UPDATED with Audio! McDonnell officially kicks-off campaignPodcastsPolitics

The complete audio from today’s rally at Virginia Beach, featuring Rep. J. Randy Forbes, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and, of course, Bob McDonnell:

VIRGINIA BEACH (3/28/09) Republican gubernatorial candidate speaks at a campaign rally in Virginia Beach.
VIRGINIA BEACH (3/28/09) Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell speaks at a campaign rally in Virginia Beach. BearingDrift.com photo.

VIRGINIA BEACH (3/28/09) Lt. Governor Bill Bolling speaking at a campaign rally in Virginia Beach.  BearingDrift.com photo.
VIRGINIA BEACH (3/28/09) Lt. Governor Bill Bolling speaking at a campaign rally in Virginia Beach. BearingDrift.com photo.

Live blogging the event in Va Beach:

First stop: Annandale.

We will be live-blogging his stop here in Hampton Roads at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach at 5:30 p.m.

But sour grapes already abound.

“Bob McDonnell has a long record of standing against Governor Mark Warner and Governor Tim Kaine, and he has opposed many of the policies that have made Virginia the best managed state in the nation,” said Chairman McAuliffe’s campaign – of Global Crossing fame whose primary business credentials are fund-raising for the Clintons and apparently being an African-American barber. “While Terry McAuliffe has been laying out a comprehensive Business Plan to get Virginia’s economy back on track, Bob McDonnell has been deafeningly silent.”


Wasn’t it McDonnell who asked McAuliffe to sign a letter Secretary of Interior Salazar addressing Virginia’s energy needs and jobs – but McAuliffe refused?

Wasn’t it McAuliffe who marched with a union picketing Hilton, while Gov. Kaine was bringing Hilton jobs to Virginia?

While McAuliffe is trying to distract from McDonnell today, you can’t distract from the clarity of McDonnell’s message.

“The top priority for the next Governor is clear: Bring people together to solve problems, get our economy moving again and create new jobs and opportunity in our Commonwealth,” said McDonnell at his first campaign stop. “To every Virginian who has lost their job, to every small business owner trying to make payroll, to every retiree afraid to look at their retirement account, to every homeowner struggling to make the next mortgage payment, to every parent writing that next tuition check: This campaign is for you. This campaign is about you!”

Full text of McDonnell speech:

Today is an exciting day.

Today I formally announce my candidacy for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia!

I’m ready to lead, if you are ready to win!

There are many ways you can get involved. Here’s one. Please take out your cell phone and text VA to 46262 – That’s VA to GOBOB or 46262. Now you’re on board with our campaign.

The top priority for the next Governor is clear: Bring people together to solve problems, get our economy moving again and create new jobs and opportunity in our Commonwealth.

Today, we face difficult challenges.

All of us have been impacted by this economic downturn.

Many Virginians are hurting and anxious about the future.

Life savings diminish, while our cost of living is going up.

Our home values are going down, while our property tax rates are going up.

It’s harder to get your children into Virginia’s great universities, and more expensive to pay their tuition and buy their textbooks when they get there.

Whether I’m in Leesburg or Lee County, there is not a day that goes by where I don’t see the pain and anxiety this economy is causing.

As your next Governor, I will make the top priority bringing jobs and opportunity to every region of Virginia.

To every Virginian who has lost their job

To every small business owner trying to make payroll

To every retiree afraid to look at their retirement account

To every homeowner struggling to make the next mortgage payment

To every parent writing that next tuition check

This campaign is for you. This campaign is about you!

To bring new jobs and greater opportunity to every region of Virginia we must first lay a firm foundation for economic recovery and for sustained economic growth.

I want my children and your children to live in a Virginia where there are boundless opportunities, great jobs, a clean environment and safe neighborhoods in which they can pursue the American dream.

A Virginia where the displaced Circuit City worker and all those seniors graduating from Virginia Tech, UVa, George Mason University, VCU and all our great colleges and universities in the spring are able to find that all-important job!

A Virginia that creates great stories like Vellie Dietrich-Hall who grew up in the Phillipinnes selling vegetables and firewood from a basket on her head. She immigrated here 28 years ago. And today she runs her own defense contracting business.

We need new policies to create those new jobs and produce those new success stories.

The days when we could rest on our laurels and just point to our rankings are past.

Our Vision for Virginia must be bold and big.

In the words of business writers James Collins and Jerry Porras we must set “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”.

A Virginia economic revival starts with one simple question: Do our policies make starting or relocating a business and creating jobs easier, or harder?

My first goal will be to make Virginia the best state in America to start and grow a small business.

