Hurt: Obama's visit for Perriello is 'payback'
Hours before President Obama travels to Virginia, State Sen. Robert Hurt called his visit on behalf of his opponent, Rep. Tom Perriello, a "Hail Mary pass in the hopes of energizing his base."
"It's clearly payback for being a loyal foot soldier for the Pelosi-Obama agenda, and I think the White House, the president, recognizes that his favorite congressman is in trouble and he's coming down to lend a hand in an effort to energize a base that heretofore has not been energized,'' Hurt said in a conference call with reporters.
Hurt has accused Perriello of being someone in lockstep with Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by voting for their signature issues -- health-care reform, emissions limits and government bailouts that cost the 5th Congressional District 11,000 jobs.
But Perriello has portrayed himself as an independent voice who bucked his party on bailout money for Wall Street, gun control and free-trade agreements.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia joined Hurt on the call, saying Obama's visit "brings into focus the real question in this race as to the direction this country should take."
"It's very clear what direction Tom Perriello has in mind for this country -- that is the Obama-Pelosi agenda that has been rejected by the people of the 5th district and the commonwealth of Virginia,'' Cantor said.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who was traveling in Indiana Friday, sent out a statement about Obama's visit, welcoming him to the state but encouraging voters to disregard his political advice.
"The President and Congressman Perriello both deeply believe in the political principles and policies that they advocate,'' he wrote. "Unfortunately, those policies are not good for the people of the 5th District, nor for the United States."
| October 29, 2010; 1:04 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Barack Obama, Election 2010, Eric Cantor, Robert F. McDonnell, Robert Hurt, Tom Perriello
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