Former President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to raise debt ceiling Georgia reporter says state will ‘continue to be a premier battleground’ Elections administrator in Texas county Trump won resigns after campaign to oust her MORE called into the “Take Back Virginia Rally” on Wednesday ahead of the state’s gubernatorial and House of Delegates elections next month, praising GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin.
“Glenn Youngkin is a great gentleman. Really successful, he loves this state, we gotta get him in,” Trump told rally goers before calling Democratic nominee and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe “a lousy governor.”
Youngkin was never slated to attend the rally, which was hosted by Virginia-based conservative talk show host John Fredericks in Glen Allen, Va. The event featured other well-known GOP figures in the state, including lieutenant governor nominee Winsome Sears and state Sen. Amanda Chase (R).
Trump’s less than five-minute call-in to the rally was a contrast to a rally he held in Iowa over the weekend where he stood side-by-side with senior Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations – Dems debate scaled-back Biden agenda What’s at stake if Trump wins in 2024? Single-party authoritarian rule The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Altria – House debt vote today; Biden struggles to unite MORE (R-Iowa), who is running for reelection next year.
While the former president endorsed Youngkin earlier this year, he has yet to campaign with the Republican nominee in Virginia this year. Trump lost Virginia in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, and major Democratic gains were made in the governor’s mansion and General Assembly during his administration.
Youngkin has said before that he was honored to have received Trump’s endorsement.
The former president said during his call-in that he was interested in holding a rally in Virginia in the future.
“We’ll have to do one together when we’re live together too,” Trump said.
The former president also stressed the need to keep GOP enthusiasm up in the state.
“I believe that Virginia is very, very winnable, but we have to get everyone to get out and vote,” he said.
Recent polls show Youngkin and McAuliffe neck and neck, with most surveys showing McAuliffe ahead but within the margin of error. Democrats and Republicans are viewing the race as a bellwether ahead of next year’s midterms.
A number of high-profile Democrats will campaign with McAuliffe in the days ahead, including President BidenJoe BidenHouse votes to raise debt ceiling On The Money — House kicks debt ceiling standoff to December Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council for Mental Wellbeing — Progressives: Medicare benefit expansions ‘not negotiable’ MORE, first lady Jill BidenJill BidenMcAuliffe, Youngkin in dead heat: poll McAuliffe brings in big guns as Democratic worries grow over Virginia McAuliffe says Biden will campaign with him ahead of Virginia governor’s election MORE, former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMcAuliffe, Youngkin in dead heat: poll McAuliffe brings in big guns as Democratic worries grow over Virginia Is the Biden administration afraid of trade? MORE, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.