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Excerpts: McDonnell's Acceptance Speech

Read the full prepared text of the acceptance speech by GOP governor's race nominee Bob McDonnell right here.


As I look across this sea of great Republicans, at the largest convention in 15 years, I'm immensely honored that you have put your trust and faith in me.

You have allowed me to represent our vision and aspirations in one of the most pivotal elections in Virginia history, to stand on the shoulders of Governor's Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry to govern in the cradle of democracy. And I will not let you down.

My wife Maureen and children and sisters and many relatives are here today.

I wish my beloved mom was here to see this. She would probably say, "He's come a long way from the 5 year-old boy who lit his sister's hair on fire." Nancy, stand up, just want to make sure everyone knows things turned out fine.

This time in Virginia demands a leader who can govern in times of crisis. You know I can, because I'm the only candidate with17 year old twin boys who just got their driver's licenses.


We are blessed to live in Virginia, where our nation was born with the planting of the cross at Cape Henry in 1607, where Jefferson drafted the Declaration, enshrining the blueprint of liberty for a young nation.

But today we Virginians face many challenges.

We're losing thousands of jobs, unemployment is at a 17-year high.

During the last decade, state spending has grown by roughly 70%, while Virginians incomes have increased by only 5%.

At our state colleges and universities, tuition and fees have doubled since 2000.
Too many Virginians are seeing their home values go down, while their property taxes go up.

Virginia imports more electricity than any state other than California.

We have too few scientists, engineers and nurses.

We have too much traffic congestion.

Entrepreneurship and free enterprise are often stifled by excessive regulation, taxation, and government mandates.

And we talk too much about adding government programs, and too little about personal responsibility, duty, and sacrifice.

The problems are clear. Strong leadership and solutions are needed.

That is what this campaign is all about: Advancing innovative, workable, conservative solutions, through a wise and frugal government, that will create new jobs and more opportunities for every region of Virginia.


The people of Virginia deserve a government that matches their benevolence and character.

A government that puts in place policies to limit government, expand free enterprise, keep our communities safe, ensure opportunities and justice for all, and builds on the eternal values of our founders.

That is why today, as I accept your nomination, I say:

To every Virginian who needs a job

To every small business owner trying to make payroll

To every retiree alarmed at losses in their retirement account

To every homeowner concerned about their home value

To every parent writing that next tuition check

To every clergyman fighting to keep a strong community

To every young person who just wants an opportunity to live and experience the American Dream.

This campaign is for you. This campaign is about you!


Four years ago you nominated me to serve as your Attorney General.

After my "landslide" victory, we worked together to establish a 25-year minimum sentence for sex offenders who commit violent crimes against children, and stiffened penalties for drug dealers and gang members.

We made Virginia a national leader in fighting Internet Crimes Against Children and identity theft.

We dramatically improved our homeland security and mental health laws.

We fought to protect marriage, the right to life, and parental rights.

Each of these accomplishments represented not only a promise made at election-time, but a promise kept at governing-time.

92 of our 105 legislative proposals became law with broad bipartisan support.

Now, I am ready, as Virginia's next Governor, to enact the effective conservative policies we need to get results and get our Commonwealth back on the track.


Now, my fellow Republicans, you know that elections are about choices. And this year -- regardless of who the Democrats choose on June 9th -- there will be a clear choice for Virginians going to the polls on November 3rd.

I will offer big ideas and positive solutions -- we will be the party that embraces reform and says YES.

On energy, our opponents will say NO to offshore drilling, NO to clean coal, NO to nuclear, and NO to the new jobs and investment that come with it.

When it comes to promoting energy independence:

They'll just say NO, we'll just say YES!

When it comes to the job-killing card check bill which threatens Virginia's Right to Work law, a cornerstone of our business success, our opponents will say NO to protecting the secret ballot, and NO to safeguarding Virginia's Right to Work law.

When it comes to keeping Virginia competitive:

They'll just say NO. We'll just say YES!

When it comes to educating our children, our opponents will say NO to more educational choices, NO to charter schools, and NO to performance pay for our best teachers and principals who help our children to achieve excellence.

When it comes to improving our schools:

They'll just say NO. We'll just say YES!

On the issue of government efficiency and spending, our opponents will say NO to eliminating burdensome regulations, NO to making government simpler and more user-friendly, NO to reducing unnecessary permits, fees, licenses, and decals, NO to reducing wasteful spending.

When it comes to government accountability:

They'll just say NO. We'll just say YES!

There will be a clear choice in November. We will offer positive, innovative solutions to create new jobs and provide greater freedom and opportunity for all Virginians.

When it comes to Virginia's future and the need for changes in Richmond: We'll just say YES!

And we will do this while never losing sight of the values that we hold dear.


In Virginia, where our forefathers planted this great Republic, anything is possible. My life has taught me that.

Thanks to growing up in a middle-class neighborhood in Fairfax County I learned the value of hard work and the golden rule.

Thanks to my faith, I learned the great value of serving others.

Thanks to the United States Army I got the discipline and education that has taken me farther than I ever imagined.

And now, I stand here as your candidate for Governor of the greatest state in the greatest country the world has ever known.

May God continue to bless Virginia! And may God bless you!

Thank you!

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  May 30, 2009; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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