Governor Glenn Youngkin discussed a 15-week abortion ban, inherently divisive concepts, the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex marriage, the 2020 elections, and a potential 2024 presidential campaign in a Sunday appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation after Vice President Kamala Harris’ interview aired on the show. That’s part of a recent wave of national media focusing on Youngkin with speculation about 2024, and comes the day after he spoke to the Nebraska GOP convention.
At the end of the interview, host Robert Costa asked Youngkin if he was mulling a presidential run.
“That’s not a decision that we have even begun to undertake. The reality of course is I’ve been in – I’ve been governor of Virginia for six months, we’ve got an extraordinary amount done: $4 billion tax cuts, a record budget for education, $400 million into law enforcement to raise salaries and keep our community safe. This is where I’m focused,” Youngkin said.
Youngkin on January 6, and Trump in 2024
Youngkin largely stayed focused on his own message, avoiding pressure from Costa to focus on issues like the 2020 election.
Halfway through the interview, Costa asked Youngkin, “You were just in Nebraska on Saturday speaking to Republicans across the country. You have also said President Biden was legitimately elected. Former President Trump continues to falsely claim the 2020 election was stolen. Should he stop saying that?”
Youngkin replied, “Well, let me begin with my trip to Nebraska, which was really great fun. Governor Ricketts had really helped me in my race and it was a great chance for me to show up and help in the next race to elect a Republican in Nebraska. And one of the things that I’m really focused on is helping Republican governors get elected.”
He said that being Virginia governor takes most of his time, and that he plans to help in some races, including Virginia’s congressional races.
Costa pressed, “What about former President Trump?”
Youngkin said, “Well, I think this is a moment for the Republican Party to, to recognize exactly what I recognized last year was, this is not an ‘or’ moment, but an ‘and’ moment. We brought together Virginians last year: forever Trumpers, never Trumpers, independents, Democrats.”
Youngkin talked about the coalition of voters who supported him and the issues that helped him win.
“I think this is the future of the Republican Party,” Youngkin said.
Costa pressed again, “So former President Trump should stop talking about it?”
“I think what I did last year was I focused on 2021. And we had 5,000 people come and volunteer at elections and that gave everybody confidence in our election process. They showed up, they voted in record numbers for a governor’s race, and we won,” Youngkin said.
Costa also asked about the January 6 committee and the revelations from the committee’s investigation.
Youngkin said, “Well, let me begin with what happened on January 6, with the, with the invasion of our capital was, was awful and it’s a blight on our democracy. I have to be honest, though, I talked to thousands of Virginians, and the topics they want to talk about is not January 6.”
He said that media, not voters, are focused on January 6.
Costa responded, “It’s not just the media. Some Republican governors, like Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland have said President Trump shouldn’t run again. Is that your view?”
“President Trump’s gonna do what President Trump wants to do. And my job is to have the best Virginia we can have and to demonstrate that Republican, Republican agenda on low taxes and great schools, and safe communities – and by the way, a thriving economy that’s working with companies like Boeing, and Raytheon moving to Virginia. This is the Republican agenda of the future. And this is the one that I think we’re delivering in Virginia and I think this is the one that’s going to really carry a red wave across the nation this year,” Youngkin said.
Same-Sex Marriage Rights
The interview began with a discussion of Youngkin’s call for a 15-week abortion ban, and U.S. Supreme Court actions. Costa suggested that the Court could also move to roll back same-sex rights protected in the landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. Costa asked Youngkin if he would take steps to codify same-sex marriage in Virginia.
“I believe that what the Supreme Court has done most recently is so consistent with what we know the Constitution stands for, which is returning the rights to states to make these decisions like Roe v. Wade, protecting, in fact, the right of lawmakers to make laws, not an executive branch to pass rules and regulations that overstep boundaries,” Youngkin said.
Costa repeated his question.
“In Virginia, we actually do protect same-sex marriage in Virginia. That’s the law in Virginia and therefore as Governor of Virginia, we protect same-sex marriage. I think what’s happening in – right now is that there are so many – there’s so many elements that are trying to pull people apart and we have a chance to hold them together,” Youngkin said.
That drew attention on social media, because Virginia’s constitution still bans same-sex marriage, although that ban is now defunct due to Obergefell. Amending the Constitution of Virginia is a multi-year process that requires final confirmation in a voter referendum, and in 2022, the Republican-controlled House of Delegates did not move forward with the amendment effort begun under Democratic control, setting the process back to the starting point.
State Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) has grown her Twitter presence dramatically by sparring with Youngkin and teasing him about blocking some of his political priorities. After Youngkin’s statement about same-sex marriage, Lucas tweeted, “In 2026* we will put abortion rights and LGBT rights into Virginia’s constitution so no politician can ever play this game again. Until then I will stand guard for the next 1,288 days until we have a better Governor.”
She followed up, “*The process for amending the constitution will take that long, and to meet that deadline we will have to make @DonScott757 Speaker of the House in next years [sic] election.”
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