Transcript: Virginia governor’s debate between Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli II

September 25, 2013

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.

CHUCK TODD:

19:02:39:00Mr. McAuliffe, by virtue of an earlier coin toss, you will go first with your two minute opening statement. Go ahead.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

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.

CHUCK TODD:

19:04:50:00Thank you.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:04:51:00And that is what I look forward to talking with you tonight.

CHUCK TODD:

19:04:53:00Thank-- thank you, Mr. McAuliffe. Mr. Cuccinelli, your opening statement.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

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.

19:05:23:00I’ve also served in state government for over 10 years. And I know how it works. I’m the only candidate in this race who won’t need on-the-job training if you elect me your governor this year. In this campaign, my opponent has spent a lot of time telling you why you shouldn’t vote for me for governor, but not much time welling-- telling you why you should vote for him.

19:05:44:00You may not always agree with me in this race, but you’ll always know where I stand and why I hold the positions that I do. When it comes to economic competitiveness, job creation, and higher education, I know we can all work together to make Virginia a better place to live with lasting results. But it takes a governor who will fight for those issues and not for their own self-interest.

19:06:09:00Where does my fight come from? Well, my Italian grandfather didn’t have more than a sixth grade education. He was one of the toughest, hardest-working folks I’ve ever known, whether it was as a welder or in a scrapyard where he worked for years, or as a bare knuckle boxer during The Depression, probably his toughest job of all. He was proud to work to support his family.

19:06:31:00And today, ordinary folks all over Virginia, like my grandfather, want nothing more than to share in the dignity of work. And I have a plan that’ll create 58,000 new jobs here in Virginia. Creating jobs, fighting for the middleclass, and fighting for a good education in our children are priorities of my campaign and will be for my governorship. I’ve proposed detailed policy ideas for each. And I’ll begin on day one fighting to put those ideas into action--

CHUCK TODD:

19:06:59:00All right.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:06:59:00--if you’ll elect me on November 5th.

CHUCK TODD:

19:07:01:00All right, you guys were pretty good there. Only about five seconds over for both of you. (LAUGH) I’m pleading, we’re all pleading with you tonight, that that was your talking points and-- and-- and hit us-- and-- and try to answer our questions. So let me begin. It’s gonna be a similar question to both of you. But Mr. McAuliffe, you get the first question.

19:07:17:00Nearly $20 million’s been spent on TV ads in this race. 75% of ‘em, we did the calculation, have been negative. This is both of you. I want each of you to respond to the stereotype you’ve been tryin’ to create-- about the other. Mr. McAuliffe, the stereotype of you is that you’re an operator, cheerleader more than a legislator or governor. That you don’t have the relevant experience to be governor. And that you’re a man in a hurry, who’s willing to use political connections, sometimes in very high places, to take shortcuts. Your response?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:07:48:00I’m a young man who grew up in-- Syracuse, New York. I started my first business when I was 14 years old, ‘cause I had to help pay for college. I’ve been involved in a number of businesses since that time, chairman of a bank by the age of 30, built thousands of homes. I’ve been involved in a wide variety of different businesses. I want to bring that business approach, that business experience. I think it’s important to have someone in the governor’s office who has those business experience, understands the ups and downs of businesses, understands that risk is inherent in our economy, and is willing to put everything in to make sure we grow and diversify our economy.

19:08:25:00With sequestration, with the budget cuts that we have seen in the Department of Defense, with $500 billion, the stimulus is over, the next governor’s real challenge is how do you grow and diversify our businesses? How do we create new economic activity? Dorothy and I would love to have our five children stay in Virginia. But in order to stay in Virginia, we need to have those jobs of the 21st century, cyber security, nanotechnology, bio life sciences. Those are what we need to do to grow our economy.

19:08:53:00Now we have had a lot of different ads. And there are differences between the two of us. My opponent has spent most of his career on a social ideological agenda. He has-- pushed personhood legislation which would outlaw most forms of contraception, would make the pill illegal in Virginia. He bullied the Board of Health that would shut down the woman’s health centers. Women are 50% of the workforce of the United States of America. You cannot grow an economy by putting walls up around Virgin--

CHUCK TODD:

19:09:19:00I’m gonna stop you there. Mr. Cuccinelli, you have 90 seconds to respond.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:09:22:00Thank you. (THROAT CLEARS) Well, in this race-- of course, we’ve got our ads on television. I’d point you to the kinds of ads we’ve been running. Right now you all can see running the ad-- about a case that I’m very proud of. One about Thomas Haynesworth. Thomas Haynesworth holds the record in Virginia for serving more time in prison while innocent than anyone in the history of the Commonwealth.

