Congressmen Respond to Moran's JJ Speech
Two Virginia Democratic congressmen indicated today they were uncomfortable with Brian Moran's attacks on Terry McAuliffe at the state party's Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner
Although he never mentioned McAuliffe by name, Moran took multiple swipes at McAuliffe.
When asked if Moran's criticisms of McAuliffe during the dinner were appropriate, U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va) replied: "Primaries can be hard fought and rough-in-tumble affairs and my own experience is trying to stay positive is the better course in the long run."
Connolly, who is neutral in the primary, declined further comment.
U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott noted there was a smattering of boos when Moran stated during his speech, "We need a fighter, not a fundraiser."
"Did you hear the public reaction?" Scott asked. "McAuliffe, and to a certain extent, Deeds were positive, had a positive agenda and Moran when he gave his criticisms he got booed. Have you been to many JJ Dinners? Do you ever remember any speaker getting booed?" Scott added he hopes all three Democratic candidates will rally behind the eventual nominee.
But U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.), said his brother, Brian, had "the right message."
"He is in it to win it," Jim Moran said about Brian. "I think that Brian needs to show he is willing to be assertive and clear about the fact he knows he's the best prepared person to lead the state. And if you believe that, its incumbent upon you to say it."
Jim Moran then noted that McAuliffe "played into Brian's message" by "trying to dominate the scene outside...with the parades and blocking traffic and signs on every light post."
"There is a time to play softball and a time to play hardball," Jim Moran said. "Now is the time to play hardball."
(Note: An earlier version of this post stated Connolly said Moran's remarks "may have went too far." Connolly was asked if Moran's remarks were too harsh. Connolly responded with the above quote but never said he thinks Moran went too far.)
February 9, 2009; 3:12 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Terry McAuliffe , Tim Craig
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