by Brandon Jarvis

Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, is pushing back after recent comments were released of him deflecting on a question about whether or not the courts can reinstate Donald Trump as president. “I don’t know the particulars about how that can happen, because what’s happening in the court system is moving slowly and it’s unclear. And we all know the courts move slowly,” Youngkin said when asked if he believed that Trump’s reinstatement would help Virginia Republicans. 

Youngkin, the self-proclaimed political outsider that is looking to win the executive mansion for his party in November, says his opponent and the media are twisting his words. “Terry McAuliffe and his allies in the liberal media sure do love to twist my words beyond recognition. I’ve said that Joe Biden is legitimately our president, so there is no question here,” Youngkin said in a statement Tuesday morning.  

Youngkin has stated multiple times that Biden won the election and now he is saying that he wants to focus on the future instead of the past. “As I tried to say politely the other day, there is no legal proceeding that will change the fact that Joe Biden and his liberal allies are dragging our economy down with their bad policies until 2025, and instead of litigating the past we must be focused on winning in November to stop those policies here in Virginia.”

In an interview with Fox Business in May, just a few days after earning the nomination, Youngkin spoke to Biden’s victory. “I mean, the reality is, and I have said this before, Joe Biden was legitimately elected our president,” Youngkin said during the interview. “He took the oath and was sworn in. He’s sleeping in the White House. He’s, unfortunately, signing executive order after executive order.”

Even though there has yet to be any tangible proof, a faction of the Republican Party still believes that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. A protest movement called “Audit Virginia” is happening in Richmond this week to try and convince lawmakers to order a forensic audit of Virginia’s 2020 election results. 

State Sen. Amanda Chase at an election audit protest outside of Virginia Capitol. 8/2/21

Trump lost Virginia by 10 points and Republicans have not won a statewide election since 2009. This leaves Youngkin in the difficult position of walking the tightrope to not alienate any Republican voters while still convincing necessary Independent voters to choose him over his Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe.

This was apparent in Youngkin’s statement Monday about the vaccine — another sensitive subject that the far-right portion of the Republican Party opposes — even as the majority of Virginia, 70% of adults to be specific, have already received at least one dose.

“Data shows the COVID vaccine saves lives. That’s why I chose to get the vaccine,” Youngkin tweeted.

But in an attempt to walk that tightrope he also dropped a line for his base — who in part have been pushing back against any talks of making vaccines mandatory at any time. “Virginians have the right to decide for themselves, but if you are in a high-risk category, I especially encourage you to get vaccinated.”

Democrats on the other hand are working hard to try and show Virginia voters that they believe Youngkin is no moderate. “If Glenn Youngkin wants to stop litigating the past, then why is he going to an Election Integrity Rally on Saturday?” tweeted a McAuliffe spokesperson, Christina Freundlich Tuesday morning.

“Glenn Youngkin will restore Virginia’s photo ID law and make sure it is easy for every eligible person to vote and harder to cheat,” said Matt Wolking, a spokesperson for Youngkin. “Terry McAuliffe opposes requiring a photo ID to vote, which undermines the integrity of our elections and makes it easier to cheat.”

Manuel Bonder, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Virginia also responded to Youngkin’s statement about Biden on Tuesday. “Glenn Youngkin is on tape suggesting the courts could reinstate Donald Trump as president. His words speak for themselves.”

In-person early voting begins Sept. 17 for the general election that takes place on Nov. 2.

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By vascope