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McDonnell, Deeds: Works in Progress?

Anita Kumar

During the primary, Creigh Deeds was criticized by his Democratic opponents for having changed his views on hot-button issues, including same-sex marriage and background checks for gun buyers. (His favorite expression at the time was "Each of us is a work in progress.")

Now, months later, Republican Bob McDonnell says he has changed his views on whether women should work outside the home and other issues he explored as a graduate student two decades ago.

But the Deeds' campaign has attacked him every day this week (including again today) for views he longer says he holds.

So why is that any different than Deeds' changing mind? Well, we asked him.

Deeds said at a press conference today at the state Capitol in Richmond that he doesn't actually believe McDonnell has changed his mind. "His record throughout his period of public service is consistent with the thesis,'' he said. Now you can say you've changed your mind today but the record doesn't go away."

Deeds appeared with dozens of female supporters who denounced McDonnell's views. Meanwhile, his campaign released statistics on women (7,846 women are the principal operators of farms in the state, 157,100 Virginia companies were owned by women in 2002, etc.)

"I think we are all evolving as we live this life,'' Deeds said. But, he said, McDonnell's thesis is important because he has not strayed from it.

"The point of the case we have to make ... [is] Bob McDonnell wrote it when he was 34 years old ... and throughout his public career, he has implemented different parts of the thesis,'' he said. "This thesis provides context to his legislative record."

So if the thesis was so important, why didn't the Deeds campaign look for it at the Regent University library in 2005 when he was running against McDonnell for attorney general?

"I wish I had known about in 2005,'' Deeds laughed. "It probably would have been worth a few hundred votes. I guess we didn't look. I guess the research guy in 2005 needs to be reprimanded."

By Anita Kumar  |  September 3, 2009; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: GOP Attacks Deeds on Social Issues Talk

Comments

OK, so now Deeds is onto McDonnell's record.... this is more substantive. But this is also where, with just a scosh of honest reporting, the Post could vindicate itself.

McDonnell proposed more than 100 bills as AG. All but a dozen became law. Deeds voted for 98% of them. None dealt with abortion.

So tell me again about where McDonnell's "record" agrees with the thesis. I dare you. Show me the facts!

Posted by: SpotsySteve | September 3, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

OK, so now Deeds is onto McDonnell's record.... this is more substantive. But this is also where, with just a scosh of honest reporting, the Post could vindicate itself.

McDonnell proposed more than 100 bills as AG. All but a dozen became law. Deeds voted for 98% of them. None dealt with abortion.

So tell me again about where McDonnell's "record" agrees with the thesis. I dare you. Show me the facts!

Posted by: SpotsySteve | September 3, 2009 4:51 PM

------

SpotsySteve, this is an excellent point and one where I would like a little "basic civics lesson" myself. Until reading your comment, I assumed that all laws in Virginia began as bills submitted by legislators.

Creigh Deeds's comments about McDonnell's bills clearly refer to McDonnell's many years in the legislature (up until winning the AG race four years ago) and I think his arguments on that point are, as you say, very compelling. I have also seen a few notes about positions McDonnell is now taking, that continue to support the thesis gameplan.

But if the AG also submits bills, I'd be fascinated to learn more about that, particularly where they come from (governor's office? AG himself? elsewhere?), whether they tend to be on strictly technical, pro forma matters (in which case of course Deeds would vote for them), and how many have been submitted by past AGs.

I'm serious. I don't know a darn thing about AG's submitting bills and hope that we will learn more about that just as a point of interest. Good comment!

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | September 3, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

As a legislator (not as AG), Bob "and weave" McDonnell sponsored 8 anti-abortion bills, and co-sponsored 30-something more. I do not know Deeds votes on these, however.

I also read McDonnell used Virginia's still-on-the-books anti-sodomy law to suggested that gays should not be qualified to be judges.

Posted by: hitpoints | September 3, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

"I also read McDonnell used Virginia's still-on-the-books anti-sodomy law to suggested that gays should not be qualified to be judges."
===========================================
I agree with you. This is a good law still on the books. Hope it stays on the books. Don't you?

Posted by: tjmlrc | September 4, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't that the judge was a lesbian, It was that She didn't disclose a sexual harassment suit filed against her by an employee.

Posted by: PWConservative | September 4, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

if Creigh deeds wants to say that Bobs record shows hes sexist, GOOD LUCK and i hope he spends the rest of the campaign on it, a woman who had children ran his campaign for AG, many woman are running his successful campaign for Gov, his daughter went to Iraq, and his wife ran a VERY successful business out of their home while helping raise a handful of kids! All Bob has to do is run one commercial and it will clear this up, and add that deeds has changed positions too and that as a leader we must recognize when we are wrong... WHAT WE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT is the fact that criegh deeds said just to weeks ago that abortion is only good for the poor and desperate, OH and he has nothing but promises for transportation. Thats ultimately whats going to kill deeds is his lack of actual plans as evidenced by the new polls out that have Deeds down by 12 points which shows ppl can see through this

Posted by: mjthree45242 | September 5, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

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