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McDonnell Camp Declines TV Questions on Thesis

Rosalind Helderman

How anxious is Republican Bob McDonnell to change the subject from the thesis he wrote 20 years ago, at age 34, that's been consuming the campaign all week?

So much that his staffers have been declining to make surrogates available to defend their candidate on television about the issue.

That's according to NewsChannel 8's Bruce Dupuyt, who said on air Tuesday that he "begged the McDonnell people to provide a surrogate. They declined. We also asked several Northern Virginia Republicans to join us. They too said no."

Hardball's Chris Matthews told viewers his producers had a similar experience. "Every morning we try to get people from both sides of an issue. Our bookers are fabulous, they work so hard to do this. Today they went out there and went through everywhere to try to find someone to come on and defend Bob McDonnell's views on this subject -- and they couldn't find anybody," he said on air.

And an advisory alerting reporters to a press call today with McDonnell and the National Federation of Independent Business to talk about the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as "card-check", noted that "questions from the press will be limited to issues related to EFCA.

McDonnell's advisors think he answered all questions about the issue during his 90-minute press call Monday and is now ready to talk about other things.

Spokesman Tucker Martin said about declining the TV invites: "Yesterday Bob McDonnell was busy unveiling a major policy proposal to put half a billion dollars more into Virginia's classrooms each year. This will result in new technology and better textbooks for students, and higher salaries for teachers. We're focused on the future of Virginia. We are more than happy to do any interviews relating to issues that will actually impact Virginians in the years ahead. It should be noted, we have also turned down the DNC's request for a podcast."

Of course, turning down the invitations didn't result in the cancellation of the TV pieces -- only in segments that did not include a McDonnell representative to share his viewpoint. A conundrum.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 2, 2009; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

McDonnell is neither a man nor an American. He is a fascist of the geopolitical persuasion Thomas Jefferson identified as "the real Anti-Christ."

Posted by: iamerican | September 2, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure, iamerican. You sound like a REAL impartial observer.

Deeds and Kumar are overplaying their hand. I respect Mo Ellithee as a fellow Hoya, but the fact is that they have- as of today- put out more press releases, surrogates and tweets about this ludicrous non-issue THAN ON ALL OF DEEDS' ISSUE POSITIONS COMBINED.

AND, to top it off, WaPo has now done more articles on this non-issue THAN ON ALL DEEDS' ISSUE POSITIONS COMBINED.

I guess having backed him in the primary they gotta ride their golden boy until he's down. But the real loser in this story is the people of Virginia, who- instead of having robust debates on real issues that affect real Virginians during a time of real crisis- get to hear how a guy with a working wife, 3 working daughters who has hired a staff comprised majority of women, supposedly doesn't think women should be in the workforce. Preposterous.

Posted by: SpotsySteve | September 2, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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