On Saturday, the Republican Party of Virginia sent a clear signal that it will be the party that stands for freedom and liberty against bigger government and out-of-control spending, values life, and will work tirelessly to preserve our personal safety and security.
With the formal nomination of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli as the GOP nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, respectively, the party has fielded a triumvirate of unwavering and determined conservatives who will advocate for strong, practical, and commonsense principles for the people of the commonwealth.
But it didn’t take long for the media or the Democrats to attempt to portray the ticket as too conservative or “divisive”.
At a press conference following the formal nomination, reporters hounded McDonnell over his faith and labeled Cuccinelli as a potential drag on the ticket…straight out of the Democrats playbook.
The press tried to make Pat Robertson an albatross around McDonnell’s neck, just because McDonnell and tens of thousands of others have attended the highly-accredited and award-winning university that Robertson founded: Regent University. McDonnell effectively shrugged and said that this has been going on for twenty-five years, and when Virginians look at his ideas and record of accomplishment, they see him as his own person.
In a nut-shell, this is just another trumped-up media controversy instilled in them by lazy reporting and a desire to repeat what “Common Sense Virginia” – a Democratic-front organization – is feeding them.
And as far as Cuccinelli being a drag? There are examples all the way back to 1993 in every election in which the Democratic party wheels out the same old, tired rhetoric, and the media regurgitates the talking points.
“Democrats yesterday promised to campaign on bread-and-butter themes such as economic growth but said they would not hesitate to highlight what they said are their opponents’ extreme stances on social and cultural issues.” (Washington Times, June 7, 1993)
“‘I don’t know if George Allen is using their agenda to advance his cause, or if Pat Robertson is using George Allen to advance his cause,’ Miss Terry said. ‘But clearly he has right-wing ties that make him the most extreme candidate in modern times.’” (Washington Times, October 18, 1993)
“‘We have a very clear difference in the race,’ said Lt. Gov. Donald S. Beyer Jr., the democratic gubernatorial nominee. ‘We become the mainstream ticket”’
‘This is Pat Robertson’s ‘dream team,” said state Democratic Chairwoman, Sue Wrenn, noting that the broadcast preacher has poured $80,000 into the Gilmore and Earley treasuries.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 11, 1997)
“….prompted Democrats to declare that the GOP ticket is extreme and out of the mainstream of Virginia politics.” (The Washington Post, June 19, 2005)
Yawn. C’mon, legacy media. Get out of your funk and move onto something new.
I have a lot of respect for reporters such as AP’s Bob Lewis, but for him to ask a question to McDonnell about “moderating” his positions while Cuccinelli is so “conservative” (ed. note: *gasp* – a conservative in the Republican party!), strikes me as an attempt to create controversy where none exists – all based on the fact that he probably read the Democratic press releases from earlier in the day.
But is it any surprise Lewis asks the question when Levar “The Michelin Man” Stoney, executive director of the Democrats of Virginia, earlier in the day said,
“Today, Virginia Republicans have chosen the most divisive ticket in modern Virginia history. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli all have long careers of pushing divisive social issues instead of getting things done for Virginians.”
Such as what? Protecting kids from Internet predators?
McDonnell answered in kind with a hard-hitting response:
McDonnell: Bob, I think you got it wrong.
Lewis: Which part?
McDonnell: Well, in the premise of your question. I’m a consistent conservative. I’m a conservative that believes if you put those commonsense conservative principles into place you have better ideas to get results for the citizens of Virginia. Look at what I have talked about today on energy policy, on more innovation for our public school system, on making sure that we have more conservation (which is a conservative value), on more access to higher education – these are all things which I believe are consistent with our basic, commonsense, limited government, pro-opportunity message that we’re going to take to every corner of Virginia. Those are conservative values. Sometimes I think people might not understand anymore what a conservative is!
The three candidates have reason to be proud conservatives.
While Jeff Schapiro and Tyler Whitley tried to diminish in their report that over seven-thousand delegates attended the convention, which included several thousand more guests – what can’t be diminished is the energy within the Richmond Coliseum that was on full display and will be sustained for the duration of this campaign.
The visual effect of waving Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, chants of U-S-A, and full-throated cheers for Bob McDonnell as he took the stage for the first time in the morning may have been lost on the reporters, (after all, they hadn’t seen such a thing from Virginia Republicans for nearly fifteen years – if they could see at all, given their station at the convention) but it was not lost on the thirty-plus bloggers sitting on bloggers row.
There is clearly an energy building amongst conservatives who know that our very freedoms are being eroded – and that right now, our best hope is provided by these three candidates.
Advocating for solid solutions to our most pressing problems is nothing to be ashamed of. And the three candidates running for statewide office are proud of what they stand for.
Growing the economy, protecting and creating jobs, preserving Virginia’s “right-to-work” status, promoting oil and natural gas development in the Outer Continental Shelf, further developing the coal industry – which includes the largest coal depot in Hampton Roads, reducing tuition costs, opposing abortion, protecting second amendment rights, improving education standards, protecting citizens from internet crimes and on-line predators…and on and on.
If anyone is divisive, it is those people who feel the above ideas are “out of touch” with Virginians.
Conservatives need not cede this ground…but stand tall and proudly advocate for why our freedoms matter.
The media and Democrats might try to diminish what happened in Richmond Saturday, but they will have a very difficult time stemming this “rising tide.”