Erickson debunks the myth that Abbey, Deeds campaign manager, was doing this on his own time…
The Deeds campaign rushed out to say Abbey was twittering away during working hours at the office for himself and was not operating for the campaign. We all know that’s crap, but in the lameness that is the Deeds campaign, that has to pass as their most plausible excuse.
Because the story blew up in their faces.
He then undercuts Tribbett who tried to spin later that the McDonnell campaign should have insisted the booth next to them move or take down the flag.
[T]he confederate memorabilia sellers with the flag were not going to move their stuff just to accommodate the last minute arrival of a gubernatorial candidate — why should they?
Indeed. I may not agree with the flag, but the retailer is certainly entitled to the free market.
But lest you still think the McDonnell camp is racist and complicit in all this, you should be reminded of Deeds’ own feelings on the matter of the confederacy:
According to a 1999 Roanoke Times article, Deeds told legislators during that debate that: “I grew up in a house with a portrait of the Confederate flag on the wall. I grew up in a house with a portrait of Robert E. Lee on the wall over my bed.”
And Tribbett’s mock-outrage is misplaced, considering his use of the General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazzard” in Ben “Cooter” Jones campaign.
Even Blue Virginia took note of the campaign’s slip up:
3. This one’s particularly bad. The story about the Confederate flag that ran on NLS (and also here at Blue Virginia) should have stayed on the blogs. In other words, the Deeds campaign shouldn’t have touched it with a 10-foot pole. Instead, we get this:
Joe Abbey, Deeds campaign manager, sent out a tweet this afternoon: “BREAKING NEWS: MCDONNELL HAS CONFEDERATE FLAG POSTED IN HIS BOOTH AT GUN SHOW IN RICHMOND” linking to the blog story.
“It was Joe’s personal retweet, not the campaign’s,” said Mo Elleithee, Deeds spokesman. “Today we’re focused on drawing a contrast between Creigh’s vision of moving Virginia forward and Bob McDonnell’s record of hurting southside Virginia and his support of the Bush economic agenda. If the Mcdonnell campaign would like to answer for that, we’re all ears.”
Oh, wonderful. First of all, the Deeds campaign touches the Confederate flag story, a mistake on so many levels it’s hard to even know where to begin (distracts from the campaign’s real messaging, is a controversial subject that is much better off being handled by “surrogates,” etc). Then, in the Washington Post no less, we’ve got the campaign’s senior communications guy clarifying and contradicting the campaign manager. Not good at all.
Of course, BV didn’t condemn the tactic or the ethics of it, but they’re right to note that the campaign should not have been involved.
It’s time for Deeds to come out TODAY and apologize for his campaign manager spreading a lie.