19:09:47:00And he’s out today on a 6-4 vote of our Court of Appeals, because I took that case and joined his side. And we won 6-4, 5-5 is a loss. You know, that’s the kind of story we’re tryin’ to tell, Chuck, in this race. That’s a story I’m very proud of. I think there are reasons not to vote for Mr. McAuliffe for governor. We make those-- that case as well.

19:10:10:00But we have a positive record to look back on in my case. We’ve done a great job in the Attorney General’s Office, fighting health care fraud, internet predators. We’ve worked even with Capital One, as we sit here on some justice issues, justice access issues. Those are things near and dear to my heart. That’s where we focused in this race.

19:10:29:00I’m the only candidate who’s gotten both of the major business endorsements so far in this race, from the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s tech pack. And just this week from Virginia’s small businesses, the N.F.I.B.-- has endorsed me, as well, with their 5,500 small business members. They obviously think that my preparation and my plans for growing the economy here in Virginia is best not just for them, but to make Virginia a better place--

CHUCK TODD:

19:10:54:00All right.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:10:55:00--to live and raise a family.

CHUCK TODD:

19:10:56:00Mr. McAuliffe, as you get your-- 60 seconds to respond-- on here, I want you to deal with this issue. You-- you one time said to the New York Times, “I’ve met all of my business contacts through politics. It’s all interrelated.” And we’ve looked at it. And a lot of it is political ties. After all the ethical woes going on right now in Richmond with the current governor, why shouldn’t that give the voters pause that there’s gonna be some-- ethical, questionable deals with too many political figures in your-- in your life?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:11:22:00Well, I’ve spent a lot of part of my life-- volunteerin’ in politics. I’m committed, passionate. As I say, I started my first business at a very young age, was successful in business. I want to bring that business experience. Met a lot-- awful lot of folks. But listen, I have-- stand by everything that I have done in my life. I’m very proud of my accomplishments.

19:11:40:00As I say, Dorothy and I decided to move to Virginia about 21 years ago, because we knew this was the best place that we could raise our family. But there’s a difference when the attorney general who’s in the middle of the Star Scientific scandal. I mean, the same gentleman who gave all the gifts to the governor, gave my opponent $18,000 worth of gifts. Star Scientific, they owe Virginia about $1.7 million.

19:12:03:00And instead of takin’ him to court, Ken was bein’ taken to trips to New York City. He was-- got a $1,500 turkey dinner. I said, “That’s a lot of turkey.” And he was (UNINTEL) his house, (UNINTEL) Mountlake house. We were owed-- the taxpayers of Virginia were owed that money. And instead of goin’ and collectin’ what was our money, my opponent was actually taking gifts from this gentleman--

CHUCK TODD:

19:12:23:00All right.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:12:23:00--and he was buyin’ stock and he wasn’t disclosin’ it. That’s--

19:12:26:00(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

19:12:26:00We’re gonna get-- we’re gonna-- we’re gonna get to that. Mr. Cuccinelli, I want to-- go-- a 90-second question to you. The-- the-- the second official question here. This-- talk about the stereotype that’s been painted of you. That you’ll use your governorship to push a social agenda on abortion, gay rights, even-- on climate change. That you would be a governor simply for conservatives. And that you will not-- consider those who are liberals or moderates in you governing. Your response to this stereotype--

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:12:50:00Sure--

CHUCK TODD:

19:12:50:00--that’s been painted?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:12:52:00I-- I think that one of the best responses to this is the broad array of support that we’re getting from Democrats, Independents, and bipartisan groups like the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Tech PAC up here in Northern Virginia, the small businesses across Virginia, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Farm Bureau, the police.

19:13:09:00We’re getting a broad array of support across Virginia, because I’ve put forward well-thought-out plans that start with an understanding of how Virginia government works. And that we can use those plans forward, because people can look at my record and see that what I campaign on is what I pursue.