So we will cut out red tape to ensure Virginians can start a business in 48 hours.

Virginia should be the top state in America for tourism and film production.

We will set a goal of developing the top commercial space port in the country at Wallops Island on the Eastern Shore.

We have the unprecedented opportunity to be the leading energy producing state on the East Coast and I will spend four years making that happen.

I support drilling for oil and gas 50 miles off our coast. Virginia has the opportunity to become the first state on the eastern seaboard to allow for offshore exploration and drilling. It is environmentally safe and will create thousands of jobs and tens of billions in investment, and hundreds of millions in tax revenues.

Let’s put ideology aside, and be comprehensive when it comes to our energy future – Yes, we must develop new technologies for wind, solar, biomass, and other renewables. But we also need oil and natural gas, and to speed up the approval and permitting process for nuclear and clean-coal plants. I will be a Governor who develops all of Virginia’s energy resources to make life better for all of our citizens.

We will make it easier for entrepreneurs to protect our environment, while creating good jobs. We will establish “Green JOBZ” tax free zones to incentivize renewable energy technologies.

To ensure that new jobs continue to come to Virginia we must defend our pro-free enterprise, Right to Work Law, the cornerstone of our economic prosperity. But Right to Work is under attack in Congress with the job-killing Card Check legislation pushed by big national unions.

The job of the Governor is to put the people of Virginia and their job opportunities first. All three of my opponents recently stood in union picket lines in Northern Virginia and now will not oppose the job killing card check bill!

I will defend our Right to Work law; oppose Card Check and fight to keep Virginia the best place in America to do business! We can’t let big national unions turn Virginia into southern Michigan!

Our transportation challenges are clear. To attract business and jobs to Virginia, we need to make it easier for citizens to get to work, and for goods to get to the market.

In Northern Virginia, we need to complete rail to Dulles and widen 66 inside the beltway!

In Hampton Roads we need to upgrade Route 460 to interstate quality to improve our great port and hurricane evacuation, and support our military. To ensure our port is the best on the east coast, I will strongly support the expansion of Craney Island.

In the Valley and Southwest, we need a wider, safer Interstate 81.

I want to lay the foundations to get high speed passenger rail from Northern Virginia to Richmond to Hampton Roads.

There’s another important component. When I was growing up the TV slogan was “to get a good job, you need a good education.” It’s even truer today.

I want Virginia to have the most innovative incentives to create the best school system in America.

President Obama was right when he called for real merit pay to retain and reward teachers, and more Charter Schools in our communities.

We will create an incentive program for principals and teacherswho increase student achievement. And I’ll put more of the money we spend on education into the one place it does the most good: the classroom. We will not tolerate failing schools that do a disservice to our most vulnerable young people in struggling communities. I will strongly defend the rights of parents to home school their children.

Virginia has some of the best universities and community colleges in the country.

We will forge new regional partnerships for workforce training and economic development, expand the role of our community colleges, create new opportunities for vocational and technical training, and support job-creating research and development in green technology at our universities.

I will ask every principal and college president to create new opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math, nursing and medicine, and other crucial job shortage areas in Virginia.

We must inspire confidence in the honesty, openness, frugality and efficiency of our government.

Right now we have nearly 1000 people dedicated to collecting your taxes. We have one person dedicated to making sure you don’t get overcharged……that’s a ratio that will change when I’m governor! It’s your government, and it’s time we made it act like it!

It’s also time to conduct a thorough audit of how your tax dollars are spent. The Virginia budget has doubled over the last 10 years, growing 30% faster than the rate of growth in population and inflation. We need select independent audits of major state agencies, and a greater level of budget transparency throughout state government. The state budget is nearly 80 billion dollars and you need to know exactly what you are getting for that.

I will work to make life simpler for Virginians by making government more efficient and user friendly.

Ronald Reagan reminded us that often government can be part of the problem. We need to make government work better and act less like monopoly to make life easier for the hard-working families of Virginia. We have good state employees but our systems can be more user-friendly with better customer service.

We have 23 different programs, across 9 different agencies that are supposed to provide workforce development. We need to make this simpler and more effective. I will provide a clear and focused mission for our workforce development programs – create jobs, not hassle and bureaucracy.

To all the mothers with us today: I understand some of what you face, because I see what my wife Maureen goes through every day! You balance children, home, work and everything else in a daily race against the clock. You need a Governor who understands this, and who looks for solutions to make your life easier.

Do we really need so many permits, licenses, stickers, decals, registrations, and certificates with each requiring you to go somewhere to wait in line, fill out a form, and pay a fee? Every mom is a working mom and we need a working mom government simplicity task force!

