TRANSCRIPT: Youngkin Denounces Critical Race Theory, Promises to Restore “Excellence” to Virginia Schools
Last week, Glenn Youngkin, Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia, spoke at our “Rally to Save our Schools” in Loudoun County about the importance of honest, patriotic education and restoring academic excellence to Virginia’s classrooms. We were thrilled to have him present to speak. You can check out the video and full transcript of his remarks below, and can watch the full proceedings here.
“Well, good evening.
I thought two or three people might show up. Exactly.
I want to start by just for a moment, acknowledging what just happened, because when your child stands up in front of a crowd like this and gets to talk about you, it brings tears to your eyes. That’s why we’re all here. We’re all here yes, because we love the Commonwealth of Virginia. We love America, but we’re here because of our children. That’s why we’re here. That’s why you are here. This is why you have stood up here in Loudoun County and absolutely demonstrated what it means to love your children. Boy, I love mine. Suzanne and I have been so blessed. We have four great kids, and every day we thank the Lord for them and we ask him to watch over them. And I know all of you do the same thing.
So we’re here tonight not to talk about Republicans and Democrats, but we’re here tonight as parents, as grandparents, as aunts and uncles, as teachers – those amazing teachers earlier – as students, because we know there’s a better way. We’ve come together to say, we’ve watched what this liberal, left progressive agenda in Richmond is doing to our children. And guess what? We have had enough. That’s why we’re here.
Just recently I met this fabulous young couple and they came to Northern Virginia and they just had their first child. They came here because they thought the schools were great. That’s why they came here. They were sacrificing. They were struggling. They had both had careers. It’s expensive to live here. I know you all know that. And they looked at me and they said, “Glenn, we thought we could send our children to the schools here. But now we know we can’t. It’s too expensive to send them to private school and live. And so we’re going to have to move away.”
I met a dad over the course of the last eight months and I watched this dad stand up in front of the Loudoun County School Board and tell them either do your job or give it up. Raise the bar. And Brandon Michon is my hero. He’s my hero. And I know he’s all yours too.
I’ve met with parents whose children worked so hard to get into TJ [Thomas Jefferson]. And I listened to them and they said, “We’re going to stand up and disagree. We’re going to disagree that a meritocracy is bad.” And in the same breath they said, “but we should support with a program to help children who need to close the gap so they can get into TJ.”
You all have been working hard with no help from your political leaders, none, zero, none. In fact, Terry McAuliffe and his handpicked successor, Ralph Northam, have gone to work against you. And let’s just remind ourselves, they’re not working for you. They work for the education unions. That’s who they work for.
You know, they work for them because they’ve given hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to my opponent’s campaign so that he’ll do what they want. And we’ve been watching it over and over and over again. When our schools were closed unnecessarily for such a long period of time, and our children were suffering all over the Commonwealth of Virginia. We, and I was with, said, we must open our schools five days a week for our kids. Terry McAuliffe, didn’t say a word. Why not? Because the teachers unions told him not to. They told him not to. When he was governor and 88 schools failed to reach their accreditation, rather than do the hard work and fix them, he lowered the standards and not one has failed. Not one. He did the same thing to our children. Today Virginia is ranked 50th, 50th in the standards, in reading and math to progress from one grade to the next.
Winsome talked about the soft bigotry of low expectations, it’s alive and well in Virginia folks. Terry McAuliffe defined a new education philosophy called Every Child Left Behind. This is what he did. And guess what? The teacher’s unions win, Terry McAuliffe wins and our kids lose. The one bill that came to his desk that talked about establishing charter schools, he vetoed, he vetoed. Virginia has eight charter schools today. North Carolina has 190, Maryland has 140. We have eight. There’s no choice in our school districts. None, again, education unions win. Terry wins. Our kids lose, our kids lose. And then Terry McAuliffe’s Board of Educations progress a theory in school called CRT. It came from his administration, 2015 it started, and he had the audacity to say that CRT is a vast right wing conspiracy invented by Donald Trump and Glenn Youngkin. He started it. And here we are today again, with the education unions winning. Terry McAuliffe getting their money and Virginia’s kids losing. Well I’m tired of Virginia’s kids losing. I want Virginia’s kids to win. I want Virginia’s kids to win.
So friends help is coming because we are going to win this fall. Jason Miyares is going to be your next Attorney General and Winsome Sears is going to be your next Lieutenant Governor
And I cannot wait to go work for you. Hear me clearly. I want you to hire me to go work for you. This is not about a house or a title, although my opponent wants it to be, because he’s just looking for a place to hang his hat while he looks for his next job. I’m going to go work for all of you. So when I have the great privilege of working with Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares, and oh, by the way, a new majority in our House of Delegates that we’re going to win.
We’re going to go to work on day one, on January 15th, we are going to swear to the Lord Almighty. We’re going to go to work for you. We’re going to thank him for his providence. We’re going to thank him for his blessing. And then Jason, Winsome and I are going to work.
