November's gubernatorial election in Virginia has become a proxy war for Donald Trump's personal vendetta against the fact he lost the 2020 presidential election.
"Republicans in Virginia are saying what their nominee for governor will not: The governor's race is a proxy for Mr. Trump's grievances," The New York Times reported Saturday.
"The event was billed as a rally for Virginia conservatives ahead of next month's election for governor. But it was mostly about Donald J. Trump," Astead Herndon reported. "Each speaker, addressing the crowd of hundreds just outside the state capital of Richmond, declared the former president the rightful winner of the last presidential election and the assumed winner of the next one. The audience raved when Mr. Trump gave a short address over the phone."
He noted that controversial state Sen. Amanda Chase spoke at the rally.
"But it was the speaker after Mr. Trump who made the pivot from national to local. Amanda Chase, a state senator from Amelia County who has called herself 'Trump in heels,' explicitly tied the former president to Glenn Youngkin, the state's Republican nominee for governor," he reported. "Supporting one required supporting the other, she said."
Youngkin's supporters are essentially making the same argument as Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe.
"Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate and a former governor, has sought to tie Mr. Youngkin to the former president, while the Republican candidate has largely tried to keep some distance from Mr. Trump, to avoid alienating the all-important suburban, moderate voters who could decide the race's outcome," he explained. "Democrats argue that losing the statewide election on Nov. 2 would be a bad omen for them in the 2022 midterms, and Republicans agree. And while Democrats paint Mr. Youngkin as an acolyte of Mr. Trump who would help pave the way for the former president's return in 2024, Republicans at the 'Take Back Virginia' rally on Wednesday explicitly said the same thing. They were willing to make clear what Mr. Youngkin has carefully avoided."
That message was driven home when the crowd pledged allegiance to a flag that flew on January 6th.
"Speakers seemed to one-up each other in expressing their loyalty to Mr. Trump: Some called for the arrest of Mr. Biden. Others compared vaccine mandates to conditions in Nazi Germany or invoked violent periods in American history, including the Civil War and the American Revolution, to describe the stakes of upcoming elections," he explained.
Read the full report.