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said Friday in a call with the press.

“Just this week, we learned that Youngkin suggested the courts could reinstate Trump into office — further pedaling the GOP’s dangerous lies just three months from the November gubernatorial election.

Youngkin also made campaign stops Saturday in Lexington and with police and first responders in Rockingham County and Staunton, tweeting photos from all three events. The Youngkin campaign did not promote his attendance at the Liberty event on social media.

Asked why Youngkin wanted to attend the event, spokeswoman Macaulay Porter didn’t answer but issued a statement attacking Democratic nominee McAuliffe. [...]

Leslie Caughell, associate professor of political science at Virginia Wesleyan University, said conspiracy theories have existed in the United States since its founding and data has shown many people believe them.

But in politics now, “mainstream politicians are courting them and mainstream politicians are using them,” she said.

Youngkin is sending a message through a nod, she said.

“He knows that Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 percentage points,” Caughell said. “And I think what we’re seeing is, as long as the Republican Party as a whole is kind of looking to former President Trump as their leader and keeps playing with this ‘big lie’ stuff … people who know better feel like, ‘Well in order to get the support of the Republican base I have to at least turn the other way.’ ”

When a Republican voter asked Youngkin recently about Trump possibly being reinstated to the White House by a court, Youngkin could have told her that’s impossible, Caughell said. She contrasted his decision not to with the time in the 2008 presidential race when a Republican voter told GOP nominee John McCain that Barack Obama was a Muslim, and McCain corrected her.

Youngkin’s strategy, she said, is “I can wink at them and let them know that I understand what they’re saying.”