Governors States

ICYMI – Insider: Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial nominee praised the state’s economy when his Democratic opponent was in charge

By Adam Wren and Warren Rojas | June 16, 2021

Key Points:

  • Glenn Youngkin was for Terry McAuliffe’s economy before he was against it. It’s an uncomfortable bit of reality for Youngkin, now the GOP nominee for Virginia governor who as CEO of the global investment firm The Carlyle Group routinely praised the state’s economic progress while McAuliffe was its chief executive.
  • In an interview with McKinsey & Company, the businessman noted that the state — then under the leadership of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam — had a “high-growth tech industry, a growing healthcare sector, and an established manufacturing presence.” Northam served as Virginia lieutenant governor under McAuliffe before winning election himself to lead the state in 2017.
  • “What’s happening in Northern Virginia is truly transformational, and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will be right at the heart of it,” Youngkin said in a press release at the time. “Think of the possibilities — new technologies, new businesses, new markets, extraordinary new talent — all being created right here in Northern Virginia. And now, the scope of this ambition can be fully matched by this great location, which will be the home of the next global technology hub.”
  • But as Youngkin remade himself into a Republican politician in the Trump era — ultimately winning the gubernatorial nomination amid a crowded field of conservatives — his appraisal of the state’s economic climate changed, too.
  • “Before pledging his complete allegiance to Donald Trump, Youngkin knew Terry McAuliffe was an excellent governor who oversaw record economic growth and created over 200,000 good-paying jobs,” Manuel Bonder, a spokesman with the Democratic Party of Virginia, told Insider.
  • “Now, Youngkin is a hypocritical, dishonest Republican politician who will say and do anything to get elected — just like Trump,” he added. “Virginia needs a governor who will work to lift up all Virginians — not one who will put GOP extremism over the truth every step of the way.”

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