Rudy on The Attack- Dem Response
Earlier you I gave you a preview of what Rudy Giuliani said in our one on one interview with Sunni Blevins, here now is a bit of the video, including perhaps his most explosive comments on a few voter registration controversies the Republicans have been working to drum up some buzz on, and the Democrats are working very hard to rebut.
First the video- (the transcript is below if you’d like to read along)
“John McCain is going to win Virginia as long as some of this interference with the right to vote is dealt with. I mean the idea that are going on right now, you know trying to register ex-felons, going into jails to register felons, is outrageous. When you consider, they said that they are speeding up the registrations of people who have committed crimes so their non-violent, 30% of the people that have been registered have been convicted of attempted murder, armed robbery, rape, crimes like that. These are not, non-violent crimes and a certain number of the people who have been registered are repeat offenders, so that after they have been rushed in to get registered as ex-offenders, they have committed other crimes. And at the same time, Virginia is making harder for the military to vote. Why would you make easier for convicts to vote and harder for the military to vote. I think this is a disgrace, I think Virginia has always been known for, republican or democrat for having clean politics and clean elections and what is going on here by the democrats in trying to get convicts to vote and keeping the military from voting is really disgusting and it should be stopped, immediately”
Now Democrats have been trying to knock down the “Democrats are trying to register felons” line for the past few days. I spoke to Governor Kaine’s spokesman Gordon Hickey on this exact issue yesterday. He told me emphatically that there has been no rush to register ex-felons, nor has their been any increase during the Warner/Kaine administrations. He said that the volume under which these applications are approved is completely contingent on the number of applications received and that Governor Kaine is approving them at the same pace as previous administrations. Hickey also pointed out that of the little over 1,400 newly registered ex-felons (who he pointed out have paid their debt to society) a little more than 1,200 were non-violent offenders. Which would make the number of violent offenders a little less than the Mayor’s claim of 30%.
Hickey did say however that each application is reviewed and ultimately approved at the discretion of the Governor. But he said, nowhere on the application form does it ask for your party affiliation. (of course, no voter registration form in Virginia asks for that.)
The Obama camp sent out quite a few talking points rebutting the Giuliani visit, which you are welcome to peruse after the jump.
“The reason Virginians are leaving John McCain’s campaign is because they hear the echo of Karl Rove’s negative, divisive politics and President Bush’s failed trickle down economics. Rudy Giuliani made it clear today that if voters in the commonwealth want change – lower taxes for the middle class, affordable, accessible health care and a responsible end to the Iraq war – Barack Obama is the change they need,” Obama-Biden Virginia spokesman Kevin Griffis said.
Obama and Welfare Reform
Obama Worked With Republicans To Enact An Overhaul Of Welfare In Illinois And Was Thanked By Republicans During The Debate For His Long Hours Helping Them Improve The Bill. The AP wrote, “After federal officials agreed on an overhaul of the nation’s welfare system, Obama worked with Republicans to enact those changes in Illinois. During the debate, two GOP senators made a point of thanking Obama for his long hours of helping them improve the bill.” [AP, 6/25/08]
Emanuel: Obama Passed Welfare Reform Law In Illinois To Lead The Country To The Biggest Reduction In Welfare Caseload.“With the state Senate still in Republican hands, Obama brokered a welfare reform law that combined work requirements and time limits with significant investments in child care, job training and transportation. As a result, thousands of Illinoisans have gained the dignity of a job, and our state leads the nation in the biggest reduction in the welfare caseload.” [Rahm Emanuel op-ed, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/27/04]