RICHMOND, Va. — Former President Donald Trump and different Republicans tried to fireside up the social gathering’s right-wing base forward of Virginia’s critical November elections Wednesday at a rally marked by falsehoods in regards to the 2020 election and tirades in opposition to vaccine and masks mandates.
The social gathering’s nominee for governor, Glenn Youngkin, didn’t attend the occasion however acquired a heat embrace from Trump, who known as in by telephone to induce a crowd of some hundred in suburban Richmond to get out to vote for the businessman and first-time candidate.
“Glenn Youngkin is a superb gentleman,” stated Trump, who had beforehand endorsed Youngkin, earlier than he reiterated his lie that that Democrat Joe Biden received the White Home due to mass voter fraud.
Different audio system on the “Take Again Virginia Rally” included former Trump White Home adviser Steve Bannon; Rep. Mark Finchem of Arizona, who has labored to overturn Trump’s 2020 loss within the state; and Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, a distinguished promoter of election fraud conspiracy theories. It was organized by conservative speak present host John Fredericks, a former Trump marketing campaign chairman in Virginia.
The showcase of right-wing enthusiasm got here as Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe are locked in a tight race in Democratic-leaning Virginia, considered one of simply two states with governors races this 12 months. The Republican has centered his pitch at average and unbiased voters crucial to success, however he additionally wants robust turnout amongst Trump followers.
That’s left Youngkin treading carefully when addressing the lies about fraud promoted by Trump and others in his social gathering. The Republican, who in his main marketing campaign declined to say whether or not Biden was pretty elected, has since stated he believes he was — and that he doesn’t consider there was vital fraud final November.
Youngkin’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to questions from The Related Press on Wednesday whether or not he anticipated Trump would marketing campaign with him within the ultimate stretch or why he selected to not attend Wednesday’s occasion, aside from stating the candidate’s busy journey schedule Wednesday.
Earlier within the week, Youngkin known as into Fredericks’ present and thanked him for internet hosting the occasion.
“We’re going to win this,” Fredericks stated. “We’re gonna maintain the Trump coalition collectively whereas Youngkin goes on the market and appeals to independents.”
Rally attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag the occasion’s emcee stated was carried on the “peaceable” rally Trump attended earlier than his supporters stormed the Capitol in a lethal tried rebel on Jan. 6.
Democrats condemned the occasion and blasted Youngkin after Trump’s remarks.
“Glenn Youngkin has made it clear: his prime precedence is bringing Donald Trump’s harmful agenda to Virginia. As Youngkin focuses his marketing campaign on peddling right-wing conspiracies and advancing an excessive coverage agenda, he’s making it clearer than ever that he’s too excessive for Virginia,” stated Manuel Bonder, a spokesman for the Democratic Get together of Virginia.
Democrats have additionally criticized Youngkin’s continued willingness to marketing campaign with Chase. The state senator from suburban Richmond additionally sought the nomination for governor this 12 months and routinely shares misinformation in regards to the safety of Virginia’s elections. Chase, who was censured by the Senate on a bipartisan foundation earlier this 12 months, has known as for an “audit” of the 2020 election in Virginia and in December stated Trump ought to invoke martial regulation to grab voting machines.
On Wednesday, she continued to give attention to the false claims.
“We’re going to do one thing about election integrity. And I do know what’s happening, the Youngkin marketing campaign is aware of what’s happening. We’re watching like we now have by no means watched earlier than,” she informed the gang.
Trump misplaced Virginia overwhelmingly to Democrat Joe Biden final 12 months — a routine state audit confirmed the outcomes — and no election was stolen from Trump.
Trump’s former legal professional common, William Barr, discovered no proof of widespread election corruption. Allegations of huge voting fraud additionally have been dismissed by a number of judges and refuted by state election officers and an arm of the Homeland Safety Division throughout the Trump administration.
The Youngkin marketing campaign has tried to attract a comparability between the false claims of fraud right now and the 2000 presidential election, when a Supreme Courtroom ruling determined the winner and McAuliffe blasted the choice and stated the election had been stolen.
Winsome Sears, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, didn’t converse as scheduled. Her marketing campaign didn’t reply to an inquiry Wednesday night time.
An preliminary advisory stated Jason Miyares, the GOP nominee for legal professional common, would attend. However his spokeswoman, Victoria LaCivita, stated by telephone that was “a mistake, a miscommunication.”
She added the candidate’s schedule was full, with a debate in opposition to incumbent Lawyer Basic Mark Herring earlier within the day and a night occasion elsewhere.
Del. Terry Kilgore and Sen. Invoice Stanley have been at numerous factors advertised as audio system however stated they’d work commitments and didn’t attend.