19:13:28:00And as attorney general, right here in Fairfax County, fighting back against overreaching regulations on a bipartisan basis with the Fairfax Board, we saved Fairfax County taxpayers and Virginia taxpayers about $250 million. Look, I believe-- I have some basic beliefs that are fundamental to me. But overwhelming proportion of my time as attorney general has been spent moving Virginia forward economically and protecting liberty and our constitution.

19:13:56:00That’s something you can continue to expect from me as your next governor. You know, the comparison here is someone who has told the New York Times, you know, “You help me, I help you. That’s politics,” talking about a case where he was an unindicted coconspirator in a teamsters election money laundering case. I mean, if-- if Terry’s elected governor. We’re gonna have to change the state motto from “Sic Semper Tyrannis” to “Quid Pro Quo.” And just today in the Washington Post, they have an article-- they have an article about how his higher ed policy changed on a dime when he got certain support. Some of them--

CHUCK TODD:

19:14:35:00All right--

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:14:36:00--Republican. You know, that kind of trading off without thinking through the policies in-- particularly in an area that’s gonna make colleges less available to Virginians--

19:14:45:00(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

19:14:45:00Thank you, Mr.-- we had a bit of an error there. I know that you followed the rules that were-- you followed the time that was on your table there. But-- yeah, you actually got a little more time. So you’ll get about 95 seconds-- Mr. McAuliffe to respond.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:14:56:00My opponent’s been the attorney general. He’s run on jobs and transportation when he runs for office. He gets into office. And he runs on and serves with an ideological agenda. Let it be women’s health centers, where he bullied the Board of Health to shut him down. He sponsored personhood legislation that would outlaw most forms of contraception, would make the pill illegal.

19:15:15:00He’s referred to gay Virginians as “self-destructive and soulless human beings.” He was one of only three attorney generals when the Violence Against Women Act was being reauthorized in the United States Congress. 47 attorney generals signed a letter, violence against women, not controversial. He is one of three who refused to sign it. It has been a pattern.

19:15:39:00And as it relates to his attack on gay Virginians, when he was attorney general, he sent a letter to every college and university sayin’ they could provide no protections against discrimination based upon sexual orientation against professors and students. What happened? Northrop Grumman, which was about to move their national headquarters to Virginia, it was between Maryland and Virginia, obviously the employees squawked at that.

19:16:04:00And what happened? Governor Bob McDonald had to interject himself to stop his attorney general and save that deal. 300 high payin’ jobs were right up the street from where we are today. There are consequences to this mean-spirit attack on women’s health, on gay Virginians. If we’re gonna build a new economy in Virginia, we’re gonna do it by bringing everyone together.

CHUCK TODD:

19:16:28:00Mr. Cuccinelli, as you-- re-- prepare your 60-second response to Mr. McAuliffe, I was hopin’ you would also respond to what-- the Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling said about you and the entire Republican ticket. He said, “It’s the most ideologically driven ticket that the GOP has ever put forth.” And he is worried that it’s pushing away mainstream voters. What do you say?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:16:48:00Well, until he stepped out of my race-- by a lot of measures, he’s more conservative than I am. So I-- I think that-- he-- he had some comments based on not being in this race. The Northrop Grumman charge is false. The soulless comment is offensively false. The kind of personal attacks that Terry opened up his remarks with today by saying this has been going on are coming from Terry McAuliffe.

19:17:16:00I mean, you all are seeing the ads. It’s overwhelmingly negative. It is unbelievably false. And no one up here, no one up here has done more to protect women, which is a focus of his attacks, than I have. Whether it was back when I was an engineering student at UVA and a friend of mine was sexually assaulted, my response was to start a new organization that’s still functioning there to protect young women at UVA. And it was the first of its kind in the country. We run multiple domestic violence programs in the Attorney General’s Office. And we started from scratch fighting human trafficking.

CHUCK TODD:

19:17:51:00All right.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:17:50:00And we’ve done a great job of it.

CHUCK TODD:

19:17:52:00Ben Pershing has the next question for Mr. McAuliffe.

BEN PERSHING:

19:17:54:00Mr. McAuliffe, you proposed spending more money on teacher salaries, on pre-K education, on community colleges. Now we haven’t heard quite enough specifics to put an exact price tag on it. But we’re wondering how exactly would you pay for that, especially if the General Assembly doesn’t approve Medicaid expansion?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:18:11:00Very important question. And what I’ve said is responsible budgeting. First of all, when I’m governor, we’re gonna look at the efficiencies we can bring to the government. And then we’re gonna work together to get that Medicaid expansion. If we don’t get the Medicaid expansion, we can’t bring in the efficiencies, then I agree with you. There’s not money to be spent.

