Former President Donald Trump tried to take credit for Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s 2021 victory, the latest instance of him lashing out at an elected Republican official.
Many members of the GOP have questioned Trump’s continued influence over the party amid a lackluster showing in the midterm elections. In response, Trump has gone after elected officials like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and media outlets like Fox News. He is expected to announce a third presidential campaign Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Mar-a-Lago.
“Young Kin (now that’s an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn’t it?) in Virginia couldn’t have won without me. I Endorsed him, did a very big Trump Rally for him telephonically, got MAGA to Vote for him – or he couldn’t have come close to winning. But he knows that, and admits it. Besides, having a hard time with the Dems in Virginia – But he’ll get it done!” Trump posted on Truth Social.
Trump now attacking Glenn Youngkin .. pic.twitter.com/eEEPcAMplX
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) November 11, 2022
Youngkin defeated former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe by two points in Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election, the first statewide win for a Republican since 2009. Although Trump endorsed Youngkin, the candidate kept the former president at arm’s length during the campaign. Youngkin avoided a rally held by Trump adviser Steve Bannon in the closing days of the race and advisers reportedly had to convince Trump not to appear in person at the rally.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears said Thursday on Fox News that she wouldn’t support Trump running again. Sears served as chairwoman of the pro-Trump group Black Americans to Re-elect the President in 2020. (RELATED: Newly Elected Va. Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears Wasted Almost No Time Trolling Kamala Harris)
“Voters have spoken, and they have said that they want a different leader. And a true leader understands when they have become a liability,” Sears said. “I could not support him [in 2024]. I just couldn’t, because we have seen, for example, in those states where he has endorsed the candidates, in fact, Republicans, on the same ticket who he did not endorse, overperformed, whereas his candidates totally underperformed by as much as 10 points. We have a clear mission, and it is time to move on.”
Trump attacked DeSantis, his chief Republican rival, on Thursday, claiming that the Florida governor would not have won without his support in 2018.
“Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win,” Trump said in a statement.
Both DeSantis and Youngkin are considered potential 2024 presidential primary contestants.