Richmond, Va. — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has only been in office for seven months, and he’s already ranked fifth in a Washington Post article about possible 2024 GOP presidential candidates.
In an interview, I asked him to respond to suggestions from some that he might be well-placed to run for president in 2024. His response sounds close to what could become a campaign speech: “What I find telling , is that someone new to the political scene who, yes, has turned a blue state into red, who keeps promises made, who is conservative and believes in a larger group of party (Republican) Americans who embrace those American values that underpin our great nation…it’s all of a sudden in the national discussion around running for president.
Would he support Donald Trump if he were the party’s nominee, a prospect that looks increasingly problematic given the former president’s growing legal troubles.
Youngkin replies, “I have publicly stated that if Donald Trump is the nominee in 2024, I will support him. He then adds a cautionary qualifier, “I think we have a long way to go from here.”
Youngkin’s record of accomplishments in such a short time is impressive. As some people flee high-tax states run by Democrats, Youngkin and the legislature cut state taxes by $4 billion, while cutting spending (he says his administration spent $1.2 billion dollars less than planned) and created a surplus of $3.2 million, a lot of which he wants to reimburse taxpayers. He has a good line of applause for it: “The money belongs to the Virginians; it does not belong to the politicians, nor to the government.
The Youngkin budget also includes $400 million to increase the salaries of law enforcement officers and $100 million to expand the type of institutes of higher learning that can partner with K-12 systems or colleges. lab (also known as charter schools), an initiative he believes will help drive innovation in education.
The issue of education and the woke agenda imposed on many schools is what propelled him to power. Virginia has a limited school choice plan, which Youngkin wants to expand to include private and religious schools. “Parents don’t trust their public school system,” he says.
In addition to what is taught in the classroom, sometimes without parental knowledge or consent, he cites a school counselor who was arrested for soliciting sex from a minor in a northern Virginia county, then released arrested for soliciting sex from a minor in another county. “Or a young girl who was molested in a school and a young man is found guilty and they move him to another school where he molestes someone else. These are things that erode the sense of safety in our schools. Not to mention the school shootings.
Youngkin accuses President Biden of creating the border migrant crisis. “Allowing people to enter our country and then determining whether they should be here is just plain wrong.”
Speaking of the drug crisis, he adds, “We have record levels of drug overdoses in Virginia. Sixty percent of them are linked to fentanyl…all US states have been affected.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, some states are passing new laws restricting abortion, while others protect the right to abortion. Asked about Virginia’s approach, Youngkin takes a pragmatic stance: “I’m a pro-life governor. I also recognize that Virginia will be a tough place to pass abortion legislation. He supports a 15-week “pain threshold bill” because he says most Virginians – and polls show much of the country – support restricting or banning pain. late abortions.
He says pro-lifers should reverse the “radical” label the other side is using against them and point out that the pro-choice side supports allowing abortions up to the time of birth. “It’s radical,” he says.
Youngkin will campaign for several Republican candidates for Congress this fall. It could be a warm-up for something bigger.
Eight previous presidents have been Virginians. Could Youngkin be number nine?
Cal Thomas is a columnist and syndicated author. Readers can email him at [email protected]m.
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