EXCLUSIVE: Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin released an ad Tuesday that declares “parents still matter” as speculation grows over whether he’s readying a 2024 presidential run.
The ad released by Youngkin’s state super PAC Spirit of Virginia highlights multiple comments by Democrats that denigrate Virginia parents and their role in the public education system.
It’s part of a “six-figure” ad buy that will run for the next six weeks in battleground districts in Virginia across streaming platforms and devices, including YouTube, the PAC told Fox News Digital.
“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” former Democrat Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said during the state’s 2021 gubernatorial election.
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“Terry McAuliffe and Democrats’ war on parents continues. Parents still matter,” a narrator says in the ad.
Youngkin’s ad Tuesday highlighted hot mic comments made last month by two Virginia Democrats, state Sen. Monty Mason and state Del. Shelly Simonds, who mocked parental rights as “garbage,” “crap” and “stupid.”
Focusing on education and parental rights worked for Youngkin once before during the 2021 election, when he delivered a stunning Democratic Party defeat against the teacher union-backed McAuliffe after making the issue the central tenet of his campaign.
“The parental rights movement began in Virginia, and it’s not going anywhere,” Dave Rexrode, the PAC’s chairman and a senior Youngkin adviser, told Fox News Digital. “Gov. Youngkin has made it clear parents matter – the commonwealth can come together by promoting excellence in education and commonsense solutions to all the challenges we face.”
Speculation has been swirling over Youngkin’s political ambitions ahead of the 2024 presidential election, and his political team has yet to publicly rule it out. A recent poll showed the governor’s approval rating at 56%, compared to 32% who disapprove.
Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC released a video Thursday that featured clips from his speech at George Mason University’s graduation ceremony that further fueled the speculation.
Asked if Youngkin is planning a presidential run, Rexrode told Fox News Digital that the governor is “100 percent focused on Virginia, as he’s repeatedly made clear.”
“This was a video highlighting his remarks at the Reagan Library recently, where the governor spoke about how Virginia was one of the bright lights of our nation’s future,” Rexrode said.