Republic Alert

Glenn Youngkin Releases Nationally-Themed Ad as GOP Primary Heats up

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) released a political advertisement Monday that focuses on “the future of America” and national themes as the contours of the Republican presidential primary field continue to take shape.

Youngkin, who has said he has no plans to run for president “this year,” released the one-minute video on Thursday that highlights some of the remarks he delivered at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi, Valley, California, last week. The Spirit of Virginia, which is Youngkin’s Super PAC in the Old Dominion State, as NBC News noted, paid for the advertisement.

“It’s pretty overwhelming to contemplate the future of America,” Youngkin is heard saying at the start of the video. He goes on to reference Reagan’s famous sentiment from his first inaugural address as California’s governor, that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

“At a time when it’s easy for us to lose faith, to worry that we are, indeed, that one generation when freedom becomes extinct, there are lights shining,” he says. “We can usher in a new era of American values.”

He adds that “President Reagan changed lives, and now it’s our turn,” calling the present “a time to choose life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness over oppression and dictatorial rule.”

In a statement to NBC News, which noted the video is of a “campaign-style,” one of Youngkin’s senior advisors, David Rexrode, asserted that the governor “is 100 percent focused on Virginia, as he’s repeatedly made clear.”  

“This was a video highlighting his remarks at the Reagan Library last week, where the Governor spoke about how Virginia was one of the bright lights of our nation’s future,” he added.

The outlet noted that the Spirit of Virginia is “considering a small digital buy in the future.” 

While Youngkin focused on Virginia in the speech, “Virginia” was not mentioned in his remarks included in the advertisement.

Earlier this month, Wall Street Journal Editor-at-Large Gerard Baker asked Youngkin if he would run for president, and he dismissed the idea.

“I haven’t written a book, and I’m not in Iowa. I’m spending time representing Virginia this year,” he added.

But soon after other media outlets picked up the report, “offstage his aides were quick to clarify that the operative words in that sentence were ‘this year,’” Baker noted in a follow-up op-ed on May 8, adding that Youngkin has not actually come to a definitive decision about jumping in the race:

Mr. Youngkin is loitering with intent—waiting to see whether the two big beasts of the Republican animal kingdom, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, trip up and find themselves in a bear trap. You can see the logic. Despite his status as the firm favorite, Mr. Trump’s legal and political difficulties continue to hang like a smoggy cloud over his third presidential bid. Mr. DeSantis, after a mildlycalamitouscouple of months, is running out of feet to shoot himself in. If you’re Mr. Youngkin, why blunder in now and give them both someone to aim at when you can focus on governing your state, building a solid political résumé, and be ready for the call should it come?

The ad comes as the Republican presidential primary is continuing to heat up, with five declared candidates in former President Donald Trump, former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), and conservative talk show host Larry Elder. More are poised to possibly enter the fray, including Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND), among others.

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