Trump Plans Monday Tele-Rally for Youngkin in Virginia Race
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump plans to hold a tele-rally for Glenn Youngkin on Monday night, a day before the Virginia gubernatorial election and as Democrats, including President Joe Biden, seek to goad the former president into campaigning for the Republican candidate.
Youngkin has tight-roped between embracing the former president, while also keeping him at a distance. Trump on Wednesday teased the possibility that he would campaign in Virginia before the election but will do the tele-rally, typically a call with supporters to generate support for the candidate, according to a person familiar with his plans.
The rally comes as Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor running against Youngkin, a former co-chief executive officer of Carlyle Group Inc., has sought to tether the two Republicans. On Tuesday, Biden appeared at a McAuliffe campaign rally in Arlington, Virginia, where he repeatedly assailed his predecessor. Democrats, concerned about turnout, are betting that Trump can still energize their base.
Biden won Virginia by 10 points last November, but polls show the race in a dead-heat in the final stretch after McAuliffe had previously held a consistent lead.
The Youngkin campaign didn’t immediately respond to a message left for comment.
Youngkin has accepted Trump’s multiple endorsements of him and speaks well of him in conservative areas of the state, but in swing or liberal parts of Virginia, Youngkin says he’s running his own campaign and avoids comparisons to the former president.
While McAuliffe has called in his party’s biggest names, including Biden, former President Barack Obama, and Vice President Kamala Harris, among others, Youngkin’s taken a different tact by embarking on a 10-day 50-stop bus tour, without any of his party’s luminaries, to close out the race.
McAuliffe and Democrats have been calling Youngkin a Trump acolyte.
“He won’t allow Donald Trump to campaign for him in this state. And he’s willing to pledge his loyalty to Trump in private, why not in public? What’s he trying to hide? Is there a problem with Trump being here? Is he embarrassed?” Biden said at the Tuesday rally.
Trump also issued a statement on Thursday saying he wasn’t telling Republicans not to vote when he said earlier this month that “Republicans will not be voting” in upcoming elections if his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen aren’t addressed. He said he meant Republicans might not have incentive to vote “if the election process is not fully remedied, and quickly.”
The former president led more than 50 tele-rallies for congressional candidates he endorsed last fall and for Republicans running in special elections this year.
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