Youngkin says upcoming Taiwan trip not a sign he's moving closer toward 2024 presidential run

'My sole purpose is to represent Virginia,' popular governor says.

Published: April 6, 2023 11:49pm

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin says his upcoming trip to Taiwan is not a sign that he's closer to running for president in 2024.

Youngkin is leading a delegation in April to Tapei City, Taiwan, Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea.

"No, my sole purpose is to represent Virginia and to make sure that these investments that are being made in America by these trusted partners can come to Virginia," he said after giving out a "Spirit of Virginia" award to Cameron's Coffee and Cupcakes in Fairfax on Thursday.

"You know, one of the realities is that Virginia is one of the best states in America, I plan on making it the best and I'm so encouraged that heads of countries want to meet with me, and to recognize the fact that as the governor of Virginia, I want to go make sure they know the benefits of the best workforce, the best infrastructure, the best economy, the best place to serve the rest of America, and the best place to live in," he added.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and a bipartisan group of lawmakers met with the president of Taiwan on Wednesday in California, despite opposition from China. Youngkin was asked if he's surprised President Joe Biden hasn't visited Taiwan as the country continues to face threats from China.

"Well, I haven't tracked the president's movements, honestly," he told Just the News. "What I do know is that the massive foreign investment that Taiwan is making in the United States is one that I want to attract to Virginia. And I think the best way in order to attract investment is to go see the investor and make our case and I'm really excited about the opportunity to do that."

Youngkin was also asked for his reaction to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voting to give themselves and their chairman up to 40% salary increases while residents are grappling with inflation and facing higher tax bills.

"I think one of the biggest challenges in the Commonwealth today is the cost of living for all Virginians, and that's why I'm so focused on reducing taxes and making housing more affordable and attainable and it really starts with the cost of government," he said.

"And that's why the efficiencies that we're driving in government, the efficiencies we're bringing to regulation, the fact that we're looking for ways to spend less and yet deliver more, and I just encourage all of our local governments to do the same. I believe you lead by doing and I think it's also one of the reasons why Virginians expressed that they trust us and we're leading by doing and delivering results, and I would ask all localities to think the same way," he added.

Youngkin, whose surprising win in the 2021 election gave rise to a national parents rights movement, has grown in popularity during his first 15 months in office. A poll last month showed his approval rating was at 57%.

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