Prior to the return of election results on Tuesday night, CNN’s Van Jones asserted that if Republican Glenn Youngkin triumphed in the Virginia gubernatorial race, it would represent the “Delta Variant” of Trumpism. Jones explained the analogy by saying Youngkin was a part of the “same disease” but that he would spread “a lot faster.”
As a candidate, Youngkin has declined to appear on the campaign trail with Trump, denounced the January 6 Capitol riot, and championed issues such as job creation, crime, and education. He appears on the Republican ticket next to Winsome Sears, an African-American woman vying for the lieutenant governorship and Jason Miyares, a Latino running for attorney general.
Jones’s assertion echoed the chief message of Youngkin’s opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who made it his mission to tie Youngkin to the former president. On Monday night at McAuliffe’s last campaign rally of the, McAuliffe either mistakenly or deceptively stated that Youngkin was ending his campaign by appearing with Trump, and uttered Trump’s name 13 times during 15 minute remarks.
During the first debate between the two candidates in September, moderator Susan Page addressed McAuliffe by observing that “to watch your campaign ads, Virginia voters might well think Donald Trump is on the ballot.”
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