After Disappointing Election, Youngkin Addresses Bid for White House

After losing control of both chambers, Virginia’s Republican governor will have an uphill battle implementing his agenda.
After Disappointing Election, Youngkin Addresses Bid for White House
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, here speaking in Smithfield, Va., in October 2022, is not on the commonwealth's 2023 ballot but his lobbying for a 15-week abortion ban puts him and abortion on voters' minds as they go to the polls in November in what is beiung called "the first election of 2024." (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Masooma Haq

The morning after Virginia Republicans lost the majority in both chambers, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signaled that he would not run for president in 2024.

“My name is not on the ballot in New Hampshire. I have not been in Iowa, I am not in South Carolina, I am in Virginia,” Youngkin said at a press conference in front of the Richmond State Capitol on November 8.

“I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”

There has been speculation that Youngkin might enter the GOP presidential field because of his high approval ratings as well as the fact that he has built a national profile, campaigning for Republican candidates across the country and gathering support from major GOP donors.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Youngkin was repeatedly asked if he would still consider running in 2024, to which he answered that he is focused on governing alongside Democrats to get results for Virginians.

Democrats, meanwhile, called Youngkin a “lame duck” governor.

“The stakes for preventing this GOP Trifecta were incredibly high. And fortunately, voters agreed, and Democrats delivered big wins. Make no mistake about it, this is a loss for Governor Youngkin,” Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Interim President Heather Williams said during a virtual post-election press conference Wednesday.

In the run-up to Nov. 7, Democrats ran election ads calling Republicans extremists. One of the ads told Virginians that Youngkin and Republicans were working to take away their rights, including a plan to completely ban abortion.

Now, with majorities in both chambers, Democrats will prevent Youngkin from implementing policies, including a 15-week abortion ban, which many voters said was the deciding issue for them in this election.

A GOP Trifecta would have allowed Youngkin to use his “unchecked powers to pass an abortion ban, undermine voting rights, and set Virginia back decades,” said Williams.

Youngkin, meanwhile, stressed the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together to find common ground on issues like abortion, despite the differences.

“Abortion is potentially one of the most difficult topics in Virginia and the nation,” Youngkin said, adding: “I do believe there is a place we can come together, common ground. This is difficult. I’m hopeful that the dialogue we’ve started can continue.”

“I think they know that in a state that is so purple, that we do debate. We do argue, but they expect us to find common ground on these most important topics and to press forward,” Youngkin told reporters. “This is just another statement of where Virginia is and why it’s such a bellwether for what’s going on across the nation.”

Virginia is one of only a handful of states that splits power between chambers, and before November 7, was one of only two states that had a different party control each chamber.

Youngkin also said he is “disappointed” with the outcomes but knew the elections would come down to “razor thin” margins in key districts.

“It is clear we did not meet our goals. At this time, it appears that Republicans will win 49 seats in the House and 19 seats in the Senate, a one-seat pickup,” Dave Rexrode Youngkin’s PAC, Spirit of Virginia’s Chairman wrote in a November 7 memo.

Rexrode said redistricting and outspending contributed to the difficulties in swing districts, but despite the challenges, Republicans still won in 13 districts Biden and seven districts Congressional Democrats won a few years earlier.

Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.
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