Former President Donald Trump said he deserved credit for Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia governor election, telling The John Fredericks Show on Wednesday that the candidate would have lost by a sizeable margin if he had not endorsed him.
“I’ve heard Virginia is blue, but I’ve never believed it was blue,” Trump said during the radio interview. “Without MAGA he would have lost by 15 points, more … instead of giving us credit they start saying, ‘oh he’s more popular than [Trump].'”
Trump also sent out a statement, saying “I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin. Without you, he would not have been close to winning. The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before.”
The former president also repeated his claims that he did not lose Virginia in last year’s presidential election.
“I don’t believe we lost Virginia [in 2020] and I think they tried to get away with murder in Fairfax [on Tuesday],” Trump said, “but there were too many eyes on it,” so they had to give up on the attempts to cheat.
Youngkin defeated the Democrat candidate, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in large part due to a significant increase in backing from suburban voters and higher margins of victory in rural areas that Trump won during last year’s presidential contest, despite losing the state as a whole by 10 points, according to The Hill.
Although Trump did endorse Youngkin, who said he was “honored” by the former president’s support, Trump never campaigned in person with Youngkin and the Republican candidate focused his campaign significantly on local issues in Virginia such as education and lowering taxes.
Rep. Jim Banks, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a coalition of conservative House members, sent a note to his colleagues on Tuesday saying that Youngkin’s campaign strategy should become a model for the GOP to use in gearing up for the midterm elections next year, The Hill reported.
“Parents brought real energy in Virginia, and we would be wise to listen and seek to understand their concerns,” Banks wrote. “Those concerns cannot be addressed only with policies we traditionally associate with ‘education.'”