Richmond, VA — Today, a new Washington Post Opinion details just how far-right and out of touch with Virginia Glenn Youngkin truly is. The Republican nominee for governor is running on his complete allegiance to Donald Trump — and he’s pushing an extreme agenda to go along with it.
Read key excerpts below, and see here for the full opinion.
The Washington Post: Opinion: Glenn Youngkin is no moderate. He’s a staunch right-winger.
By Jennifer Rubin
If pundits and pollsters are to be believed, businessman Glenn Youngkin — the Republican nominee for Virginia governor — has a real shot at winning because he is not a rock-ribbed MAGA conservative like primary opponent state Sen. Amanda F. Chase (Chesterfield). Perhaps they should consider how badly out of step his views are with those of the Virginia voters who elected a Democratic legislature, Democratic governor and two Democratic U.S. senators. The state has also expanded Medicaid, passed meaningful gun legislation, banned the death penalty, enacted protections for abortion rights and secured non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Virginians.
Unlike 2017 Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, who kicked off his campaign with economic proposals, Youngkin has made clear he is four-square behind the absolutism of the National Rifle Association, of which he is a lifetime member. “I will not sign a piece of legislation that has anything to do with imposing limitations on our Second Amendment,” he said. He also advertised himself as a staunch opponent of abortion, saying, “I just want Virginians to know that I’ll stand for life. But I also think that one of ... the big challenges that we’ve got is if we have government both in Richmond and in Washington that seem to believe that the sanctity of life isn’t something that we need to protect.” And he voiced his hostility toward transgender youth participation in sports: “Biological males should not be allowed to play sports in girls sports.”
No one should believe that Youngkin has steered clear of the insane voter fraud claims at the heart of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. In February, the Post reported:
Youngkin has been stressing the need for greater ballot security on the campaign trail and this month sent out a text message inviting “concerned, law-abiding citizens” to join him in forming an “election integrity task force.”
Asked at a campaign appearance in Lynchburg this month if that policy focus stems from a belief that Biden stole the election, Youngkin answered, “No.” But he declined to say if he believes Biden was legitimately elected.
The overwhelmingly popular American Rescue Plan does not suit his fancy, either. He has dubbed it a “blue state bailout” (would that include Virginia?). He is likewise a critic of President Biden’s infrastructure bill, calling it “irresponsible.”
All of these positions may put Youngkin in good company with the right-wing Freedom Caucus in Congress, but they are utterly at odds with the Virginia of 2021. A far more moderate Gillespie lost to current Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam by nine percentage points.
The notion that Virginia, which voted for Biden by more than 10 points in 2020, is going to revert to a brand of right-wing Republican politics that has not been in fashion in the state for decades strains credulity. (The last GOP governor, Robert F. McDonnell, who avoided a primary contest in 2009, ran explicitly as a moderate from the get-go with his eye on the general election.)
The disgraced former president has enthusiastically backed Youngkin [...] Simply because Youngkin is not as unhinged as Amanda Chase does not mean he is a viable gubernatorial candidate. To win, Youngkin would have to stay close with his Democratic opponent in the increasingly populous and blue Northern Virginia. With a right-wing stance on everything from voting “fraud” to abortion to Biden’s covid-19 rescue plan, that seems like a long shot.