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Virginia Governor Youngkin “humbled“ by talk of possible presidential run


Glenn Youngkin, the governor of the U.S. state of Virginia speaks to the press in Taipei, Taiwan April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Ann Wang

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin did not rule out a run for president in 2024, saying on Thursday that he was “humbled” by the question of whether he would seek the Republican nomination.

“I am humbled by your question to think that you would ask it of me when 40 years ago I was washing dishes and taking out trash at the diner in Virginia Beach where I grew up,” Youngkin said when asked if he would be a candidate at a press briefing in Tokyo hosted by U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel.

Youngkin was in Japan as part of an Asian trip, including stops in Taiwan and South Korea, to promote his state. In Tokyo, he met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who on Monday sat down with would-be presidential candidate Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis.

“This trip is solely focused on progressing Virginia’s economic relationships. I have often reminded everyone that the election is a long way off,” Youngkin added.

In contrast to Youngkin, who coordinated his trip with U.S. embassy officials, DeSantis did not appear in public with Emanuel, a former chief of staff to President Barack Obama and one-time mayor of Chicago picked by President Joe Biden to manage Washington’s relationship with its key Asian ally.

Biden, 80, on Tuesday said he will seek re-election in 2024 in a contest that could once again pit him against leading Republican candidate former President Donald Trump. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Monday, 44% of Democrats said Biden was too old to run.

Reuters/Ipsos polling also indicated that DeSantis had won some Republican backing for his clash with Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) but that in doing so he risked turning off a swathe of American voters uncomfortable with companies being targeted for their political or cultural positions.

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