Governor Glenn Youngkin is scheduled for another round of stops supporting GOP candidates across the U.S., fueling speculation that he is evaluating a possible presidential campaign and earning skepticism from Virginia politicians, including Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City.)
“I am hopeful that maybe he will intensify his focus on the Commonwealth’s issues,” Norment told reporters on August 19, and referenced the ambitions of Virginia’s recent governors.
“Doug Wilder wanted to be president. George Allen wanted to be president. Bob McDonald wanted to be president. Tim Kaine wanted to be next to the throne,” he said.
Norment continued, “Terry McAuliffe knew he was going to be president. Really, since I’ve been here, the only governor that has not had presidential aspirations was that failing Governor Blackface. He really is, he’s the only one. Even little Jimmy Gilmore wanted to be president.”
On Tuesday, German-owned Politico reported that Youngkin’s upcoming schedule includes a stop on September 15 in Nevada to support gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo. Nevada is a key early state in the presidential primaries. Youngkin’s also expected to campaign for gubernatorial candidates in five other states, and is scheduled to keynote the Michigan GOP convention on Saturday.
In a press gaggle on Wednesday, The Virginia Star asked Youngkin about the criticism of his out-of-state campaigning and how it benefits Virginians.
“I’m not sure I have to have a defense, because in all candor, you all are far more interested in talking about that than I,” Youngkin said. “I have been elected to serve Virginians. I think that we have had an absolutely extraordinary first seven months. We’ve delivered on everything in our day one game plan except for the gas tax suspension. And I still don’t understand why Senate Democrats want to leave money in the tax coffers that belongs to Virginians.”
He highlighted success in big economic announcements from Boeing, Raytheon, the Lego Group, and DroneUp, and touted the recently announced Partnership for Petersburg.
“I think folks are focused on what we’re doing in Virginia because we’re making a huge difference,” he said. “I won an election last year that nobody thought that we could win because I did it differently. We’re leading, together, the commonwealth in a way that’s different in delivering real results. And that’s where my attention is and I can’t make up for the fact that the media is more interested in national issues than Virginia issues.”
He concluded, “My focus is on the commonwealth of Virginia.”
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