Deeds campaign demands apology for Johnson comments
The campaign of Democratic candidate for Governor, Creigh Deeds is demanding an apology from his opponent Bob McDonnell‘s campaign after a Deeds tracker caught Sheila Johnson on camera making fun of Senator Deeds’ speaking style.
If you haven’t seen the clip yet it is below:
The Deeds campaign admitted to capturing the video and providing it to lefty bloggers, most specifically the popular NotLarrySabato blog, run by Ben Tribbett. The video has since made national news, getting posted on places like the Huffington Post and CNN. The Deeds campaign followed with a conference call where they demanded McDonnell and Johnson apologize immediately and told reporters about advocacy groups that had contacted them outraged. (The campaign followed up a call with a press release from the National Stuttering Association, who expressed issues with the video.) According to Senior Adviser Mo Elleithee the event “was an official McDonnell campaign event, she is one of his top surrogates, she was introducing him at this event and he was sitting right there,” he went on to say that “If this not the position of the McDonnell campaign, and they are disavowing it they should say so.”
For the record, Senator Deeds speaking style is not the result of any diagnosed medical problem. Elleithee said that the candidate himself admits that he is not “polished”, but that people connect with his “real” persona.
The McDonnell campaign doe not plan on offering an apology and they don’t believe the situation requires one. According to J. Tucker Martin– “Creigh Deeds has never had a problem voicing his false attacks about Bob McDonnell. What he has had difficulty expressing is any positive vision for Virginia’s future. Democratic businesswoman Sheila Johnson was noting that fact. Why the Deeds campaign wants to attack a prominent supporter of both Governor Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama, while reminding voters that she strongly supports Bob McDonnell for governor, is beyond us.”
UPDATE- Sheila Johnson herself has just issued an apology to Senator Deeds:
“Two weeks ago I made reference to Creigh Deeds’ inability to clearly communicate effective solutions to the serious problems facing Virginia. I shouldn’t have done it in the manner in which I did and for that I apologize for any offense he, or others, may have taken,”