I want Virginia to be the friendliest state for veterans and retirees to live in. I want your wisdom, your talent and your money to stay right here in Virginia!

We have come a long way in fighting crime in Virginia to make our communities safer. But I want to make Virginia the worst state in the United States for gang members and drug dealers to operate, and the best place in the United States to transition prisoners back to society so they won’t create new victims.

We need greater partnerships and coordination between government and civic and faith-based organizations. I will bring the private and public sectors together to improve the lives of Virginia’s citizens, like we did at the Attorney General’s office with our Legal Food Frenzy.

We have to remember always that the measure of the character of any society is how it cares for the least of its citizens. I will encourage private citizens and companies to renew a spirit of generosity and compassion to care for others especially in this tough time.

In his first inaugural address, Washington told our young nation, “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Values matter.

Jefferson wrote that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe this great truth applies to every American – born and unborn, and as Governor I will defend innocent human life.

In forming our Constitution the founders expressly protected the rights of Americans to own firearms, and as Governor I will protect the 2nd Amendment.

Our founders understood that the “pursuit of happiness” meant the right to own property, and as Governor I will continue to strengthen the private property rights of Virginians.

My personal faith in God has provided the foundation for my life. My faith gives strong purpose, hope for the future, and an optimism for what tomorrow holds. I know we can make Virginia better. I know that because throughout my life I have seen the amazing results that can be achieved when people come together for the common good.

I was raised in Fairfax County by a dad who was a World War II veteran and a mom who balanced family and work. Growing up in Northern Virginia, I learned from them the values that have lasted a lifetime. My dad told me as a kid, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” And he was right.

I learned that playing football, studying, and running track at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria. That hard work paid off.

During 21 years in the Army, active and reserve, I learned the value of sacrifice and teamwork and the satisfaction that comes from being part of an enterprise that’s far bigger than oneself.

While serving in Germany in the shadow of the Iron Curtain, I learned the value of freedom.

Going to school at night for three years while in the Army to get a Masters degree, I learned the value of education.

As a manager for a Fortune 500 company, I saw the productive power that is unleashed when we empower hard working people to work and save, to invest and create, to compete vigorously and to give generously.

As a prosecutor in Virginia Beach, I saw victims who were not being treated fairly and criminals who were getting out of jail too early. And I decided to do something about it.

I ran for the House of Delegates, and won.

Four years ago you gave me the honor of serving as your Attorney General.

Working together we established a 25-year minimum sentence for sex offenders who commit violent crimes against children, and cracked down on drug dealers and gang violence.

We became a national leader fighting Internet Crimes Against Children and identity theft.

Each of these accomplishments represented not only a promise made at election-time, but a promise kept at governing-time.

92 of our 105 legislative proposals became law with broad bipartisan support.

It is with this record, and because of these experiences, that I launch my campaign for Governor!

We must dream big, act nobly, and get results.

I believe in Virginia anything is possible. This is a state full of opportunities, not guarantees.

I grew up in a middle-class family in a middle-class neighborhood in Fairfax County. Thanks to the United States Army I got the education that has taken me farther than I ever imagined.

And now, I stand before you, a candidate for Governor of the greatest state in the greatest country the world has ever known.

Thank you and God Bless Virginia!

  • http://wwwamericanyouth.blogspot.com Steven Osborne

    Bob McDonnell…

    Strong Values, Competant Leadership

  • http://www.crystalclearconservative.com Crystal Clear Conservative

    I just received an e-mail from the Fairfax County Republican Committee, which said the crowd at the Annandale event was over 700 people. I just wanted to correct my previous estimate in the Cover It Live thread.

    Thanks again for live blogging the Virginia Beach event. Good coverage.

  • Stonewall Brigade

    It was a good event in VB. The hometown loves Bob. He is a very strong candidate and has an excellent shot at winning.. None of the three Democrats has a grasp of the issues as Bob does.

    I can hear the DNC now yelling extremist after Labor Day, but the problem is for them is that Bob does not scare people because he is very reasoned and measured in his responses. look forward to the debates.

  • Reid Greenmun

    Tidewater does not love HB 3202 – the HRTA and Bob’s support of the Port lobby’s MPO “plan” to screw us locals to pay for the state-owned Port’s state highways.

    As VA AG Bob wasn’t too helpful in preventing the UNCONSTITUTIONAL HRTA.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    Reid, you’re quickly becoming a one-note wonder. You did so well when you ran for office that I think you qualified as “other”

    As usual, the Virginian-Pilot wrote NO STORY about this kickoff speech. Just one photo. Candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor kickoff with a huge campaign rally, and no story?

