On November 2 of last year, voters headed to the ballot box to cast their votes for Virginia's Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin or his Democratic opponent, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. That day, Youngkin's 17 year old son made two attempts to vote—despite not being eligible—in the election his father would eventually win.
Citing the Republican party's embrace of voter suppression laws under the guise of "election security," Democrats condemned the attempt as an example of hypocrisy.
Youngkin's team responded in a statement:
“It’s unfortunate that while Glenn attempts to unite the commonwealth around his positive message of better schools, safer streets, a lower cost of living and more jobs, his political opponents – mad that they suffered historic losses this year – are pitching opposition research on a 17-year-old kid.”
Despite Youngkin's spokespeople emphasizing his son's age in response to a report that didn't disclose the son's name, it turns out the governor's allies aren't above launching attacks on minors even outside of campaign season.
On Sunday, 17 year old Democratic activist Ethan Lynne tweeted a report in the latest development of Youngkin's ongoing attacks on so-called critical race theory.
NEW: The historian tasked with teaching about slavery at the Virginia Governors Mansion just resigned after finding the Youngkins converted her classroom into a family room - and emptied her office. Shameful.
— Ethan Lynne (@ethanclynne) February 5, 2022
In a now-deleted tweet, Youngkin's campaign responded with a photo of Lynne with Virginia's Democratic former Governor Ralph Northam, who was embroiled in scandal after an old yearbook photo of him posing in blackface resurfaced.
A spokesman for the strategy group that managed Youngkin's campaign told VPM reporter Ben Paviour that the tweet was removed after the team learned Lynne is a minor, and emphasized that the governor did not know of, sign off on, or vet the tweet.
Lynne said in a statement:
“It is disgusting, disturbing, and unbecoming of the Commonwealth to see the Governor and his office stoop to this low, especially on a public platform. They've deleted it, but I have received no communication from the Governor's office."
After 36 hours of silence, the governor finally addressed the matter.
On Saturday night, an unauthorized tweet came from a campaign account. I regret that this happened and it shouldn’t have. I have addressed it with my team. We must continue to work to bring Virginians together. There is so much more that unites us than divides us.
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) February 7, 2022
Lynne soon responded, noting the statement didn't contain an apology, nor did it specifically condemn what happened.
While he acknowledged the situation, Governor Youngkin did not apologize and did not condemn what happened over the weekend. I still hope he does, and that he will take time to recognize the culture of toxicity he has created within his first month of office. https://t.co/hpd8nJFXxQ
— Ethan Lynne (@ethanclynne) February 7, 2022
Social media users agreed.
That's still not an apology... https://t.co/xN1v3lKDDH
— Jimmie Lee Jarvis (@JLJLovesRVA) February 7, 2022
Here's the "Party of personal responsibility":
1) Refuse to take responsibility for publicly cyber bullying a minor
2) Delete the tweet, but lie that the minor was a Democrat employee
3) Refuse to apologize no matter what
"I can't believe what you say because I see what you do." https://t.co/nOmYoRNzRD
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) February 7, 2022
“I’m sorry @ethanclynne!” There @GlennYoungkin I fixed it for you. https://t.co/tQSqtzIvd4
— Joshua Cole (@JoshuaCole) February 7, 2022
Just apologize to the young man attacked. You hired someone who attacked a teenager in public forum. No one cares about your internal staff process. Just apologize to the high school student. @GlennYoungkin https://t.co/V7T8E1RBcy
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) February 7, 2022
When given the chance to apologize for cyber bullying a child, @GovernorVA refuses to apologize and instead blames staff. https://t.co/CInW00GTnn
— Delegate Mike Mullin (@mikemullin4VA) February 7, 2022
They pressed him on whether or not he's reached out to Lynne to apologize.
Did you at least call and apologize to the high school student?! https://t.co/IseKwpRKYA
— Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair (@harrisonjaime) February 7, 2022
So call the kid and apologize @GlennYoungkin? https://t.co/o0YhBVZjyW
— Jonathan Franks (@jonfranks) February 7, 2022
Have you apologized to the High School student?? https://t.co/aomLMl3Ed7
— Karen Wilson (@kazziefwil) February 7, 2022
The governor's statement doesn't appear to be the last word on the developing situation.