Deeds defends social issues attack, doesn’t rule out new taxes
State Senator Creigh Deeds took his turn in the hot seat at the Richmond Times-Dispatch video chat on Wednesday. He fielded questions from T-D readers on abortion, transportation, labor and where he stands in the race. Deeds worked hard to show his command of the issues, but more importantly define the areas where he and Bob McDonnell have clear differences.
You can watch the entire video chat on the T-D website by clicking here. Just like their forum with Republican Bob McDonnell, NBC12 was granted exclusive access to the event and reporter Jim Nolan who is covering Deeds for the paper, joined me for a look back at the chat during First at Four.
Right out of the gate, Deeds was forced to defend his campaign’s decision to push McDonnell on the abortion issue. Despite an earlier pledge to make the focus of the campaign jobs and the economy, Deeds has turned up the rhetoric on the volatile social issue by holding an event featuring prominent abortion rights supporters and sending an e-mail to his database pointing out where he and McDonnell differ on the issue.
The T-D event seemed to be part of the roll-out of this plan, because shortly after the forum, the campaign sent reporters a lengthy release pointing out numerous examples of McDonnell’s legislative record that they claim shows his resistance to a woman’s right to choose. This push continues tomorrow when Deeds will host an event with nurses who will tout his focus on women’s health.
((Extended clips from the Deeds live chat can be found after the jump))
On Wednesday, Deeds responded to a question sent to the Times-Dispatch from conservative blogger Jason Kenney about his decision to make abortion such a prominent campaign issue. His response is below.
While that first question allowed Deeds to go on the attack, he was put on the defensive when his ties to labor were brought up. The McDonnell campaign has repeatedly asked Deeds to state for the record his position on the Federal Card Check legislation and his opinion on Virginia’s status as a “right to work” state. Deeds talked around Card Check, calling it a “federal issue that will never cross his desk”, but did say he supports the concept of secret ballot. He also downplayed his support from labor reminding viewers that during the democratic primary, he was not the candidate to receive the support of major unions.
Finally Deeds was forced to confront his position in the polls. It seems that, except for the few days leading up to the primary election, Deeds has been running his campaign for governor from behind. Polls indicate that is the case again, but he promised his supporters that his right where he wants to be.
So now that you have seen both candidates in action, where do you stand? You can weigh in by taking our poll about the race for Governor on NBC12.com. You can watch my recap of the event with Jim Nolan from NBC12 First at Four by clicking here.