McDonnell chides Obama on campaign “kickoff”
Governor Bob McDonnell is a prominent Mitt Romney supporter so it is not a surprise that he doesn’t share the same enthusiasm about Barack Obama‘s upcoming visit to Virginia as the wide-eyed Obama volunteers who we featured Wednesday night.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the significance of the Obama campaign picking Richmond as one of two locations to kickoff off the president’s re-election bid.
“We are going to see plenty of the candidates, that’s good,” McDonnell said. “Most people ignore Virginia because they think it is going one way or the other. But this is going to be a real competitive race.”
But McDonnell stops short of buying into the notion that Saturday May, 5th is really the start of the Obama campaign.
“Well he’s been campaigning for the last two years so it’s really not the kickoff to the campaign,” he said.
The republicans seem intent to remind everyone that the president has been spending a lot of time in swing states. Events that may not have been campaign events, but ones that played to audiences that will play a key role in his re-election. House Speaker John Boehner was among those who said the White House was campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime. The Speaker even called on the Obama campaign to reimburse the federal government for the president’s recent trip to college campuses to drum up support for an extension on lower student loan rates.
The Obama campaign deflected the criticism and argued that the president’s travel is not out of the ordinary for a Commander-in-Chief. Even one seeking reelection.
McDonnell said regardless of how many times Obama comes to Virginia it can’t change what he views as policies that have not worked.
“No matter what the president may say that doesn’t change the fact that we are $16 trillion dollars in debt and unemployment is at 8.3%.”
Expect McDonnell to be front and center as a chief surrogate for the Romney campaign, there to rebut the president’s speech and offer the alternative perspective.
See an extended clip from Governor McDonnell’s remarks below: