Youngkin’s forays into the national spotlight continue to fuel speculation that the political newcomer has presidential ambitions — chatter he calls humiliating without specifically refuting them. Youngkin traveled to Nebraska last month to speak with Republicans in the state and participate in a fundraiser with GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen. On Tuesday, Youngkin said he intended to choose more candidates later this year.
Youngkin hits Nebraska like a GOP star, but some want him to slow down
“I will go to work in the fall to support Republican governors in their races,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of help from Republican governors in my campaign, and I look forward to reciprocating them. … There will be more trips planned in the fall.
Youngkin will travel to Michigan to headline the state’s GOP on August 27 convention and campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, which echoes some of the K-12 education themes Youngkin presented at the Executive Mansion last year as she tries to overthrow Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) in November.
“Governor Youngkin’s victory in Virginia demonstrated the political power of parents who want to get involved in ensuring their children receive a good education,” Dixon said in a written statement. “He also understood the economic challenges facing families and the need for safe communities. I’m honored to have him join me and help create a family Michigan.
Ron Weiser, Michigan GOP chairman, said Youngkin would help the party “rally the troops.”
Left-leaning Progress Michigan greeted the announcement with a harshly worded statement that called out Youngkin for his personal opposition to same-sex marriage and for a lawsuit against him and several other current and former Carlyle Group executives accusing them of profiting at the expense. investors and taxpayers.
Youngkin’s spokeswoman, Macaulay Porter, noted that all of Carlyle’s transactions are reviewed by “independent experts and advisors.”
“Democrats should learn that governing requires more than just throwing mud,” said Kristin Davison, Youngkin’s political consultant, in response to Progress Michigan.
On Tuesday, Youngkin was questioned by reporters about his comments criticizing the Justice Department for its search for Mar-a-Lago and he repeated the accusation that the effort lacked “transparency.”
Youngkin said many Americans had “lost faith” in the Justice Department, in part because it was “investigating relatives in Loudoun County for attending council meetings.” The comment echoed a tweet he posted Aug. 9 on his personal Twitter account accusing the department of “selective politically motivated actions” in its action at Mar-a-Lago.
The tweet said it was a “staggering move” and accused the administration of “labeling Loudoun County parents as terrorists.”
Youngkin’s comments appeared to be a reference to the Biden administration’s efforts last year to investigate reports of threats and harassment at school board meetings after a letter from the National School Boards Association said that some of the incidents “could amount to a form of domestic terrorism”. .” The Biden administration itself, however, did not specifically mention Loudoun County or call the parents “terrorists.”
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) last week accused Youngkin of misrepresenting the facts. “Where is there any evidence that the DOJ labeled Loudoun’s parents as ‘terrorists’?” Kaine tweetedsaying later in a news media interview that Youngkin’s comment was “just a lie”.
Asked on Tuesday whether it was wrong to say the Biden administration called the parents terrorists, Youngkin appeared to double down on his criticism.
“I believe they did. I think the Department of Justice was investigating the parents,” he said.
Further emphasizing whether they called them terrorists, he said: “The Department of Justice was investigating the parents. And they were clear that they were. And what we saw were accusations that they were terrorists.
Youngkin’s appearance at a business breakfast also gave him insight into some of the priorities for next year’s General Assembly session, including economic development, workforce, education and affordable housing.
He said he convened a task force to think about how to improve housing availability to attract people to stay in Virginia, from young people building careers to older residents looking for a job. a place to retire. Youngkin said he’s particularly interested in how the state can work with localities to change zoning and regulatory policies that he says are hampering high-density housing construction efforts, adding that he asked the state Department of Environmental Quality to help find ways to reduce demands. on developers.
Youngkin also cited the need for transportation funding and infrastructure investment as a tool for economic development. And while he touted his efforts to cut taxes — including some $4 billion in overall tax cuts in the two-year budget passed this year — he made no mention of his failed efforts to cut the state gas tax, which would reduce the money flowing into the state transportation accounts.
Democrats and a state Senate Republican have repeatedly blocked Youngkin’s proposed cut, saying the state needs the money and the wholesale gas industry and out-of-state drivers would benefit disproportionately from a reduction.