The Truth About John Adams

The liberal media is at it again. This week, Washington Post columnist Laura Vozzella tried to sew together a mismatched tapestry of half-truths and out-of-context quotes from Republican nominee for Attorney General John Adams. The article attacked everything from his views on social issues to something he said to a newspaper in 1994. Simply put, Democratic AG candidate Mark Herring has the Washington Post doing his job for him.

It is necessary as a Republican to debunk the misconceptions that were published in this article and get to the real truth about Mr. Adams and his campaign.

Claim: John Adams is inherently anti-LGBT rights. 

Actual Truth: John Adams just wants to follow the rule of law. Also, he wants to actually defend the laws Virginia has already passed.

I’ve spoken at length with Adams about this issue. He isn’t anti-LGBT; he’s against the Virginia Attorney General not following the laws that were voted on by Virginia voters.

Like it or not (and this author, in particular, hates it), the Virginia voters passed a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. It’s the law, and if you are the Attorney General of Virginia, the AG has to defend the laws that have been passed by the voters.

However, Mark Herring became what I like to call a “Cafeteria Attorney General.” Some people are familiar with the slang term, “Cafeteria Catholic,” where basically one picks and chooses what they like and dislike about the Catholic church, and follows only the laws of the church they believe. Essentially, AG Herring has decided he is only going to follow the laws that have his personal approval. Here’s a quote from Adams about AG Herring: 

“Two words: Mark Herring. I mean it when I say it. I’ve never run for office before. But when I saw the Attorney General really usurping the power of the people by ignoring the laws that we the people pass, picking and choosing which laws he agreed with or disagreed with, to me that was an abrogation of his duty as our Attorney General and when he said he was going to run for reelection, I said, not on my watch.”

This author is a supporter of the Freedom to Marry and LGBT rights. However, I believe the way the Supreme Court chose to basically legislate gay marriage into existence isn’t how laws are supposed to be passed. Laws are supposed to be passed by the legislative branch, signed by the executive branch, and tested for constitutionality by the judicial branch. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about marriage or marriage rights. As much as I would like the Constitution to give the right to marry to everyone, it simply doesn’t.

That’s the main point of Mr. Adams’ argument — that the first problem is that anyone who believes in limited government should have issues with the way gay marriage was legislated from the Supreme Court. The second problem is that Virginia voters had a law on the books and Mark Herring did nothing to defend it.

Claim: “At our debate this morning, here’s what my opponent, John Adams, had to say about women’s access to birth control: ‘It’s not an issue I think about. It’s not an issue I care about,’ ”

TRUTH: John Adams has no interest in taking away the rights of women. 

Politics sometimes is just stupid. Literally stupid. There is nothing that can describe the stupidity of politics. Here’s the quote from the debate in question:

They (Democrats) have seized on pro bono, friend-of-the-court briefs Adams wrote supporting the rights of two organizations – the Hobby Lobby retail chain and the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns – to be exempted from an Obamacare birth-control mandate due to religious objections.

“He did it on his own, in his spare time,” Herring said in a June 17 debate with Adams in Virginia Beach. “That’s where his passion is, in taking people’s rights away from them.”

Adams said his only interest was in protecting religious freedom.

“I have zero interest in limiting women’s access to birth control. None,” he said. “It’s not an issue I think about. It’s not an issue I care about. I’m not limiting anybody’s access to birth control. It’s silly. Political talk. It’s silly. What I do care about is not allowing the government to force people – the Little Sisters of the Poor – to take actions that violate their religious faith.” [emphasis added]

Within hours, Herring was out with a fund-raising appeal based on a snippet of that exchange.

“At our debate this morning, here’s what my opponent, John Adams, had to say about women’s access to birth control: ‘It’s not an issue I think about. It’s not an issue I care about,’ ” it began.

There is a profound difference in protecting Catholic nuns, and taking women’s birth control options. John Adams helped the Little Sisters of the Poor so that they didn’t have to provide Catholic nuns with birth control methods that are against their religious beliefs. It’s not saying that you or I can’t use birth control methods as we so choose. He just wanted to defend a group of Catholic nuns from having to be provided contraception. Let me be as clear as possible: this had nothing to do with regular, John Q. Public people. He just wanted to protect the rights of Catholic nuns.

