Democrats hit McDonnell on travel; McDonnell hits back
Virginia Democrats criticized the election of Gov. Bob McDonnell on Thursday as vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
"Bob McDonnell's aggressive campaign schedule does raise valid questions about whether campaigning in other states is the best way for our governor to spend his time, especially if taxpayers are footing the bill for his traveling security detail,'' Dave Mills, executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said today. "Virginians did not elect Bob McDonnell to help him build a presidential campaign. They elected him to lead and make their lives better."
The only problem with that complaint?
The last governor -- Democrat Tim Kaine -- took on the job of chairman of the Democratic National Committee during his last year in office. He spent a day and a half of each work week handling DNC businesses, a departure from his pledge to conduct most of his national party work to evenings and weekends. He also failed to disclose his out-of-state travel for months until pressured by the media.
McDonnell has traveled out of state for Republican fundraisers and events for RGA, but it has been far less than Kaine. (Trust us: We kept a map of Kaine's travel.) The GOP governor's travel and security is paid for by his political action committee or private donations.
"The governor's political travel has been exceedingly rare, completely transparent and scheduled appropriately,'' McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. "We understand that some partisan Democrats may be upset that the governor's success in Virginia has garnered national attention. Maybe Virginia Democrats should actually try to roll out some policy ideas of their own, rather than their usual snide press releases, and they might actually get some positive recognition for themselves."
Martin said McDonnell has declined about 50 out-of-state events this year.
| November 19, 2010; 2:55 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell, Timothy M. Kaine
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