    They did find space for a story about a landfill, a library, a film from Israel, and a radio station in North Carolina, but not this speech?

    Looks like the Sunday paper was finished on Friday.

  • William Bailey

    Bob supported Sara Palin and spoke her praises. America and VIRGINIA rejected her as an inexperianced ego maniac. What does that say about His judgement? Marching to the party tune to feather your own political future is not leadership. That is what Bob has done in the last few years…

    And Reid is correct about the HRTA and Bob’s in ability to understand its legality. If he can’t figure out the law as AG why would we want him as Gov? You all might not like it but it is clear Bob isn’t right for Virginia even if he used to represent our area. A clueless hometown Gov isn’t what we need. BTW I support Brian in this race just to be clear to your readers. Terry is not my first choice but I would vote for him over Bob.


  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    Nice to see you in your standard “negative attack politics” mode, Bill. Nothing but negatives in your comments as usual, and then finally an admission of your latest Democrat endorsement.

  • William Bailey

    I told you you weren’t going to like facing the facts… Face it. Bob has so much baggage your really going to have an uphill battle to win the Gov’s race. But like that Palin thing, you’ve got to spin it to try to win. It just make the GOP look like rightwing nuts who care more about winning a race than good government. IMO: American’s care more about good government than they do either party.

    So you really expect me and the voters to ignore his inability to see HRTA as wrong? Then you got that whole Fredrick nightmare going on…

    The best thing Bob has going for him is that there are three folks in the Dems race. If it were just one, Bob would already be toast.

  • Stonewall Brigade

    I worked against HB 3202, it was a bad bill. But as my father taught me when I was young the world was not made for me. I have known Bob for 18 years, in fact I was at his first announcement speech in 1991. You will NOT find a more honest guy than he is. I have dealt with hundreds of people who have run for office over the last 18 years all over this country and I have not seen many who measure up to Bob. The Family Foundation has consistantly given him 90′s and 100 percent. It is true he voted for one gun a month in 1993 I might add I really lit into him on that vote, he has learned from his mistake and been supported by NRA in most of his elections. LaPierre got Deeds the endorsement in 05, for people who know something about Va. politics Wayne was the LA for Vic Tomas in the 1970′s and has a freindship with Dicky Cranwell.

    I suppose the people that complain about Bob should run for office themselves. The people who listen to Bob speech would know there is a big difference on almost all the issues between him and the three Ds. For you people who dont like Bob and claim to want lower taxes go out and work for his defeat and I know you will not like it when the D’s not only raise the sales tax again but also the state income tax.

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    Stonewall, don’t bother with Bailey. Unions back Democrats, and despite years of his “I’m a Republican and unions are non-partisan” blather, his record of negativity and pro-Democrat politics are fairly well known around here.

    Like the way he pushed for a tax increase to buy radios. Gee, I’m sure someone has bought some radios by now, but Bailey’s tax increase is still on the books.

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  • William Bailey

    Brian: You really should try getting a clue. I’m not a union and the Virginia union hasn’t endorsed my candidate in this race so you really missed the boat on your negative comments. BTW: I can think of these Republicans that I’ve supported and worked for in my history: Ed Shrock, Bob Tata, Frank Wagner, Terri Suit, Peter Schmidt, Mark Early, Jim Gilmore(1st Gov race), Jim Wood, Bob Dyer, Ron Villanueva, Rosemary Wilson, Louis Jones just to name a few… So you really are clueless when it come to my selection of candidates. Try sticking to your message and stop your false comments. Frankly I don’t know why JR keeps you other than your negative comments fits right in with the negatives spewed by the GOP since Rove arrived onscene. It is time the GOP stopped that crap and got back to its roots.

    Don’t listen to Brian as he’ll spin his negative message on anyone or anything just to try to win a race. He has been the kiss of death in just about every race he has been involved with for many years.

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    Peter Schmidt, the guy running as a Democrat?

    Going back to the 90s for your Republican endorsements is pretty lame as well. I’m surprised you didn’t add Eisenhower while you were at it.

    Bob Tata? When did you endorse him? When he was unopposed, or when no viable Democrat ran against him.

    City Council. The people you named you endorsed when they were incumbents. Bob Dyer, Ron Villanueva and many others were not supported by you until they actually won, and then you ran to their side four years later. You must love fair weather.

    Funny when I point out the truth that you leave out about yourself, you jump from attacking Bob McDonnell to personally attacking me.

    Ask Meyera and Reba McClanan how much your hearty support helped them. Kiss of death? I’ll take my record over yours any day.