And just last week, just last week, we laid out our Day One Game Plan. I am no politician, but I know a lot about some things. You cannot have a successful four years unless you have a successful first year and you cannot have a successful first year unless you have a successful day one. So we’re going to go to work on day one. And yes, we’re going to cut the cost of living in Virginia by bringing down the tax burden for all of you, getting rid of the grocery tax, doubling the standard deduction. They’ve been overtaxing us so much. It’s unbelievable.
We’re going to re-establish the safest communities in Virginia, as opposed to having four of our great cities ranked in the top 65 deadliest cities in America. We’ve got to go to work for law enforcement. We’ve got to invest in them. We’ve got to protect qualified immunity.
We on day one, we are going to re-invigorate the job machine in Virginia like you have never seen. We’re going to keep Virginia open. My opponent wants to close it. We’re going to protect our right to work status. My opponent wants to get rid of it. And we have a plan to generate 400,000 jobs over four years to foster 10,000 new businesses and get Virginia moving like she has never moved before.
On day one. We’re going to make government work for you as opposed to telling you what to do every day. And we’re starting, we’re starting with an audit of all the departments of government. And I can’t wait to actually put on the top of the list, the Virginia Employment Commission and the DMV
Friends, there is so much to do, but this last element is the underpinning to it all. We must re-establish expectations of excellence in our schools. We must. We’ve watched our children suffer. We’ve watched families be burdened because our schools aren’t working for us. They’re working for the education unions. So on day one, on day one, we in fact are going to make sure our schools never close again. We in fact are going to re-establish expectations of excellence so that our schools know what they must do to educate our children. So they’re either career ready or they’re college ready? We have to go to work for our kids. We know we have to invest in schools. I will preside over the largest education budget in the history of Virginia. We will raise teacher pay. We will invest in schools and then we will turn around and demand that they perform. That’s what we’ll do.
Parents have been shut out of the education system. No one listens to us anymore. I’ve watched all of you go to work at every one of the board meetings you’ve attended. So on day one, we’re going to start closing the gap on charter schools and choice in Virginia by launching 20 innovative charter schools on day one to give parents a choice, so that a child’s destiny is not dictated by his or her zip code
And by the way, this is just a down payment. It’s a day one down payment to get started. But when you have eight, and your competitors states have 140 and 190, we got a long way to go. So get ready because we’re going to shove this thing into overdrive, and we’re going to give parents choice in Virginia. That’s what we’re going to do.
But it all starts with recognizing that our curriculum has gone haywire. It’s gone haywire. So on day one, we are going to ban teaching critical race theory in our schools. Day one. Day one. Thank you.
Friends. I had an amazing moment, Saturday week ago, Winsome, Jason and I. We were at a place called Historic Holly Knoll. It’s in Gloucester on the York River. This is the place that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went and spent the week before he came to Washington to deliver his I have a dream speech. There’s a big tree on the banks of the York River and a bench underneath it. And I found myself captivated by imagining him sitting on this bench and praying about what he was going to say. And he had a choice. He could talk about division and victimhood and anger, or he could talk about unity and opportunity and calling out the best of us as opposed to the worst of us. And of course he chose the latter. How can we think that teaching our children to judge one another by the content of their skin, as opposed to the content of their character, is anything else but wrong? Anything else but wrong?
We have work to do. We have real work to do, to actually re-establish expectations of excellence in a school systems across Virginia, that used to be known nationally for the best place to send your kids. We’re going to put them right back there. We’re going to put them right back there, but we have work to do, all of us. This isn’t about me. It’s not about Winsome. It’s not about Jason. It’s about all of us. Going to work together.
Now this election starts in nine days, nine. I know you’re pinching yourself saying didn’t we just vote. Nine days. And then we have a 45 day period of early voting. And I need all of you to go to work with us. I need you to volunteer for the campaigns. We need election observers. We need election officials. We need you to train, to actually fulfill needed positions.
We need you to knock doors, write letters, make phone calls, put signs up, but bumper stickers on your car, wear hats. Friends, this is about locking arms and getting this done together, getting it done together as Virginians. Virginians do not settle and we don’t follow. We lead. We stand on the shoulders of giants and here we have a chance to lead again because we cannot forget. Thomas Jefferson wrote our Declaration of Independence and George Washington led us to independence. And James Madison wrote our constitution and Patrick Henry stood up in the midst of immense pressure and said, we will not ratify that constitution without a bill of rights, protecting our rights.George Mason wrote it.
Friends we’ve been leading from the very beginning. Virginia’s history is our nation’s history and our nation’s future will be defined by Virginia’s present and it’s in all our hands. So I ask you, go to work with us, go to work with us, and together we can change the future of this Commonwealth of Virginia. We can change the future of this country. And friends I can’t wait to go work for all of you as the 74th Governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia. God bless you all.”