Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia: The Final Debate

Dear Friend,

This race is getting heated – and it’s moving at lightning speed.  While Terry continued to communicate his positive vision for growing Virginia’s economy at yesterday’s final debate in Annandale, Brian Moran launched the first TV attack ad of the race, and a firestorm of criticism erupted in the aftermath of his false radio spot.  

You’ve built this campaign from the ground up.  And with just 20 days to go, we want to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

The reviews are in.  News outlets reported Terry was “unfazed,” “jovial”, “confident and carefree,” while his opponents engaged in “McAuliffe bashing,” “going after [Terry] with a bit of a vengeance” in their fifth and final debate.  WTOP political analyst Mark Plotkin said Terry “definitely dominates at these debates – feels very relaxed, very comfortable, very much at ease.”  And The Hill ran with the headline: “McAuliffe emerges as leading candidate in VA primary.”

The most telling moment of the afternoon occurred when Creigh Deeds disparagingly asked Terry how he planned to implement all the proposals he’s put forward on the campaign trail.  Terry was all over it. Taking the opportunity to reinforce his positive vision for growing Virginia’s economy, Terry delivered the best line of the debate:  “John Kennedy didn’t say we’re taking the rocket halfway to the moon – it goes all the way to the moon. That’s how I think.”

VCU Professor Bob Holsworth observed “a bit of an irony” in Moran’s and Deed’s suggestion that Terry won’t be able to follow through on his agenda:

“Nationally, the Democratic Party has fared very well because it is the party of hope and not the party of no.  Wasn’t Bill Clinton the boy from Hope (Arkansas, that is)?  And wasn’t Hope Obama’s real middle name?…  Democrats have to ensure that in trying to defeat McAuliffe, they don’t also run down the major rhetorical advantage they’ve had over the GOP in the last few years.”

First Attack Ad on TV

Yesterday afternoon, Brian Moran’s campaign launched its first television ad.  However, instead of using the spot to introduce Brian to voters, they launched a terribly misleading and viciously personal attack that unfairly characterizes Terry’s record as an entrepreneur with 13 years experience running large organizations. 

But we were ready. Within an hour of getting word about Moran’s attack, we’d cut and released a response ad that sets the record straight.

The truth is that Terry is the only candidate in this race who’s created thousands of jobs. Terry’s been completely forthcoming about his business record, and reporters have taken an extensive look at it during this campaign.  In this economic climate, Terry’s record of turning around struggling institutions is precisely what Virginia needs.

Criticism of Moran Radio Ad Mounts

Brian Moran’s radio ad is taking a beating.  It’s deliberately designed to deceive voters into believing Terry opposed Barack Obama’s candidacy last November – and in an article entitled, “Moran’s Miscues in Virginia,” the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Factcheck.org calls out the ad for its misleading claims.  Noting that the ad doesn’t provide adequate context when it mentions Terry’s appearance on the Daily Show, the independent organization wrote that “McAuliffe never worked against President Barack Obama, or Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. And when last we checked, Clinton was serving as Obama’s secretary of state, indicating there’s been a burial ceremony for some old swords. Maybe Moran missed it.”

Even Moran’s own supporters are disgusted. Joel McDonald – a longtime Brian Moran supporter who blogs at Virginia Beach Progressives – wrote that, “Spreading half-truths and rumors in a desperate attempt at shifting opinion about your opponent is not the way campaigns will be won this year.”  Noting that Moran’s attack bears a striking similarity to the attacks Republicans waged against Obama, McDonald said, “For a campaign to truly use Barack Obama’s influence, they have to campaign using his example.”

We obviously think Terry did great, but you should decide for yourself.

This election is still close.  Anything could happen, and we’re counting on you to help mobilize the voters on Election Day – June 9th, 2009.  So if you haven’t done so already, please sign up to volunteer immediately.

Thanks so much for all your help,

HIRAM7 REVIEW & The Friends of Terry McAuliffe


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