Former President Donald Trump said in a statement Monday that he and Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee in Virginia’s governor’s race, “get along very well together and strongly believe in many of the same policies.”
Trump’s statement, the day before the election, urged his supporters to “get out and vote” for Youngkin.
It comes after Youngkin told reporters this weekend that he did not plan to participate in a tele-rally with the former President on Monday night.
Trump was set to call into the tele-rally backing the Virginia Republican ticket at 8 p.m., John Fredericks, a talk show host who chaired Trump’s presidential campaigns in Virginia, said Monday.
Youngkin’s Democratic opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, has spent months attempting to latch Youngkin to Trump – characterizing the former chief executive of The Carlyle Group as a continuation of Trump’s policies and approach to politics. In his final campaign rally Monday night, the Democrat even said his opponent was “doing an event” with the former President. A Youngkin aide confirmed to CNN that the Republican nominee did not call into Trump’s tele-rally.
Youngkin has in the past embraced Trump, but on the campaign trail, he keeps his distance. At rallies, Youngkin never uses the former President’s name. He focuses more narrowly on state issues – particularly education, taxes and the economy – while McAuliffe has sought to nationalize the race.
McAuliffe said Sunday that Trump would use a Republican win in Virginia as a launchpad for another run for president in 2024, though there is no indication Trump would do so.
“Trump wants to win here so he can announce for president for 2024. That’s the stakes of this election. He’s trying to get himself off the map,” McAuliffe told volunteers that were about to door-knock in Manassas, Virginia, on Sunday. “He wants to win here Tuesday and Wednesday, Donald Trump announces he running in 2024. Are we going to allow that to go on?”
Though he mostly sticks to his talking points, Youngkin has also at times alluded to the national stakes of the contest.
“This is a moment for Virginians to push back on this left, liberal, progressive agenda and take our commonwealth back,” Youngkin said Monday in Richmond.
Trump is injecting himself into the race despite Youngkin’s effort to localize it, positioning himself to take credit if Youngkin wins.
He also lambasted the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group led by Republican operatives that said in a recent television ad that “Youngkin has banned you from coming to Virginia,” and that Youngkin was “embarrassed” of Trump. He referred to the group as “perverts,” a reference to a co-founder being accused of sexual misconduct.
“The Fake News media, together with some of the perverts doing ads ad nauseam on primarily Fox (Fox shouldn’t take those ads!), are trying to create an impression that Glenn Youngkin and I are at odds and don’t like each other. Importantly, this is not true, we get along very well together and strongly believe in many of the same policies,” Trump said in his Monday morning statement.
Trump said his base should “flood the system and get out and vote” Tuesday, even though he said he is “not a believer in the integrity of Virginia’s elections.”
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN’s Dan Merica and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.