We all know Virginia will be in play in the presidential contest. And President Obama made clear Sunday that the commonwealth’s recent debates over abortion and other social issues will be, too.
At a fundraiser in McLean Sunday night, Obama made reference to Virginia’s recent abortion battles, with comments about the “social issues that are at stake” in the race for the White House.
“You know something about that in Virginia; the kinds of nonsense that’s been going on,” Obama said. “But that’s all across the country. When you have folks who talk about -- want to repeal ‘don’t ask’ -- repeal the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’. . . When you have folks who are talking about not just constraining women’s reproductive health, but questioning things like contraception as part of our preventive care.”
Obama made the remarks at a fundraiser jointly headlined with former President Bill Clinton at the home of Terry McAuliffe,a businessman, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and likely gubernatorial candidate next year.
Virginia’s GOP-controlled General Assembly advanced a number of socially conservative bills this year, including measures allowing state-funded adoption agencies to turn away gay prospective parents. But it drew the most attention with legislation that would have required most women seeking abortions to first undergo a transvaginal ultrasound. After a national uproar, the bill was amended to require a less invasive, abdominal ultrasound.
The Republican Party of Virginia issued a statement prior to the fundraiser, which also was attended by former Democratic governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine. (Former senator and governor George Allen, who debated other Republican Senate hopefuls Saturday, is the front runner on the GOP side.)
“It’s fitting that Barack Obama would have a fundraiser with Terry McAuliffe,” Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said in a statement. “Terry is a self-proclaimed salesman, but it’s going to take more than a great salesman to make Virginia buy another four years of Obama, or another dose of Tim Kaine. Between 8 percent national unemployment, billion-dollar tax hikes, Solyndra, and $4 gas, Virginians aren’t buying what Terry, Tim, Bill, and Barack are selling.”