McAuliffe Blasts McDonnell
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe criticized Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell today McAuliffe for standing by silently while his surrogate Mike Huckabee encouraged Republicans to keep voters from the poll on Election Day.
Huckabee, former governor of Arkanses and presidential candidate in 2008, jokingly told supporters at a McDonnell campaign rally this week: "You have two jobs. One, get all those people who are going to vote for Bob out to the polls and vote. If they're not going to vote for Bob, you have another job. Let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on Election Day. Keep 'em home. Do the Lord's work, my friend. I'm giving you an opportunity...yes, do the right thing." Members of the audience laughed.
McAuliffe told reporters that as chairman of the Democratic National Committee he started the Voting Rights Institute, designed to highlight the importance of voting rights and point out flaws in they voting systems across the country.
"Let's be clear: there are no jokes to be made about denying people the right to vote in this country,'' he said. "It's not a laughing matter. This is a right that people fought and died for, so as public figures, we must be sure that we are setting the standard."
McDonnell and Huckabee campaigned together at three events in Roanoke, Bristol and Virginia Beach this week.
"Virginians are losing their jobs, unemployment is at its highest point in 17 years, and Chairman McAuliffe spends his afternoon feigning outrage over a lighthearted political joke by somebody not even running for office in Virginia,'' said Tucker Martin, McDonnell's spokesman. "This attack demonstrates a complete lack of perspective and seriousness. Chairman McAuliffe clearly has no clue what Virginians are going through, and how tough times are. That's not surprising, as Chairman McAuliffe is a career hyper-partisan and Clinton fundraiser who has spent decades blindly attacking Republicans."
In January, U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) came under fire, mostly from Republicans, for jokingly urging fellow Democrats at a recent political event to give Republicans the wrong date for the Feb. 3 special election for Fairfax County chairman.
April 2, 2009; 3:53 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe
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