Va. GOP gubernatorial candidate Youngkin says it’s ‘weird and wrong’ to pledge allegiance to 1/6 flag

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin has pushed back on the pledging of allegiance to a flag that was carried during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building during a rally this week that was held in support of his candidacy but was not associated with him or his campaign.

The rally was hosted by Steve Bannon and featured a telephone call-in from former President Donald Trump, whom Bannon worked for early in Trump’s term. During the event, attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag “that was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6.”

Youngkin was asked about the rally on Thursday, after which he released a statement critical of the pledge.

“While I had no role in last night’s event, I have heard about it from many people in the media today,” he said. “It is weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to January 6. As I have said many times before, the violence that occurred on January 6 was sickening and wrong.”

Last month in an interview with Axios, Youngkin made it clear he took a dim view of those who staged the Capitol riot.

“With regard to January 6, there is no room for violence in America. None. Absolutely not. And therefore, I think there’s just no room for it. We must condemn it every day of the week,” he said.

“Just like I don’t blame Kamala Harris for the fact that somebody who she helped to get out on parole from the riots after the George Floyd incident then turned around and murdered somebody, I don’t blame her for that. And I don’t blame Bernie Sanders for the fact that a guy showed up at a baseball field and tried to shoot and kill a whole bunch of Republican congressmen, I think there’s no place for violence. None,” he added.

In his Thursday statement, Youngkin, who is polling neck-and-neck with Democratic opponent and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, also said his campaign message is one of unity.

“My campaign isn’t about the past, it is about the future and bringing everyone – Republicans, Independents, and Democrats – together around my vision for a Virginia that is safer, stronger, and less divisive, with the best schools and the best law enforcement and the best economy,” he noted, going on to take aim at his opponent.

“McAuliffe wants to talk about the past because he sees this race is slipping away from him and he will say anything to try to get elected. That’s all he can do because he doesn’t have a positive vision for Virginia,” Youngkin, a businessman and former basketball player at Rice University, added.

He took the same tone with McAuliffe, whose Democratic political activism dates back to the Clinton administration, in his Axios interview.

“Here’s a guy, Terry McAuliffe, who literally the entire time during the nominating period said he was going to reform qualified immunity,” Youngkin said, regarding the Democrat’s view on law enforcement.

“He’s taken endorsements from organizations that want to defund police-enclosed prisons, they were out door-knocking for him two days ago, the New Virginia Majority. He’s been vocal about it. Then he saw that I’m winning all the law enforcement endorsements because I’m standing up for law enforcement because we have, we have to invest in law enforcement so that we can…curtail this murder problem we have in Virginia right now. And what does he do? He stands up in front of law enforcers, ‘Well, maybe I’ll support qualified immunity,” said Youngking.

“This is, this is what politicians do. They don’t lead, and that’s what we’ve seen from Joe Biden.”

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