Thursday, January 15, 2009

Former DNC Chair, Terry McAuliffe Holds Town Hall Meeting

Terry McAuliffe, a McLean resident, is one of three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Virginia. McAuliffe, who served as Democratic National Committee Chair from 2001 to 2005, is challenging Senator Creigh Deeds of Bath County and Delegate Brian Moran of Alexandria for the party’s nomination in a June primary. Virginia’s Attorney General, Bob McConnell, is unopposed for the Republican nomination for Governor. VIDEO AT RIGHT ->

On hand was Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, a Democratic strategist who was instrumental in helping Mark Warner garner the Southwest Virginia vote when Warner ran for governor. Saunders said Thursday that he “likes Terry and has been friends with him for a long time.” During the question and answer period Saunders asked McAuliffe, “do you like to hunt?” To which McAuliffe replied, “I love to hunt. I am a big supporter of the second amendment rights.” Saunders said, “that’s all I wanted to know.”

Virginia Democratic Party Chair, Richard “Dickie” Cranwell, was noncommittal when asked whether he would endorse McAuliffe or any of the Democrats vying for the nomination. State Senator, John Edwards, spoke highly of McAuliffe though he was not endorsing any candidate yet.

McAuliffe had one word for Virginians at Thursday’s town hall meeting at the Claude Moore Education Complex – JOBS. He said, “job creation is something I’ve done my whole life.” According to McAuliffe his first job was at age 14 when caddying for a golf course making only $8 for 5 hours of work. Besides his business savvy McAuliffe was instrumental in fundraising for the Democratic Party.

On education McAuliffe said, “it was a disgrace that we [Virginia] don’t pay our teachers the national average.” On the subject of business using his past experience as a model he asserted that, “you negotiate a deal that makes you money.” Referring to the excessive amount of time it takes to call the General Assembly back into session to fund a project McAuliffe expressed frustration saying, “by the time I get them back they’ve [business opportunity] gone to North Carolina or Georgia.”

When questioned following the town hall meeting on what he offers in contrast to the other Democratic candidates McAuliffe not hesitating said he is “offering something different.” McAuliffe believes that Virginians will want someone with business experience to come in who can “generate economic activity.” When asked if he had any endorsements yet he said “you bet” and “we’ll be rolling them out soon.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: State Politics, Video

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