Glenn Youngkin says he's not running for president 'this year'

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Monday that he wouldn't be running for president "this year," but an aide says he has not closed the door on entering the race altogether.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker at the Milken Institute in Los Angeles, Youngkin offered a simple "no" when asked about running for president.

"I’m going to be working in Virginia this year,” the first-term Republican added.

But an aide to Youngkin later clarified that while the governor's statement ruled out joining the growing Republican field at this point, it did not shut the door on joining the race later. The Youngkin aide noted that the wording of Baker's question was focused on 2023 and said that Youngkin "was answering the question with that in mind."

"This was not an announcement or a definite decline," the aide added.

In his answer to Baker, Youngkin said he was concentrating on the 2023 legislative elections in Virginia.

“I want to hold our House, and I’d like to flip our Senate. And I think we’re doing a really good job in Virginia, and I think this is a chance to bring that to voters," he told Baker, adding that he looked forward to helping those legislators in bringing "common-sense solutions to bear" on difficult problems.

Youngkin achieved national prominence when he won the Virginia gubernatorial race in 2021, offering a path forward for Republicans eager to find a way to win in states that President Joe Biden had captured the year before.

Later Monday, Youngkin spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., about the future of the GOP.

“We don’t have to rely on who yells the loudest to win. You see, we can win with results. And by communicating a message of hope,” he told the crowd.