Grundy, Virginia—After Republican Glenn Youngkin rejected two invitations to debate Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the race for Governor, the two candidates will finally meet in a debate tonight. This will be a rare opportunity for voters in Virginia to learn where Glenn Youngkin actually stands on the issues.
“Glenn Youngkin has been hiding from voters since he won the primary, avoiding policy discussions where he can by rejecting debates, and getting caught on tape lying about his position on abortion,” Vanessa Clinton, Press Secretary at Progress Virginia, said. “What little we do know about Youngkin’s policy positions prove that he’s the wrong choice for Virginia on issues from taxes to abortion. He won’t stand up for our values as Governor, and people in our community won’t fall for his tricks and lies on the campaign trail.”
Now that we’ve finally got him in the hot seat, here are a few things you should to pay special attention to when you watch the debate:
Glenn Youngkin uses not-so-subtle racist dog-whistles to talk about crime. His racism, prejudice, and dangerous bias will be on full display.
Glenn’s strategy to win is to use racially-tinged fear mongering to motivate voters to turn out to vote for him. At the same time, he is willfully blind to the racial and ethnic disparities pervading our communities. Youngkin refuses to engage in reforming a system that has disproportionately targeted and impacted Black and Brown Virginians for centuries, and he’s against banning qualified immunity, which would allow people in our community to hold police accountable for their actions. Strong, safe communities for everyone come as a result of everyone having the resources they need to thrive, not over policing Black and Brown communities. For all of his talk on a safer Virginia, he is actually compromising the safety of our community by using racist dog-whistles to divide our communities and turn us against each other.
Glenn Youngkin wants to tell teachers what they can teach in their classrooms and prevent students from learning our real history.
Glenn Youngkin wants to ban certain subjects in our schools, including the history of slavery and the Civil Rights movement. Every student in Virginia should be able to learn about our history—the good and the bad, and every student should learn about how other people in our country live and have lived. By banning these subjects, Glenn Youngkin would make it harder for our students to learn about and understand other cultures and experiences, something that will hurt all of our students whether they are white, Black, or brown.
Glenn Youngkin may be a businessman, but he certainly doesn’t know how to create jobs or boost the economy.
Virginia has moved from dead last to No. 23 on Oxfam’s Best States to Work Index, all while maintaining its position as the best state to do business. This new ranking is due in part to higher wages to help with the increased cost of living, worker protections to include accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers, and the ability of workers rights to organize. Instead of increasing the policies that have been working for Virginia’s working families, Glenn would try to eliminate the income tax, which would serve only to enrich his network of good ole boys and decimate Virginia’s economy. Schools, safety net programs, and health care access will be massively under-resourced under Youngkin’s plan. We need a new governor to focus on correcting our upside-down tax code and ensuring low and middle income families aren’t paying more than their fair share of taxes.
Glenn Youngkin is dangerously hypocritical when it comes to abortion access.
Glenn Youngkin is desperately hoping that if he just avoids talking about policy, people will think he’s a moderate. But he revealed not only his extreme right-wing views but also that he was willing to lie about his positions to win earlier this summer. Youngkin he was caught on tape saying that he would support a Texas-style ban on abortion in Virginia, but he didn’t want to talk about it because it would cause him to lose the election. The 79% of Virginia voters support abortion access, and they won’t support a candidate who will take away a person’s ability to choose whether, when, and how they will become a parent.