19:18:26:00So I think it’s prudent budgeting first to determine how much money you have. Then when you have it, then you can apply it to your priorities. And this is quite a difference. My opponent has proposed a $1.4 billion tax cut per year. He doesn’t say how he’d pay for it. Just the other day, his lieutenant governor said that E.W. Jackson and Ken Cuccinelli want to get rid of the corporate income tax in Virginia.

19:18:51:00Well, let me tell you what would happen to our budget. You will see hundreds of millions of dollars come out of education. You could see thousands of teachers bein’ laid off. At a time that we need to compete on a global basis. As I talked about cyber security and all these very important new businesses, we’re not gonna be able to do that, because money will come out of education.

19:19:12:00It’s important for me to have the Medicaid expansion. And when I talk about my budget, I say it’s important to figure out how much money you have. And then you prioritize and put the money in. But his plan, $1.4 billion a year, doesn’t say how he’d pay for it. That’s $6 billion over the course of the next four years. Vince Callahan, the former Republican chairman of the House of Appropriations Committee, said it would put a gigantic hole in our budget. The idea that you could cut $6 billion out of the budget, get rid of the corporate income tax, not take the Medicaid expansion. He didn’t want the transportation $6 billion--

CHUCK TODD:

19:19:44:00Time’s up. Thank you, Mr. McAuliffe.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:19:44:00--it’s like me saying I came here on a unicorn. There’s just--

19:19:47:00(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

19:19:47:00Mr. Cuccinelli, you got 90 seconds to respond.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:19:50:00Well, it’s hard to find inefficiencies in a government you don’t understand. And Terry McAuliffe doesn’t know how Virginia government works. He doesn’t understand the issues related to Virginia government. He can talk at this topline level like anybody could if they read a few talking points. But he doesn’t know how Virginia government works.

19:20:10:00This came out in the NVCC Tech PAC interviews. And it wouldn’t have if he didn’t try to bully them out of their endorsement. But he did. And so there was reporting on it. And people noted that I understood the issues and he didn’t. I want some the serious candidate when it came to the subject matters that mattered to them. And Terry wasn’t.

19:20:29:00If you don’t start with that fundamental baseline knowledge, you don’t have an easy time finding inefficiencies. Folks, governor is not a good entry-level job. But that’s what it would be for Terry. And I already know what works well. And there are things that work very well in Virginia government. And there’s plenty of ‘em. But there are areas where we need to do much, much better.

19:20:52:00Now I would point to Medicaid. Not the expansion, Medicaid itself. One of the biggest parts of our budget. We’re one of the best health care fraud fighting-- offices in the whole country is my office. I’ve learned an awful lot about how Medicaid works and doesn’t. And we can do a whole lot better, just to talk about one area, to make it more efficient, to make it serve Virginia’s poor better than it does today. But I’m the only one prepared to do that and who has a plan--

CHUCK TODD:

19:21:21:00Okay, that’s time.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:21:22:00--that balances the budget.

CHUCK TODD:

19:21:23:00When-- when you get your six-second response, Mr. McAuliffe, you didn’t give us a price tag. Why can’t you-- you’ve been runnin’ for governor for four years. Why can’t you give us a price tag on what you want to-- what spending you want to expand? What’s the price tag?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:21:32:00Well, I’ll-- I’ll tell you what I’d love to spend it on. But-- first of all, I-- I want pre-K, early childhood development. I think that’s very important. I talk about what we need to do on teacher pay. We need accountability. I’ve called for a total reform of the SOLs. They don’t work in their present form. We don’t have accountability.

19:21:48:00Our students are being taught to memorize. Teachers are being taught to take tests and how to give tests. That’s-- that’s not right. That’s not how you build the cognitive mind, creative reasoning. We need to be involved in the process early to make sure that we have progress-based data, not these memorization tests.

