On Monday, far-right radio host Sebastian Gorka received a call from a listener who was upset that Gorka kept bashing Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.
“We need to try to win in Virginia, yet you’re trying to take this guy on and cut his legs out from underneath him,” said the man, who identified himself as “Josh.”
Josh had his talking points about Youngkin down.
“I don’t know if you saw today, but he rolled out a new policy plan called his Day One Game Plan. … He wants to defend, and not defund, police. He wants to invest in our schools, restore excellence in education, cut cost of living,” the caller said. “But what frustrates me is he’s running into headwinds from conservatives like you who want to try to take him down.”
Gorka, previously an official in President Donald Trump’s administration, was suspicious. He accused Josh of working for the campaign.
“I don’t,” Josh replied.
Later, however, Gorka came back and claimed that the number Josh used was actually associated with someone named Devin O’Malley, a spokesperson for Youngkin’s campaign.
“So let’s just be clear here: Glenn Youngkin is hiring people to lie on national radio,” Gorka said.
The Youngkin campaign did not return HuffPost’s request for comment and has so far not commented on Gorka’s allegation.
Watch the full exchange:
Campaigns will often encourage their supporters to call in to radio shows or write letters to the editor to make their voices heard.
But a Democratic campaign strategist not affiliated with the governor’s race said having a staffer call in and impersonate someone else was not common — “exactly because of what happened to Youngkin.”
Youngkin, a former Carlyle Group executive, is running against Democrat Terry McAuliffe to be the next governor of Virginia, where governors are barred from serving consecutive terms. McAuliffe previously held the job from 2014-2018.
Trump has endorsed Youngkin, although he has not yet made an appearance in the state, which he lost by 10 points in the 2020 presidential race. In a state that’s become increasingly Democratic, Youngkin has tried to publicly moderate some of his positions in the general election compared to when he was running for the GOP nomination. He now, for example, acknowledges Joe Biden’s presidential win but was more circumspect about it during the primary.
In June, a liberal activist caught Youngkin on video saying he couldn’t talk about abortion because he didn’t want to alienate independent voters but that he would go “on offense” to fight abortion rights if elected.