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Biden Asks Why VA GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Is Not Campaigning With Trump: 'Is He Embarrassed?'

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President Joe Biden is asking why Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin has chosen to avoid campaigning with former President Donald Trump.

During a campaign event with Virginia Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, the president said, “Terry’s opponent has made all of his private pledges of loyalty to Donald Trump. But what’s really interesting to me, he won’t stand next to Donald Trump now that the campaign’s on. Think about it. He won’t allow Donald Trump to campaign for him in this state.”

He asked, “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?”

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In May, Trump endorsed Youngkin for governor, but since then, the Republican nominee has tried to distance himself from the former president.

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Youngkin avoided saying whether he wanted Trump to campaign for him. He said, “Anybody who calls me a good man, I so appreciate it, including President Trump.”

The Associated Press notes that during a gubernatorial debate, “The Republican candidate in Virginia’s governor’s race repeatedly sidestepped comparisons to the former president. Youngkin avoided Trump’s most aggressive talking points on election fraud, border security, and critical race theory. He also tried to dodge a question about whether he would support another Trump presidential bid, though Youngkin ultimately said he would.”

“Few Republicans in recent years have harnessed the energy of the Trump base with such cool rhetoric. And there is fear within Youngkin’s campaign that Trump or his loyalists could turn against Youngkin in the days before the Nov. 2 election. But if Youngkin is successful, his ability to navigate the delicate politics of the post-Trump presidency could offer the GOP a new playbook before next year’s midterm elections,” the AP added.

Should Trump campaign for Youngkin?

Trump lost Virginia in the 2016 election by five points and in 2020 by 10.1 points.

While Youngkin has tried to balance maintaining Trump’s support while not alienating other votes, polls have shown a tight race. RealClearPolitics’ average of polls finds that McAuliffe has just a .8% lead over his Republican competitor with just under a week to go before the Nov. 2 election.

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