Trump says he will visit Arlington in heated Va. governor race

The Virginia governor’s race is in its final stretch and national political figures are weighing in. After President Joe Biden stumped for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe in Arlington on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump said he is planning a visit to Northern Virginia.

During the McAuliffe rally, Biden was heckled as he took the stage. Many protesters chanted “We love Trump” and “Lyin’ Biden.” The president’s supporters chanted back “We Love Joe.”

The chants grabbed the attention of Trump, who hasn’t visited the Northern Virginia county since Election Day in 2020. In a statement, Trump said, “Chanting, ‘We love Trump’ in Arlington, Va. Thank you, Arlington, see you soon!”

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said the former president will be back in Virginia and details will be released when appropriate.

It is unclear when Trump will visit, but privately, the Youngkin campaign indicated that Trump would not be campaigning in Virginia before Election Day.

During Biden’s speech earlier this week in Arlington, Biden repeatedly tied Republican gubernatorial candidate Youngkin to Trump.

“How well do you know Terry’s opponent? Well, just remember this. I ran against Donald Trump and Terry is running against an acolyte of Donald Trump. Terry’s opponent doesn’t like to talk about how, very much now — but to win the Republican nomination, he embraced Donald Trump.”

Youngkin has not commented on whether he will appear at a rally with Trump. But he has been reticent to campaign with any politician from outside the state.

A rally held earlier this month that featured former Trump presidential adviser Steve Bannon and a call-in from Trump himself was not attended by Youngkin. He also said it was “weird and wrong” for attendees at that rally to pledge allegiance to a flag said to have been flown at a rally just before the Capitol riot in January.

McAuliffe has repeatedly tied Youngkin to Trump, including in a recent tweet after Trump announced he would make the Virginia visit.

Recent polls have McAuliffe and Youngkin in a tight race. Polls from Emerson and Monmouth have the two at a tie while most others have the difference by less than a percentage point, a far cry from when Biden, a Democrat, dominated the state by 10 percentage points over Trump.

McAuliffe’s team privately points to the drag of Biden’s weakened standing among Virginia voters, a shift that began in August after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. That exacerbated traditional headwinds for candidates whose party occupies the White House. In 2013, McAuliffe himself became the first Virginia candidate in 40 years to win the governor’s office while his party was in power.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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