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Even Before The Debate, Gilmore Throws a Punch

Tim Craig

Former governor James S. Gilmore III, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, is trying to undercut Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner's credibility as the two prepare to face off at their first debate Saturday at The Homestead resort.

Gilmore sent out a statement today reminding reporters that Warner, also a former governor, pledged during his 2001 gubernatorial debate with Republican Mark L. Earley that he would not raise taxes.

Warner, who faced a budget shortfall after he took office in 2002 that he says he inherited from Gilmore, ended up pushing for a $1.4 billion tax increase in 2004. Gilmore, who denies he left Warner a shortfall, sent out video today of Warner's promise not to raise taxes.

"Just remember, when you hear Mark Warner at the debate this weekend, keep in mind, that one thing Virginia's working families have learned about Mark Warner is that where he stood yesterday, or where he stands today, has nothing to do with where he may stand tomorrow," Gilmore's statement says.

Kevin Hall, a Warner spokesman, responded by saying "no one should be surprised that Mr. Gilmore would resort to form with more of the mean-spirited, name-calling for which he is known."

"Governor Warner is eager to contrast a bipartisan record that fixed Mr. Gilmore's fiscal incompetence, saved Virginia's bond rating and set the state on a positive course for the future," Hall added.

By Tim Craig  |  July 17, 2008; 6:51 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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