'Trump light' — but 'shun the T-word': Here’s the 5-point framework Glenn Youngkin created for GOP candidates

'Trump light' — but 'shun the T-word': Here’s the 5-point framework Glenn Youngkin created for GOP candidates
Glenn Youngkin from Virginia, United States / Wikimedia Commons

Newly-elected Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has developed a five-step framework for Republican candidates facing aggressive races in the post-Trump era. According to Axios, Youngkin's new "Trump Light" template includes a number of tactics he used to clinch his victory.

1. Deploy strategic tactics commonly used by former President Donald Trump.

Youngkin and his campaign team excelled at using the words of former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) against him. Axios highlighted McAuliffe's recent remarks about the removal of certain books from schools. Although there was more context to McAuliffe's words, Youngkin's campaign chose to place an emphasis one one particular part.

"I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," McAuliffe said in the clip.

Axios noted: "That sentence, part of an answer about removing books from schools, is less controversial when you watch the whole clip" However, top Democrats said McAuliffe was "too slow to clean it up" and offer clarity; a blunder that worked in Youngkin's territory.

2. Subtly embrace Trump — but with caution.

It's no secret that Trump supporters tend to gravitate toward Republican candidates who embrace the former president. However, some Republicans aren't as eager to support Trump's radicalized political ideologies. So, to bridge the gap and appeal to a larger Republican base, Youngkin's team took a novel approach, according to Peggy Noonan's Wall Street Journal column: "Don't insult Donald Trump but do everything to keep him away."

Axios notes that "Youngkin nailed this. He shunned the T-word, pro or con."

3. Flip the script on your liberal opponent.

Since President Joe Biden and Democratic lawmakers control both chambers of Congress, Youngkin was able to exacerbate culture wars and scrutinize Democratic lawmakers' words and actions to make his own agenda seem more favorable. Youngkin managed to hone in on words and actions that made his opponent look like far more of an extremist than the real extremists within his party. "Youngkin found fertile ground in culture wars — mask requirements, transgender bathrooms and teaching on race — unfolding in Loudoun County, the exurban bellwether beyond D.C.'s Beltway," Axios reported.

4. Leverage political power in your favor.

Having a government fully controlled by Democratic lawmakers also helped Youngkin to create a narrative suggesting lawmakers have gone "too far left."

5. Don't go off the deep end with the delusional rhetoric.

Unlike Trump, Youngkin made it a point not to go off the deep end by saying things that would be offensive to independent voters and women the — type of voters he needed to sway the election.


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