WAMU 88.5 : News

McAuliffe And Cuccinelli Trade Attacks In Second Debate

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe, left, and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli debate Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in McLean, Va.
(AP Photo/The Washington Post, Linda Davidson, Pool)
Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe, left, and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli debate Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in McLean, Va.

In Virginia, candidates for governor met for the second big showdown last night to duke it out—and it wasn't pretty.

It was attack and counter-attack at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce debate in McLean last night, as Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli traded zingers and accusations. (See a full transcript here.)

Cuccinelli tried to paint McAuliffe as a Washington operator who's only interested in helping himself. "If Terry is elected governor, we are going to have to change the state motto from Sic Semper Tyranus to Quid Pro Quo," he quipped.

Cuccinelli repeatedly attacked McAuliffe for pressuring government officials to provide visas for Chinese businessmen. McAuliffe responded by attacking Cuccinelli for taking a turkey dinner from a wealthy businessman fighting a tax bill.

"And I would say to the attorney general, join me in this $100 gift ban. I mean clearly you can buy a lot of turkey for a hundred bucks," he said.

On the issues, the candidates clashed on Medicaid expansion. Cuccinelli opposes it, and warns his opponent's approach is unreasonable. "My opponent repeatedly said that he wouldn't sign a Virginia budget that didn't have the Medicaid expansion in it," he said.

Moderator Chuck Todd pressed McAuliffe to respond. "Well the question is about whether you think President Obama has shown the right leadership to solve this crisis," he said.

"No budget will be shut down in Virginia over the Medicaid expansion," said McAuliffe. "The only one on this stage that almost had effect was Ken Cuccinelli when he almost derailed the Virginia budget when he was trying to defund Planned Parenthood."

Meanwhile Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis was not invited to participate in the debate even though his support is growing in the polls. In the hall after the debate, Sarvis said it was a shame the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce excluded him from the debate.

"I heard of attack ads and negativity. I didn't hear a lot of ideas. I just heard a lot of talking points. And I thought it was a shame that we didn't have somebody talking in a more positive manner about real solutions for Virginia," he said.

Recent polls show McAuliffe in the lead—for now. But the election is still six weeks away.


Military Veterans Take On Zombies In 'Range 15'

Range 15 is a new zombie movie made by war veterans for veterans. It's a dark comedy with a cast that includes a Navy Cross recipient, amputees and William Shatner.

Chef Eddie Huang On Cultural Identity And 'Intestine Sticky Rice Hot Dog'

Huang and his brothers, Evan and Emery, headed to China to reconnect with their culture, to eat lots and lots of food — and to cook. He's documented his travels in his new book, Double Cup Love.

Family of Kate Steinle Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The suit alleges San Francisco's "sanctuary city" immigration policies led to Steinle's death, allegedly at the hands of a man in the U.S. illegally. It also blames two federal agencies.

North Korea Linked To $81 Million Bangladesh Bank Heist

Experts say code used by hackers in recent attacks on banks appears to be the same as code used in an attack on Sony Pictures which the FBI says was carried out by North Korea.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.