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Dems Blast McDonnell for Comments

Anita Kumar

Democrats called on Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell today to clarify comments he made last week about being "sort of unemployed."

"We're raising five kids in Virginia, we're feeling a little bit of it as well," McDonnell said in video taped at last week's Shad Planking. "I'm actually now a retired state employee, sort of unemployed myself."

C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, told reporters today that McDonnell's comments were "disingenous" and puts him out of touch with the 300,000 unemployed residents in Virginia.

McDonnell, 54, resigned as state attorney general earlier this year and returned to the Virginia Beach law firm where he had worked for 14 years while serving in the General Assembly.

McDonnell told the Washington Post that he resigned as attorney general because he did not want to spend taxpayers' money while campaigning full time but that accepting money from a private firm is different. He said he needs to earn a salary to support his wife and five children, including three who live at home and one who attends college.

McDonnell refused to say how much he is being paid..

Tucker Martin, a spokesman for McDonnell, said McDonnell would not take seriously "another empty attack" from a party that opposes offshore oil drilling and supports the federal card check bill that would take away workers to vote in secret ballot in workplace elections.

"Enough with the gotcha politics, Virginia Democrats need to start answering the tough questions,'' Martin said. "Whose side are they on? Democrats need to stop playing games and start explaining why they won't stand up for positions and policies that will create and protect the jobs Virginians need."

By Anita Kumar  |  April 21, 2009; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Cranwell and the Democrats are in panic mode, it is wonderful to see. Just like in 1993 when the GOP ran a guy against him for the first time in 10 years he went ballistic.

Bob is in a strong position and the Democrats know it.

Posted by: jebw958 | April 21, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are in panic mode? That's hilarious. The people of Virginia (especially the unemployed ones who were just denied extended benefits by the House GOP) may be in a bit of a panic at the thought of Taliban Bob becoming Governor!

Everytime Mr. Cranwell calls out something atrocious that the Virginia Republicans say or do does not constitute a panic. It just constitutes that the Virginia Democratic Party is vital and strong (and the Republicans know it) and is more than ready to do battle in 2009.

Bring it on, jebw958! I am willing to go head-to-head with ANY Virginia Republican on the issues that matter to Virginians, anyday, just as the Virginia Democratic electeds, candidates, and parties are...

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | April 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The words "doth protest too much" come to mind.

Posted by: Simon23p | April 21, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

These are almost the exact same kind of comments that Mark Warner made consistently in his Senate run. In a tongue and cheek fashion, exactly like this, he would tell folks he was merely a self-described “unemployed job seeker.” He did this all the time on the campaign trail. Funny, I can't find any Cranwell or DPV press releases going after Warner on this...

Posted by: ChrisD4 | April 22, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

In fact, since the same WA Post blog folks covered the Senate race, Warner's identical remarks should be an easy catch and would add substance to this posting.

Posted by: ChrisD4 | April 22, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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