Republican Chairman Wants Crabill to Step Aside
No, Bob McDonnell is not attending an upcoming fundraiser with Republican House of Delegates candidate Catherine Crabill. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling won't be there either. Attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli II also will not appear with Crabill.
In fact, the Republican Party of Virginia has formally decided it will be giving Crabill no support for her campaign against Del. Albert Pollard, and chairman Pat Mullins has sent word to Crabill that he would prefer that she step aside and not run for the seat.
Crabill, who is the Republican nominee running in Virginia's Northern Neck, has said the federal government might have played a role in the Oklahoma City bombing. She was caught on video recently advocating "resorting to the bullet box" if her supporters do not win at the "ballot box."
Top campaign aides for McDonnell opponent Creigh Deeds were asked during a press call today about a report, erroneous it turns out, that McDonnell and Bolling would soon be campaigning with Crabill.
Deeds media strategist Mo Elleithee said he had no information about the report but added: "I don't know very many people who agree with that position. Creigh certainly doesn't agree with that position."
And, as it turns out, neither do McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli or the Republican Party of Virginia.
Some Democrats have been hoping Crabill's name would come up on the campaign trail and would like to see the Virginia GOP get tarred with their candidate's "bullet box" comment. Friday's vigorous response from leading Republicans indicates that they plan to do everything they can to avoid becoming associated with her campaign.
To the statements:
From Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins:
"We do not condone or support the comments Catherine Crabill has made. That kind of talk has no place in civil political discourse. She has received no assistance from the state party, nor will she in the future."
From Tucker Martin, spokesman for McDonnell:
"It's absolutely wrong for any candidate of any party to refer to the actions of the President of the United States and members of the United States Congress as 'domestic terrorism,' and to threaten to resort to violence if one fails to prevail in elections," Martin said, in what he said was his first public comment on the issue. "We disavow Catherine Crabill's comments and know that they do not reflect the sentiments of Republicans across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Virginia have a history of civil discourse and we will not campaign for or with Catherine Crabill."
From Matt Wells of the Bolling camp:
"Lieutenant Governor Bolling disagrees strongly with Ms. Crabill's comments and he rejects those comments in the strongest possible terms. Comments like these have no place in a political campaign. Ms. Crabill was clearly speaking for herself, not for Lieutenant Governor Bolling, any of our other statewide candidates, or the Republican Party of Virginia. We have no plans to campaign for or with Ms. Crabill."
And, rounding out the denunciations, from Chris LaCivita of Cuccinelli's campaign:
"Our campaign has no intention of campaigning with Catherine Crabill," he said. "Our campaign does not believe in using violence or threats of violence in a manner to entice people to vote."
We've reached out to Crabill for a response and will update when we receive one.
UPDATE: The Democratic Party of Virginia responded to this item with one line Friday evening: "Why did it take 29 days?"
August 14, 2009; 4:00 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman
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