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by Brandon Jarvis

Donald Trump remembers the 2021 gubernatorial race in a unique way saying he is the reason that Glenn Youngkin beat Terry McAuliffe. At the time, Youngkin received praise for successfully walking the line of keeping Trump around but at a safe distance in the state that voted for Joe Biden by 10 points in 2020. 

In a recent radio interview, Trump took full credit for Youngkin’s gubernatorial victory last year and said Youngkin wrote him a letter.

“He wrote me a beautiful letter thanking me and all,” Trump said. “I will tell you that right up front. He was very nice, but Youngkin would not have won the race – not even close.”

“Trump isn’t wrong here,” said Shaun Kenney, a former executive director for the Republican Party of Virginia and a conservative writer for The Republican Standard. “If Trump had opposed Youngkin or been cool to his candidacy that would have upended the entire election.”

Trump did nearly upend the election when he virtually attended a rally in Henrico that was hosted by Steve Bannon. Youngkin was not associated with the event and called it “weird and wrong” after attendees pledged allegiance to a flag that was present at the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

That event was costly to  Youngkin in the final weeks of the race as it took the lead in the media cycle for days. But Youngkin still won on a groundswell of support on other issues – one of them being that he is not a Democrat. 

 “Regardless, the Republican coalition knew that Youngkin was better than McAuliffe and cut the deals they needed in order to pout their heads on their pillows at night,” Kenney said. “Mutual self-interest won the day, and it will carry the day so long as hubris doesn’t overpower practicality.”

Trump strongly believes he was the reason for the win and attacked the press for not giving him credit. “You know, the press tried to say ‘this is a new way of campaigning without Trump,’ I mean they asked me to do a teleconference call the night before the election,” he said. “The media wasn’t gracious because the media is corrupt so they tried to say well Trump didn’t help him and he won.”

He also tried to take credit for Youngkin earning the nomination even though he never endorsed a candidate in the nomination battle. He actually endorsed Youngkin the day after he earned the nomination. “Without the help, he wouldn’t have won nor would he have gotten the nomination.”

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