Archive for May 30th, 2009
Former Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell is now the official nominee of the Republican Party. McDonnell accepted the nomination this morning in front of an estimated 10,000 Republicans at the party’s state convention at the Richmond Coliseum. (Thanks to WDBJ senior reporter Joe Dashiell for the use of his photo)
Moments after McDonnell spoke, I had the chance to sit down with him, one on one, to discuss the race for the governor’s mansion and how he plans to respond to whichever candidate emerges from the Democratic side.
As McDonnell was giving his speech, Virginia Democrats were sending out responses to some of his claims. In particular, they criticized a section of the speech where McDonnell defined the Republican party as the party of “yes” and his Democratic counterparts as the party of “NO”. The Democrats pointed to the candidate’s stance on extending unemployment benefits, the smoking ban and President Barack Obama’s stimulus package. Here is how McDonnell responded to that charge:
“For 18 years I have been in the General Assembly and I have seen the incredible success we have made with things like welfare reform and the abolition of parole, drunk driving reform, higher standards of accountability and education and funding key priorities and I have led the way on any of number of them. I mean 92 out of my 105 legislative proposals in the General Assembly actually passed when I was attorney general, bipartisan support because they were good ideas.”
(more from my interview with McDonnell ((including VIDEO)) and what his opponents had to say after the jump..)
Day two of the Republican Party of Virginia is ready to get underway Saturday, with fights for the lieutenant governor, attorney general and party chairman expected.
On Friday, I took an in-depth look at how the Republicans are hoping to take advantage of social media and the internet to help their candidates. I spoke to Midlothian’s Mickey White, the writer of the conservative blog withbias.net. She had a seat along the special “bloggers row” set up by party officials.
I also got an assessment on the Republican’s efforts from a Democratic political internet veteran, Ben Tribbett, from the popular Not Larry Sabato blog. Tribbett is actually in Richmond for the Republican event and had some terrific insight as to the progress the opposite party is making.
You can find my story from Friday night after the jump. Check back often today for updates on the progress of the RPV Convention and I will have a complete wrap up tonight on NBC12 News at 6.