SHAWNEE, Ks. – Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin appeared at a packed campaign rally in Shawnee Thursday to support Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in his gubernatorial run.
“We need a new governor,” Schmidt, a Republican, said to thundering applause from the packed room at Hayward’s Pit Bar-B-Que. “I am running for governor because I understand, as I know all of you do, that Kansas can do so much better. But the first step in doing better is we must have a new governor who can actually lead this state effectively.”
Schmidt opened his speech on the nation’s economy and skyrocketing everyday costs, saying Kansans are barely getting by “because Joe Biden’s inflation is crushing families and small businesses all over the state.”
“I cannot tell you how many Kansans I’ve listened to who have said, ‘Derek, we are normally comfortable in our family financially, but right now I am worried. I am worried because the cost of my food and groceries are too high. I’m worried because the cost of my gasoline is too high.’”
Indeed, earlier this month the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the food at home index rose 13.5% over the past 12 months, “the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1979,” the report said. Last week, two top economists from the Clinton and Obama administrations pointed to the bureau’s latest economic data and noted the U.S. “has a serious inflation problem.”
What’s more, the federal reserve announced yet another interest rate hike just this week, and economists point to factors such as rampant federal deficit spending as major contributors.
“The truth of the matter is, Gov. Laura Kelly’s policies have made things worse,” Schmidt said. “At the end of the day, we have a governor who has vetoed some 20 different tax cuts, including vetoing relief on the grocery tax. This is a governor who, back in 2010 when she was in the state Senate, actually voted for the biggest increase in the grocery tax in the history of the state.
“You don’t get credit for solving a problem you created.”
The room erupted with applause.
“Isn’t it time you look at what Laura Kelly and Joe Biden believe?” Youngkin chimed in. “They believe that you can just print money and watch inflation go up. Where gas is all of a sudden beyond your reach, where your utility bills keep skyrocketing, where groceries all of a sudden make you catch your breath and you have to buy less – that’s the Laura Kelly, Joe Biden economy.”
With Youngkin spotlighting education as a top issue in his successful 2021 campaign for Virginia governor in which he upset former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, it’s no surprise that was the next topic of discussion for the Republican duo.
“It doesn’t do any good to fully fund your schools if you then turn around and lock the children out of them,” Schmidt said, speaking of Kelly’s decision to make Kansas one of the first states in the nation to completely shut down in-person learning in March of 2020.
“My friends, when this governor calls herself the ‘education governor,’ I want you to ask yourself, ‘Does the education governor really lock kids out of school for an extended period?’”
The crowd responded with what seemed like more “Boo’s” than you’d hear at Arrowhead Stadium after an incorrect call against the Chiefs.
“There are about 15,000 fewer kids in our public school system today in Kansas than there were four years ago, in large part because a lot of parents and families said, ‘We are going to do better, and if you’re not going to do it with us, we’re going to do it on our own,” Schmidt said.
“Kick parents out of schools, call them terrorists, make sure they don’t have a role in their children’s lives to make the most important decisions that the child can make,” Youngkin continued. “Insert politicians and bureaucrats between parents and their children. That’s the America they want. That is not the America we will have.”
Event organizers said over 400 tickets were sold to the event, and each ticket holder had eyes dead set on Youngkin as he wrapped up the rally with a call to action.
“We are on the right side of every issue. We are the party that believes in low taxes, small government and American-made products. We are on the team that understands that our children need to be taught how to think, not what to think. We are on the team that understands that parents matter.
“Right now is the time. The headwater that started in Virginia – this red wave – is now coming through Kansas. It’s your time to pick up a surfboard. It’s your time to do the work. It’s your time to elect Derek Schmidt as your next governor.”
Schmidt’s running mate vying for Kansas lieutenant governor is Katie Sawyer. The pair will face off against Democrat incumbents Gov. Kelly and Lt. Gov. David Toland on Nov. 8.