Republicans react to McDonnell thesis revelation
While democrats and supporters of Creigh Deeds have been incredibly vocal about the revelation of republican Bob McDonnell‘s master’s thesis, the GOP has been relatively quiet. McDonnell himself turned down an interview opportunity with the AP and instead released a carefully worded statement on the issue.
Today McDonnell’s primary attack dog, the Republican Party of Virginia released two separate press releases on the issue. One that points to examples of old college papers written by prominent democrats that did not impact their electoral success and another that hammers the Deeds campaign for avoid a discussion on the important issues impacting Virginians.
The RPV asked why Democrats (Like Barack Obama and Jim Webb) get a pass on the writings of their youth, while Bob McDonnell is being hammered for a paper that was written “before the fall of the Berlin Wall and before many of those eligible to vote in this November’s election were even born.”
What is interesting is that the McDonnell team and the Republicans have not spent much time defending the points made in the paper. Most of their response is aimed at being critical of those making the thesis a campaign issue at all.
I am not sure this will satisfy them but here is an outline of McDonnell’s positions released to reporters yesterday:
SPECIFIC ISSUE RESPONSES TO BOB MCDONNELL GRADUATE THESIS
((provided by the McDonnell campaign))
Sexual Orientation: Government should not punish or discriminate based on anyone’s sexual orientation. As Attorney General my hiring policy was clear. I wanted the best and brightest, and sexual orientation was never considered. My view is that marriage should be between one man and one woman but the civil rights of all Virginians should be protected in the law.
Women in the workplace: My intent in this decades old academic paper was to look at societal trends in American society following the 1960’s and 1970’s. This was simply an academic exercise and clearly does not reflect my views. As my lengthy legislative and professional record indicates I am fully supportive of the tremendous contributions women make in the workplace. My wife and daughters work. My campaign manager in 2005 was a working mother. I appointed 5 women to my senior staff as Attorney General. I fully and completely support the critical role that women play as leaders, executives and professionals in our modern workforce. As I stated in my campaign announcement speech, as governor I will have a Working Mom Government Simplicity Task Force to help make life easier for Virginia’s working mothers.
No fault divorce: I strongly support traditional marriage and I do believe, along with individuals across the political spectrum, that two-parent families are the ideal way in which to raise children. In this decades old academic paper I was analyzing changes in family policy in the second half of the 20th century and its impact on society. No fault divorce played an obvious role in increasing the number of divorces and I was discussing that fact. At the time I thought that perhaps repealing that law would be a way to keep families together. I now believe that there are many other ways by which we can help married couples stay together. These include covenant marriages, a concept strongly supported by Governor Tim Kaine, as well as additional counseling for married couples. I do not advocate the repeal of no fault divorce. I am looking at other innovative ways by which we can work to build strong families, including the Fatherhood Initiative promoted by President Barack Obama.
Abortion: My position on abortion is well known. I am pro-life based on my Catholic faith and my parents upbringing. During my time in the General Assembly I supported common-sense measures, in accordance with existing federal and state laws, to reduce the number of abortions. This is a goal shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. These were common-sense measures, such as banning partial-birth abortion, and supporting parental consent and informed consent, which passed the General Assembly. My opponent in this race opposed them, putting him outside the mainstream on this issue. As governor I will continue to uphold all state and federal laws as I have done as a delegate and as Attorney General.
Contraceptives or family planning: I have my personal views based on my Catholic faith. However, from a policy standpoint, government should not ban contraception. As Governor I will do nothing to ban the sale of contraceptives.
School vouchers: I am not advocating vouchers as there are legal questions regarding their constitutionality in Virginia. However, I do support providing more educational choices for Virginia parents and students by creating more charter schools in the Commonwealth. I join President Obama in strongly supporting the expansion of charter schools.