Youngkin declines to say if he will run for president: ‘2024 is a long way away’

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Sunday declined to indicate if he will mount a White House bid in 2024 as his national profile grows.

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” co-anchor Jake Tapper asked Youngkin about his presidential aspirations after the two discussed his out-of-state appearances at campaign events in the days leading up to the midterm elections.

“I am so focused right now on being the best governor in Virginia that I can possibly be,” Youngkin said. “We’ve got a lot to do. There’s real challenges. We’ve made huge progress, real challenges.”

Youngkin has become a rising star in the GOP after he flipped Virginia’s governorship red in 2021, campaigning on issues like parents’ role in education and slashing taxes.

Republican candidates running in November’s midterm elections have since kept Youngkin in demand, traveling to states like Georgia and Nevada in addition to making the rounds with GOP mega-donors.

“I am focused on getting some Republican congressional candidates elected in Virginia and some governors elected around the nation,” Youngkin said on CNN. “2024 is a long way away. And I’m really humbled by the speculation, but right now I’m very focused on Virginia.”

Youngkin is expected to stump for Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake later this month in her closely watched race.

Tapper questioned the Virginia Republican on why he would stump for Lake given her endorsement of former President Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, but Youngkin pushed back on the CNN anchor.

“This is not about Jan. 6, right?” Youngkin responded. “Jan. 6 was an abomination. And in fact, anybody who committed violence on Jan. 6 and broke the law should be held fully accountable. This is about making sure that we understand that there is distrust in the election process.”

Tapper also played a clip of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) complementing Youngkin’s performance as governor while also criticizing his support of Lake.

Cheney has drawn the ire of Trump and his allies in the GOP for impeaching the former president following Jan. 6 and serving as vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack. Cheney lost her primary to the Trump-backed candidate 0Harriet Hageman in August.

“What I found in Virginia was that we could bring together forever Trumpers and never Trump errs, and libertarians and Tea Party members, and oh, by the way, lots of independents and lots of Democrats,” Youngkin said of Cheney’s criticism.

“And I think that the Republican Party has to be a party where we are not shunning people and excluding them, because we don’t agree on everything,” he added.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.