Wash Post: Murdoch Urging Va. Gov. Youngkin to Run for President

Wash Post: Murdoch Urging Va. Gov. Youngkin to Run for President

Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin was the apple of the Republican’s eye when he won over Democrats in the state neighboring Washington, D.C., and now he appears to have the eye of Fox Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch had been urging Youngkin to run for president in a pair of in-person meetings earlier this year and is picking up the politicking as his Fox News network has been covering Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis more harshly, sources told The Washington Post.

Youngkin has not ruled out a potential run for president in a crowded GOP field that is failing to cut into former President Donald Trump’s rock-solid base, but he has been waiting to get through this year and important November state elections that will decide the balance of power in his state of Virginia.

Youngkin is a businessman who rose to governor on the back of the political battle lines of parental sway in public education coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Virginia’s getting attention because parents still matter and Gov. Youngkin’s commonsense conservative leadership is working,” Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC Chair Dave Rexrode told the Post in a statement.

“There’s more to do, so the governor’s not taking his eye off Virginia. These races are too important.”

That statement did not say no, and neither Youngkin’s campaign nor Fox responded to the Post’s request for comment, leaving the door swinging open.

Murdoch’s past urgings of big-dollar candidates has not gone well. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bombed in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary, wasting hundreds of millions for little support and an early exit.

“Not everyone listens to Rupert, and Rupert’s instincts are not always perfect, but he has always believed that some competition is better than none at all, and he would like to see some debate about the issues in the primary,” according to one of the Post sources.

Recent polling for Youngkin makes him a strong favorite in a hypothetical matchup versus President Joe Biden, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University survey. Youngkin beats Biden by 7 points in the once-blue Virginia (44%-37%).

Youngkin has personal wealth – Forbes once estimated him to be worth $470 million – and ties to the donor class, potentially making him a well-funded challenger to Trump, who is going to be forced into complex litigation and trials on four separate indictments by Biden’s Justice Department.

While Youngkin wants to wait until the November state elections, there are deadlines to enter early primary states that come before that: Nevada on Oct. 15 and South Carolina on Oct. 31.

Asked whether he is going to be campaigning for president this year, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said no.

“I’m going to be working in Virginia this year,” Youngkin coyly responded in May.

Speculation about a presidential run has followed the former private equity executive ever since his 2021 election, which made him the first Republican elected to lead blue-trending Virginia in over a decade. But Youngkin has long redirected those questions, focusing instead on November’s legislative elections, when all 140 state General Assembly seats will be on the ballot.

“What I’ve been very clear with from the very beginning is how humbling it is for my name to be in this,” Youngkin said earlier this year, adding him wants to “demonstrate that conservative commonsense leadership can in fact win in a purple state.”

Strategists have said that being a Republican who can win in Democrat-favored areas could set Youngkin apart from other GOP contenders like Trump, who is running again, or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to enter the presidential race soon. DeSantis’ election strength has thus far been tested only in his Republican-favored Florida, while Trump lost the 2020 national election and endorsed a string of 2022 candidates who lost their midterm races.

Youngkin, who cannot seek a second consecutive term as governor, theoretically could run for president in 2024 once Virginia’s 2023 elections are over, but the ability for any candidate to put together a successful campaign later this year or early next year would be extremely difficult. That is true even for a candidate like Youngkin, who has dabbled in cross-country campaigning and can tap into his own personal fortune and lists of wealthy donors.

There is no filing deadline for Republican candidates to win support in Iowa’s caucuses, the first-in-the-nation contest set for early February, but candidates typically need to start this year to secure support. Trump, who announced his campaign in late 2022, is using data from past campaigns to lock in his most loyal supporters — an obstacle for later entrants.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Eric Mack ✉

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016, starting on the first night of the Republican National Convention. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.


© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Originally Posted on: https://www.newsmax.com/politics/glenn-youngkin-president-rupert-murdoch/2023/08/19/id/1131299
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