Then the Washington Post had to go reprint this STUPID, and might I repeat STUPID, email that Mark Herring sent out. It completely, one thousand percent, took John Adams’ words out of context. It’s not that Adams doesn’t care about people. It’s just that he’s not interested in taking the rights of Virginians away from them. It’s a disgrace and downright pathetic that the Washington Post printed this ridiculous quote from Mr. Herring’s campaign.

Claim: Someone actually cares what John Adams said to the Associated Press twenty years ago about VMI. 


I would like to inform Mrs. Vozella of a cold, hard fact. I don’t give a rat’s behind what John Adams said to a newspaper about his school in 1994. I was three years old in 1994. No Virginia voter out there gives a rip about what John said in 1994.

Mrs. Vozzella even points out that Mr. Adams has changed his position over the years on the issue of VMI accepting women. We all have changed since 1994. We all have wacky off-the-wall ideas from our college years. Most of us have moved on and grown up since that time.

Including Mr. Adams’ 23-year-old comment was a sad attempt by Mrs. Vozzella to dredge up an old quote to make Adams look bad. Trust me, no one in Virginia cares what Adams told the newspaper in 1994 especially since his views have changed on the issue.

Truth: John Adams wants to defend Virginia’s laws, manage the largest law firm in Virginia efficiently, and fight to protect Virginians. 

The media is going to do everything in their power to lie about the record of our Republican candidates. It’s time that someone defended Mr. Adams and his record. I hope that voters will keep this in mind in November.

  • Claire Guthrie Gastanaga

    Just checking on consistency … should Jerry Kilgore have gone to the US Supreme Court as AG to defend the provision of the VA constitution that limited right of chuches to incorporate? He didn’t even appeal a federal trial decision to 4th circuit. Falwell and Thomas Road Baptist Church v. Miller. ACLUVA supported church in that case and couples seeking freedom to marry. One VA constitutional amendment violated 1st amendment of federal constitution; the second violated the equal protection clause. Neither should have been defended by state AG (nor should VA AG have defended anti-miscegenation statute in Loving v VA).

  • Chad Davis

    I think Herring knows he is in trouble for November, so he is turning to his pals at the Washington Post for some help.


    I read Vozella’s article and Patrick Wilson’s article in the RTD over the weekend. (

    I thought both were perfectly fair pieces and had fairly similar tones/content, yet only one has been singled out for criticism–I wonder why.

    In particular, I don’t understand the outrage over quoting the Herring fundraising email. It provides full context, more than enough for a reader to independently conclude whether it was a fair email from the Herring campaign.

    I think that the author of this piece wouldn’t have been satisfied unless the Washington Post runs a piece excoriating Herring and praising Adams.

  • Peacemaker

    The Truth About John Adams?
    Well, I suppose “Truth” can be interpreted differently depending on who’s speaking.

    Apparently, Mr. Adams chooses to cherry pick Constitutional rights and SCOTUS decisions based on his own personal preference.

    For example:

    I have a gun, I am nowhere near anti-gun. It is a fact that in 2015, there were 946 firearm related fatalities in Virginia. Mr. Adams chooses to note the Second Amendment on the issue of gun rights. That’s fine, and expected. However, his first “issue” is Drug Abuse and Overdose Crisis. His “Plan” does more to waste money, invade privacy and hurt honest doctors and individuals than anything I have recently seen. Some of the “values” he states could easily be interpreted the same way. What about Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness?

    Why are the 1400 people who have died in the last year based on this “crisis” more important than the 946 who died by firearms? Or, does he believe that you’re free to shoot yourself, but not free to treat chronic pain?

    He rightly claims that the AG is supposed to be all about the law, but doesn’t seem to support the SCOTUS decision related to marriage. Like it or not…it’s now the law. He made reference to clerking for Clarence Thomas and wishing there were 4 more like him. Really? I’ll bet Ms. Hill would not agree…but that’s irrelevant.

    Also, There is a lovely quote from Ronald Regan under Mr. Adams “issue” of “Education”. Where is the Constitutional reference?

    Reading those articles makes it seem as though Mr. Adams true opinions are going to be based on his target audience…and that group can’t carry Virginia statewide.
    I could go on…but I do not support Herring either.

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