  • http://TidewaterLiberty.com Britt Howard

    William, if you are open to voting for Republicans, that would imply independence and perhaps suggest you might be a conservative democrat. I am also not too impressed by your list there but, I’ll accept your premise. However, why do you support Brian Moran a definite hard left over a fairly conservative Creigh Deeds? Deeds getting the NRA endorsement and Vivian Paige saying that Deeds is too conservative to her, I would think establishes Creigh Deeds as a conservative democrat.

    If you are naturally a conservative democrat that sometimes votes GOP but, have issues with McDonnell, I understand you wanting to vote for anyone but, him. What I don’t get is your strong support for Moran over Criegh Deeds. Just curious to know.

  • CEJ

    “…won’t you come home Bill Bailey…”

  • William Bailey

    Brian: You wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped you in the face. You can’t face the facts and deal with the reality that somebody could actually ever be a republican and still support the best candidate in a race even if they are in the other party. You never could… I’m not willing to sell my vote or give it away to a party of either persuasion. BTW: That Peter Schmidt “guy running as a Democrat” whom you can’t seem to remember was the same guy who hired you to run a race against Purkey as a republican a few years back. We both supported Schmidt but you can’t seem to remember those facts or face reality. I could go into detail of my support of candidates and my personal roles with each of them but I know you well enough to know it will be ignored and spun around by you with more of your own BS replies.

    Mr. Howard: I am an independent voter. I used to be a hard core Republican but that whole Bush McCain thing in 2000 left me very bitter toward the GOP tactics. For me I’ll debate the issues and support candidates in either party, left or right liberal or conservative. I don’t consider myself conservative or liberal and no longer a republican as the GOP (under Rove) hasn’t done anything but attack others including our own folks as Brian so aptly demonstrates on a daily basis. Frankly when I heard republicans calling each other liberals, it turned my stomach and I can’t understand attacking ones own folks then expecting them to stand by you in November.

    You asked my opinion: Deeds doesn’t have the stature all across Virginia to win. He is very good with the debate facts/numbers and has a good record. Moran has an equally excellent record and is from a higher populated/dense area of Virginia but also has the name recognition to win and carry on the GOV agendas that Warner and Kaine have started. For me, Terry is an outsider and I don’t think Virginia is ready for him and all his Dem history. Has lots of money but I’m not buying his pitch. As for Repub Bob, he really is holding losing cards as he is fighting a suicidal GOP ticket that eats its own and can’t figure out who or what they represent in Virginia. I don’t have a personal issue with Bob but his baggage and the Virginia GOP infighting will doom him. America has seen the attacks and greed of the GOP and the business community and they have left the GOP in droves. The only chance Bob has is if Terry Mac wins the Dem ticket and Virginia isn’t ready to make the move with an outsider.

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    I love how Bailey despises negative attacks so much that he continually does them.

    You say Bush/McCain in 2000 left you soooooo bitter against the party, but you bragged and bragged about all the Republicans you’ve supported since then. Which was it? Did it take 5 or 6 years for you to act on all the revulsion you felt in 2000?

    Try some more spin, William. You and I know the truth about why you support whom you support, and it has nothing to do with Karl Rove, Republican infighting, or a range of issues beyond one.

  • William Bailey

    Grow up…

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  • http://TidewaterLiberty.com Britt Howard

    William, I do agree that Moran has some advantages. I haven’t seen enough momentum coming out of the Deeds campaign.

    However, as you point to discontent in the RPV, surely you can see people wanting an alternative. A LOT of toes have been unapologetically stomped on and bad blood is evident.

    Would it not be tactically sound to run a conservative Democrat after those disenfranchised voters? Can you see them voting for Moran? I’m not to sure about that. Moran has good credentials if you’re a Democrat. Especially, if you’re the enviornmentalist type but, he’s less palatable to those not of the liberal persuasion.

    Yes, McDonnell has truly damaged his chances with some voters but, it’ll be a LOOOOOONG run until November. His PR with Frederick backers can go from rabid enemy status, to mere dislike in that amount of time. I’m not sure “dislike” is enough to jump ship over to vote for a Lefty like Moran.

    To me, Terry is McAwful. I agree with you. He would be the worst pick possible for the Democrats.

    As for Brian Kirwin, I don’t judge him based on who he campaigns for. Sometimes he’s “on the clock”. He can seperate his job and his political beliefs. Bit of a mercenary. I don’t know that I could campaign for someone I don’t believe in. I’m not that flexible. But hey, to each his own path. We all have families to feed and political consultancy is a job.

    Thanks for the reply.

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