Virginia’s upcoming gubernatorial election is widely considered a litmus test on how next year’s midterms may turn out. The race pits Republican Glenn Youngkin against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former governor of the state. Youngkin has been endeavoring to appeal to both mainstream and extremist Republicans in the state, which has trended more Democratic in recent years.
Youngkin recently proved just how far he’s willing to go to appeal to more extremist factions of his party by appearing on far-right figure Sebastian Gorka’s radio show.
Gorka, who worked for former President Donald Trump’s administration, had been pestering Youngkin to come on his show for weeks. Gorka called him a “RINO” (Republican in name only) and tweeted that Youngkin needed to prove he wasn’t the Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) of Virginia.
Last week, the pestering worked. Youngkin, whom Trump endorsed, went on Gorka’s show.
Youngkin told Gorka that he would cut taxes. He also vowed to “get critical race theory” out of schools and to fund the police.
Gorka pressed him to say whether he supported “America first” and wanted to make America great again.
“The president knows I am a Virginia first governors candidate. I am going to stand up for Virginians,” Youngkin replied.
Youngkin then claimed that President Joe Biden was using the Justice Department to “silence” parents. Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the department to address a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school boards and teachers, PolitiFact reports.
Youngkin added that he quit his job last summer because he was so angry. “We are going to save Virginia,” he said.
Now people are blasting Youngkin for going on Gorka’s show. Gorka has been linked to neo-Nazis. In 2017, Forward reported that he swore a lifelong allegiance to a neo-Nazi group in his native Hungary. Days before the deadly Unite the Right rally, he infamously said that white supremacy wasn’t a problem.
By going on Gorka’s show, Youngkin may have given McAuliffe more ammunition.
Virginia voters go to the polls on Nov. 2.