Just when you thought the campaign of Creigh “What’s In Your Wallet?” Deeds couldn’t get any more pathetic, the WashPo revealed on Sunday that he has apparently stolen the campaign playbook for Jerry Kilgore’s unsuccessful 2005 race for Governor. (Another “me, too!” moment for Team Deeds?)
Just as the Kilgore campaign tried to make Tim Kaine’s personal opposition to the death penalty into an issue four years ago, Deeds is now set to try and make Bob McDonnell’s personal opposition to abortion into an issue. Undoubtedly, it will have similar results. (You’ll know Deeds is super-desperate when he airs a TV commercial saying, “Bob McDonnell is so anti-choice that he would have opposed the abortion of Adolf Hitler, thus condemning millions of Jews to the gas chambers.”)
First of all, the vast majority of voters are primarily concerned with bread and butter economic issues. While some voters do place top emphasis upon social issues, among those who do it would seem that McDonnell would come out ahead on this. According to a Gallup Poll released this past May, for the first time, more Americans consider themselves to be pro-life (51%) than pro-choice (42%) and it also marks the first time a majority of Americans have embraced the pro-life label.
Second, isn’t Tim Kaine pro-life as well? Exactly how would McDonnell be different than Kaine on the issue of abortion? And to his credit, Gov. Kaine did not grant blanket commutations of sentences to those facing the death penalty — he carried out the law. No one should expect a Gov. McDonnell to be any different when it comes to abortion.
Bob McDonnell isn’t running away from his consistent pro-life stance nor has he suddenly become vocal on issues such as the economy, jobs, taxes, transportation and education in an effort to makeover his persona. McDonnell has always been well-balanced on the issues, putting forward common sense conservative positions and solutions to the problems that Virginians face every day.
All we are seeing here with Deeds is the desperate act of a desperate candidate who desperately wants to blind the electorate to the fact that he doesn’t have a plan to resuscitate our struggling economy, he doesn’t have a plan to improve our transportation system and he does have a plan to raise our taxes. It didn’t work for Kilgore and it won’t work for Kilgore 2.0 (a.k.a. Creigh Deeds.)
(No offense is intended to Jerry Kilgore whatsoever by this post.)
McDonnell campaign chairman Ed Gillespie responds —
Over the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt seen the ample evidence that even core liberal Democrats don’t have much enthusiasm for their nominee for governor, Creigh Deeds. This lack of energy in his political base is a real problem for Deeds, and not surprisingly he’s begun taking steps to try to engender enthusiasm where lethargy now exists.
So last week the Teamsters Union pledged their “full support” of Deeds’ candidacy, and the Commonwealth welcomed President Obama for a political rally. Perhaps the most telling indicator, however, came Saturday in a call from Deeds to The Washington Post launching an attack against Bob McDonnell over his pro-life position.
Now, both candidates’ views on the issue of abortion are well known. As legislators, both have records they stand by on principle. Bob is pro-life and his record in this area is one of seeking and finding common ground, bringing together people with deeply held beliefs on things most Virginians can readily agree on, like banning the heinous procedure of partial birth abortion and ensuring that parents of minors in the Commonwealth have informed consent when a minor faces an unplanned pregnancy.
These policies enjoy broad support from Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly but, as The Washington Post notes, Creigh Deeds opposes them. Tomorrow, he’ll be rewarded for his extreme positions with a rally sponsored by NARAL, which clearly hopes to spur liberal activists to start manning phone banks and walking neighborhoods for their nominee. And he has more events planned statewide.
Though both candidates’ positions on abortion are well known, in this campaign only Bob McDonnell has made known his policies for creating jobs, improving our schools and roads and making energy more affordable. In fact, on the same day Deeds is joining NARAL for a rally on abortion, Bob will be meeting with hard hit workers and small business owners in Martinsville to talk about his plans for creating jobs in every corner of our Commonwealth.
Just two weeks ago at the Virginia Bar Association debate, Creigh Deeds said “we need to be focused, it seems to me, not on the politics of division” but “on the things that will allow us to build the best economy, the most prosperity we can for everybody in Virginia.” And yet on Saturday, when Bob was delivering the Republican response to President Obama’s national radio address and talking about job creation, energy policy and education reforms, Deeds was calling The Washington Post and making a divisive attack on abortion in an effort to try and motivate his core base. It’s clear that he’d rather debate anything but the issues that are on the top of most Virginia voters’ minds right now.
Perhaps that’s because Creigh Deeds’ polices would destroy jobs in Virginia, while Bob McDonnell’s would create them. Perhaps it’s because Deeds has a 94% lifetime rating from big labor unions and has promised to make them a “partner” in governing Virginia, while Bob has a 91% rating from Virginia’s small business owners. Perhaps it’s because Deeds can’t come up with a funding plan for new and better roads and dances around the reality that he’s going to raise taxes if he gets elected, while Bob has a detailed plan to improve transportation without raising taxes. Or perhaps it’s because he’s having a hard time getting his supporters off their duffs, while Bob has thousands of energetic volunteers rallying friends and neighbors to his positive agenda for Virginia.
Whatever the reason, most people understand that Bob’s views on life are consistent with his faith and his belief that innocent life should be protected.
Most people also understand that Bob McDonnell is focused on the problems Virginians face in these difficult economic times and putting forward commons sense solutions to make things better.
And that Creigh Deeds is not.
Michael Barone, the well-regarded and respected author of the Almanac of American Politics, calls Deeds’ move a “desperation tactic.”