Birds of a feather flock together
11/10/2022, 6 p.m.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s true beliefs and positions are infamously hard to pin down. After all, Gov. Youngkin’s ability to say one thing while dog-whistling another is what got him elected governor of Virginia. For those of us interested in uncovering what Gov. Youngkin really stands for, this means we must look to the people with whom he chooses to endorse.
Last month, while I was leading the House Democrats in a special legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly, Gov. Youngkin was in Maine headlining a campaign event for Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage.
Unlike Gov. Youngkin, who never held any type of elected office before running for governor last year, Mr. LePage has already served as governor of Maine from 2011 to 2019. As a result, there is more than enough evidence from his time in office to tell us exactly who Mr. LePage is: An unabashed racist whose record should discredit anyone who chooses to support him, our governor included.
In 2016, Mr. LePage blamed Maine’s opioid epidemic on “guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” who “come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.”
When criticized for his remarks, Mr. LePage doubled down, saying: “Let me tell you something: Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers. You ought to look into that.”
At a later press conference, his baseless bile turned into a call to action: “When you go to war... the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, then you shoot at red,” he said. “You shoot at the enemy ... and the enemy right now ... are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”
In 2011, after refusing to attend any Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, Mr. LePage told the Maine NAACP to “kiss my butt.” In 2014, he blamed “illegals” for high HIV rates.
In 2017, after publicly questioning U.S. Representative John Lewis’ knowledge of African-American history, Mr. LePage said, “The NAACP should apologize to the white people, to the people from the North for fighting their battle.”
Gov. Youngkin’s presidential political ambitions have led him to deviate from the Christian values that he once espoused. He wants to maintain the support of Qanon conspiracy theorists and Jan. 6 insurrectionists without taking on the labels himself. But Gov. Youngkin shows us who he really is through the people he is willing to fundraise and campaign for, people like Mr. Lepage. The governor’s endorsement and financial support of Mr. LePage reveal his own values are aligned with that candidate’s hateful rhetoric.
DELEGATE DON SCOTT
The writer is the Virginia House Democratic Leader.