This transcript of Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli II was provided by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. The moderator was Chuck Todd, of NBC News. Panelists were Julie Carey and Aaron Gilchrist, of NBC4, and Ben Pershing, political reporter for The Washington Post.
19:02:39:00Mr. McAuliffe, by virtue of an earlier coin toss, you will go first with your two minute opening statement. Go ahead.
19:02:45:00Well, thank you, Chuck. And thank you to the Fairfax Chamber for hostin’ us tonight and to all Virginians, who are watching at home. And I would like to recognize my wife Dorothy who is here with me tonight. For the last two decades, we have been raising our five children here in Fairfax County. The choice in this race is simple, which candidate is going to govern from the mainstream, work with both parties, and focus on those economic issues that Virginians are concerned about.
19:03:13:00During this campaign, I have proposed commonsense solutions on issues of education, transportation, and workforce development. I’ve also been proud to earn the support of so many prominent Republicans, many of whom have never supported a Democrat before. The bipartisan coalition that we have assembled during this campaign reflects the approach that I would take as governor, following in the successful model of Mark Warner.
19:03:41:00Just a few weeks ago, my opponent changed his campaign staff and his tactics. Probably because he was concerned that a number of Republicans were no longer supporting his campaign. The result has been a sharp increase in the most personal of attacks. They’ve been called deceitful and false by the press.
19:04:00:00So I expect more of those kinds of attacks tonight. But what Virginians do expect from us is to hear how we are going to bring folks together in Richmond. With the Department of Defense drawing down its overall spending and now with the sequestration, the next governor will face serious economic headwinds. We cannot afford the next four years in Richmond to be like the last four in Washington.
19:04:26:00Gridlock, driven by the Tea Party, is once again risking a government shutdown that would be devastating to the Virginia economy. In Virginia, we have a strong record of working together, Democrats and Republicans. And with the challenges that lie ahead, we must embrace the tradition of mainstream solutions. We need those solutions now more than ever.
19:04:51:00And that is what I look forward to talking with you tonight.
19:04:53:00Thank-- thank you, Mr. McAuliffe. Mr. Cuccinelli, your opening statement.
19:04:56:00Well, I want to thank the Chamber and NBC 4 for hosting us today, Chuck and the panel for their participation, and Terry for being here, as well. It’s nice to be right near in the backyard of where I grew up. I’m the only candidate in this race with a lifetime of fighting for Virginians, whether it’s preventing sexual assault, helping the homeless, or working to help those suffering from mental illness, a passion of mine for more than a decade and a half.