Pence appearance in Virginia not tied to Youngkin, campaign insists – Fox News

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s address in Loudoun County, Va., is not tied to the campaign of Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.

Pence is set to deliver remarks in Loudon County Thursday focused on “educational freedom,” a topic that has been largely defined Virginia’s race for governor. But a Youngkin campaign spokesperson told Fox News that the former vice president’s event in the state is not related to their campaign.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at an event hosted by The Family Leader Foundation Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at an event hosted by The Family Leader Foundation Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Youngkin campaign’s distancing from Pence comes as Democratic Virginia gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe has repeatedly attempted to tie his Republican opponent to former President Donald Trump, going so far as to release an ad that compared Youngkin’s and Trump’s stances on pandemic restrictions.

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Youngkin has at times distanced himself from the former president, saying during a debate last month that the results of the 2020 presidential election were “certifiably fair” and contained no “material fraud.”

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin gestures a he talks with supporters during a rally in Culpeper, Va., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Youngkin faces former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the November election. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin gestures a he talks with supporters during a rally in Culpeper, Va., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Youngkin faces former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the November election. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP )

But Youngkin has also called for an audit of voting machines used during the 2020 election, while Trump has endorsed his bid to lead the state.

Pence’s educational freedom speech will take place less than a week before the gubernatorial election, in a county that has become one of the epicenters of protests against schools boards on issues such as critical race theory, COVID-19 restrictions, and transgender policies.

Pence has been a vocal critic of critical race theory in the past, earlier this year comparing it to “state-sanctioned racism.”

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Candidate for Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe speaks during his campaign rally in Dumfries, Virginia October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Candidate for Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe speaks during his campaign rally in Dumfries, Virginia October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Reuters)

“Critical race theory teaches children as young as kindergarten to be ashamed of their skin color. It represents a full-throated assault aimed at the heart of the American experiment,” Pence said during an event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

“It is nothing short of state-sponsored and state-sanctioned racism. Our party must ensure that critical race theory is expelled from our schools, our military, and our public institutions,” he added.