Youngkin Doesn't Want Trump Showing Up In Virginia Before The Election
This afternoon, we looked briefly at the Big Lie rally hosted by Steve Bannon and a few other die-hard lunatics in Warrenton, a Richmond. Trump called in to whine but it was a bust. Almost no one showed up. Several of the speakers backed out at the last minute. And Glenn Youngkin, for whom it was held, stayed away. Trump has not so subtly warned Youngkin that unless he ethusiastically embraces Trumpism-- which is now defined as supporting the Big Lie-- he will lose and Republicans won't turn out. And Trump can make that happen, at least enough to hand the election to the Democrat.
Earlier today, Alex Seitz-Wald, reporting for NBC News, wrote something likely to make Trump's huge orange head explode. "Youngkin," he wrote, "wouldn’t say" whether he wants Señor T to campaign for him in the final weeks of the campaign "and distanced himself from" last night's crackpot rally.
Youngkin-- who is trying to walk a fine line by appealing to both “forever Trumpers and never Trumpers,” as he puts it-- said he didn’t know about Wednesday's “Take Back Virginia Rally” in Richmond, where attendees pledged allegiance to a flag organizers said was present at the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“I wasn’t involved, so I don’t know. But if that was the case, then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag," Youngkin said. "And by the way, I’ve been so clear, there is no place for violence-- none, none-- in America today. We have our rights to assemble and protest protected... but there is no room for violence.”
...The former president has endorsed Youngkin, whose campaign staff includes several former Trump aides, but he has allowed the former private equity executive and political newcomer to put some distance between himself and the former president.
Youngkin steered clear of the Bannon rally, though one of the speakers was controversial state Sen. Amanda Chase, a prominent promoter of election fraud conspiracy theories who supports and lost in the Republican primary.
“The only chief surrogate for Glenn Youngkin is Glenn Youngkin,” he said of himself when asked about Chase’s presence at the event.
And while Youngkin has promised to enhance election security, he disavowed Trump’s lies about the 2020 campaign.
“I’ve been very very clear from the beginning that I don’t think that there was massive fraud in Virginia in the campaign and that Joe Biden was legitimately elected our president,” Youngkin said.
Pressed again on whether he wants Trump to come to Virginia, Youngkin dodged. “Anybody who calls me a good man, I so appreciate it, including President Trump,” he said.
In contrast, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's former governor who is now running for his old job, has embraced some of his party's biggest national stars. Former President Barack Obama, First Lady Jill Biden and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will campaign for him in coming days. Biden did so in July.
Youngkin knows he will have to win over moderate suburbanites and turnout the conservative base in this off-year election if he is to be the first Republican to win statewide in Virginia since 2009.
But to Democrats, Youngkin’s aw-shucks approach to his party’s right flank is nothing but an act and anything short of a full-throated rejection of Trump is not enough.
“It all adds up to the same thing here-- Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump,” McAuliffe said on a call his campaign organized with reporters in response to Wednesday's rally.
McAuliffe’s campaign also launched a new TV ad Thursday featuring video from the rally of Trump praising Youngkin.
"I hope Glenn gets in there, and he'll do all of the things that we want a governor to do,” Trump says in the ad, which closes with text that reads, “Glenn Youngkin is Donald Trump's candidate, not yours.”
Youngkin is also against vaccine mandates and that's a big issue in the campaign, Youngkin having turned schools into a culture war issue to divert angry voters from Republican policies. Republicans are doing this all over the country, sometimes from their death beds. Texas far right gubernatorial candidate, and former state GOP party chair, Allen West, became infected and, because he has refused to get vaccinated, wound up in the hospital. He didn't die, but his stay cost as much as $100,000, as does each bonehead who refuses to get vaccinated and then winds up in the hospital.
What West is propagating, however, is not science. It’s also untrue.
Instead of pushing for vaccinations, West asks, why is the government not “promoting protocols such as Regeneron monoclonal antibody infusion therapy? Why not promote … Hydroxychloroquine, and yes, Ivermectin?”
Curiously, West inveighs against the establishment by stating that “instead of enriching the pockets of Big Pharma and corrupt bureaucrats and politicians, we should be advocating the monoclonal antibody infusion therapy.” [He also allegedly too hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.]
This begs the question, who makes the monoclonal antibody in question? Of course, it’s Regeneron, a large pharmaceutical firm. Moreover, a Covid-19 vaccine costs about $40 for two doses, while a monoclonal antibody treatment is $2,100, in addition to the Covid-19 hospital stay which can run to tens of thousands of dollars.
Here, Benjamin Franklin’s adage applies: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In all likelihood, had West been vaccinated, he would have avoided getting hospitalized and incurring costly medical bills. In addition, there’s an opportunity cost involved, whereby West is unnecessarily using up scarce hospital resources, which could have been deployed for other patients.
"The only fair solution to such aberrant and deadly behavior is to hold persons such as West responsible for paying their own COVID hospitalization bills if they choose to go unvaccinated. Of course, that’s if they live, which, receiving top-flight care, West managed to do. Let him and others go unvaccinated if they choose to do so, but any medical care is their responsibility to pay. No insurance companies, no Medicare, no Medicaid, just out-of-pocket cash. So, Allen West, are you going to pony up and pay for your hospital bill? The economy of our society should not bear the burden of caring for your opportunistic trolling for votes-- and being an imprimatur for infecting America."