Excerpts: Terry McAuliffe Takes Post Readers' Questions
Governor's race Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe stopped by washingtonpost.com today to answer some readers' questions and discuss his campaigns and policies. Excerpts are below.
Fellow candidate Brian Moran took questions earlier today; Creigh Deeds will be by online at noon on May 29.
Alexandria, Va.: Brian Moran in the chat earlier today declared himself - a potential governor of the Old Dominion -- as a fan of the Boston Red Sox. Sir, I ask as an undecided Democratic voter, your preference as a baseball fan.
Terry McAuliffe: Honestly, with the limited time I have now, the most baseball I watch -- and my favorite -- is my son Peter's little league games.
Arlington, Va.: One of my concerns about your candidacy is that it will heighten already partisan politics in Virginia due to your national profile and previous political work. Any thoughts about whether that would be true, and, if it is, whether that would be a bad thing?
Terry McAuliffe: I believe that to overcome the economic challenges we face, we've got to work together - that means across party lines and from all corners of the Commonwealth. There's no such thing as a Republican job or a Democratic job. Our next governor needs to bring everyone together to create good jobs. That's what I'm going to do.
I served the Chair of the DNC, but as I think Governor Kaine is demonstrating, that role can be about advocating for what you believe is right - it doesn't have to be about petty partisan politics. I'm always going to fight for what I believe in - good jobs with good benefits, decreasing our reliance on foreign oil and increasing our use of renewable energy, making health care available and affordable, solving our transportation challenges, and giving our kids the best education - but that isn't about partisan politics. That's about getting results and building our future.
I think the focus of my campaign - big ideas and bringing people together - gives you a good indication of what kind of governor I'd be.
Woodbridge, Va.: Have you driven along I-95 between Richmond and Washington, D.C.? What do you plan to do about this eternally clogged, yet essential, artery?
Terry McAuliffe: Yeah -- recently I've driven it about four times a week! Sunday, it took me three hours to get from Richmond back up to Northern Virginia.
I think to solve our traffic challenges we need to do things differently -- like getting more cars off the road. That's why I've pledged to make establishing high speed rail in the I-95 corridor a priority, as governor. When completed, the Virginia portion of this corridor would take an estimate 1.1 million cars per year off Virginia roads, save 5.6 million gallons of gas per year, and save 33,000 tons per year in carbon dioxide emissions.
Arlington, Va.: If you are elected governor, will you support the widening of Route 66 through Arlington County?
Terry McAuliffe: I'm open to widening it, but only if it is kept within the existing footprint.
"Fake Virginia": I moved to NoVa almost ten years ago. I'm no expert, but I do consider myself more well-informed on state political issues than most people. I've even volunteered for Democratic candidates for state office. And yet I've never heard your name in the context of state politics. Why should I consider voting for you over others who have been more heavily involved in state issues over the years?
And if someone who was born in 'Ohio' thinks of you as a carpetbagger, how exactly do you think you can win over downstate swing voters? Or do you think you can do it all with the money?
Terry McAuliffe: I'm running for governor because I don't think that all good ideas come from Richmond. They come from all corners of the Commonwealth.
One of the strengths that I bring is that I haven't been part of all of the partisan battles -- I bring a fresh approach. Like Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, I come from a business/executive background, and I have the experience we need now to grow our economy. I'm the only candidate in this race who has created thousands of jobs.
Too many people in the legislature focus on how to get through only the next month, the next year - or, sadly, the next election. I believe we need to think bigger. We need to think more imaginatively about how to make our Commonwealth run better. And instead of compartmentalizing our thinking - developing separate plans for "jobs," "schools," "health" or "the environment" - we need a comprehensive business plan for the Commonwealth that approaches all these issues as inter-related. You can check it out at my website at www.terrymcauliffe.com.
I'm currently the only candidate who's competing in every part of the Commonwealth. We've got 14 offices set up and over 40 field organizers. And if I'm the nominee, I'll go toe-to-toe with Bob McDonnell in Southwest, Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, and everywhere in between. I'll also fight harder than anyone to make sure we elect like-minded partners in the House of Delegates.
Culpepper, Va.: In your travels around Virginia, what have you found to be the most important issues in each region of the state (Northern Virginia, Tidewater, Richmond, and Rural to make things simple)? How would address the problems in each area when the legislature is apt to disproportionally spread out funding?
Terry McAuliffe: No matter where I go in the Commonwealth, everyone is worried about the economy. Whether it is facing high unemployment or worrying about dwindling retirement funds, Virginians are nervous about the future.
But everywhere I go, people are ready to pull together to get our economy back on track.
We're blessed with a very diverse state that does have some different needs in each region. Just as I have reached out to voters across the Commonwealth to bring them into my campaign, as governor, I would include people from every region in solving our challenges. If we're going to build the best future for Virginia, we've got to do it together.
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