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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

In uneventful final debate, candidates stray from their base

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Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds provided few fireworks in their final debate before the November 3rd election. Both candidates stuck largely to their battle tested sound bites and did not take many risks in a debate that was televised only in the Western part of the Commonwealth.

There were a few interesting moments during the hour long forum, two of which came early on in the debate during the portion focused on transportation. Creigh Deeds criticized his opponent’s plan using strong langauge in an attempt to show that just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean that it is the right one for Virginia.

Here is the clip:

But McDonnell found a subtle, yet effective way to counter. It was perhaps the Republican’s strongest moment in the debate and he only had to say four words.

Here is the clip:

Outside of the transportation debate, we didn’t learn that much we didn’t already know about these candidates and their positions. However, but McDonnell and Deeds found themselves in somewhat uncomfortable positions when they were forced to discuss issues that their bases care deeply about, but can sometimes turn off independent voters.

For McDonnell that was abortion. It is an issue that the Deeds campaign has sought to characterize him as outside of the mainstream on. When asked directly about the issue, the Republican found a way to soft pedal his response. Here is the clip:

Creigh Deeds found himself in a difficult position attempting to describe his stance when it comes to the public option of health care reform. Polls show many Virginians leery about a possible public option for health care, but strong Democrats, the type Deeds needs to come out in two weeks are passionate about making sure it is a part of any health care reform package. When discussing the public option, Deeds said he wasn’t sure it was the best plan and he even went as far as to say as he would explore Virginia opting out if the state is able.

Here is the clip:

This revelation during the debate caused for an interesting post-debate press gaggle, one the Republican Party of Virginia was only too happy to share with reporters only 37 minutes after the debate had ended.

Here is Deeds clarifying his stance on the public option:

So with that the final debate is in the books. Less than two weeks to go before Virginia elects its next Governor.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm

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