19:22:05:00I talk about the community colleges. We need to invest. But Chuck, the key is going to be the Medicaid expansion. I have said this. My opponent doesn’t want it. I want it. And it’s bipartisan. The Fairfax Chamber. There’s Jim Corcoran in the front row. The Fairfax Chamber supports the Medicaid expansion. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce supports the Medicaid expansion. So does Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. This is bipartisan mainstream. We are gonna bring back to Virginia, over the course of the next seven years, $21 billion of our money that we’re payin’ in. Why would we not bring that back--

19:22:34:00(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

19:22:34:00Okay, so-- so you don’t have a price tag?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:22:36:00--and it will create-- wait, let me finish. This Medicaid’s very important.

CHUCK TODD:

19:22:39:00I know, I know. We’re-- we’re-- time’s up.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:22:39:0033,000 new jobs created, Chuck. This is so important for Virginia--

CHUCK TODD:

19:22:42:00I-- I just want to clarify, no price tag?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:22:45:00It’s a priority. What--

CHUCK TODD:

19:22:46:00There’s no-- there’s no cost to it. You don’t have a number?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:22:47:00This is why it’s important. Determine first how much you have. Then you can do it to your priorities.

CHUCK TODD:

19:22:51:00All right, the next question, Aaron Gilchrist for-- Mr. Cuccinelli.

AARON GILCHRIST:

19:22:54:00Mr. Cuccinelli, as has been mentioned, your economic plan cuts taxes by $1.4 billion, when it’s fully implemented. And you propose creating a commission to find ways to pay for the big tax cut. How do you respond to Virginians who say, “I’m not voting for a gov-- I’m voting for a governor, I’m not voting for a commission”? Isn’t leadership about providing some specifics, in this case, on tax breaks and loopholes that would go away?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:23:19:00Yes. My tax relief plan was designed to spur job growth and to-- more job creation-- put more money in the hands of our businesses, so they can reinvest it, and in our fam-- in our family’s budget. It’s been analyzed and found to grow about 58,000 jobs if we can fully implement it. It’ll re-- it’ll include lowering the personal income tax to 5%, the business income tax to 4%. And by the way, I would note there, North Carolina two months ago passed a package where their business income tax will be half of ours if we don’t act.

19:23:54:00And even if we achieve the goals I’ve set out of getting down to 4%, they will still get under us if they meet their revenue estimates. My friend, Doug Gansler, on the other side of the river just announced for governor in Maryland, is talking about the fact that Virginia’s eating Maryland alive in this front and that they need to bring their taxes down to compete with us.

19:24:14:00We need to compete and do it effectively. I’ll eliminate about 15% of corporate loopholes and tax breaks that don’t work as well as the other 85%. And we’ll also cap growth and spending at about three and a half percent to pay for this package. This isn’t the federal government. We don’t print money. So both sides of the ledger have to match. The Washington Post gave my opponent three Pinocchios for the statement you heard tonight of “He has no way to pay for it.” Aaron, we’ve put a process in place that will accomplish the financial goals we need to to do the tax cuts. And if we don’t get the cuts--

CHUCK TODD:

19:24:52:00Thank you, sir.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:24:52:00--we don’t get to do the taxes.

CHUCK TODD:

19:24:53:0090 seconds, Mr. McAuliffe.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:24:56:00If you take the attorney general’s plan, Virginia will be in financial ruin. He did not-- he did not support the governor on the transportation, the bipartisan transportation bill. I was all in, $6 billion we’re gonna be able now to spend on transportation. When everybody drove in here to this beautiful hall, you went under l-- underneath the new Silver Line, which my opponent said-- he was the only statewide official to come out against it. And he said he would actually kill it after it was halfway completed.

19:25:21:00I talk about education. This is so important. We need to invest in education. His tax plan takes $6 billion out of the budget over the course of the next four years. He and E.W. Jackson believe we should also get rid of the corporate income tax. He doesn’t want the Medicaid expansion. He’s called for the end of the Department of Education.

19:25:41:00We cannot grow a 21st century. We cannot be those global leaders. We need to replace with sequestration, we’ve all seen the numbers. We know what his tax plan would do to the local communities. Sharon Bolivo’s (PH) right here in the front row. What it would mean to Fairfax County to be losing this revenue. What it would mean to Sharon Bolivo and Fairfax County and the loss of teachers at a time we should be investing in our teachers, investing in those STEM courses, science, technology, engineering, and math. You can’t do that. His plan literally would force us to lay off thousands of teachers. As I say, Vince Callahan, the former chairman of the House Republican Appropriations Committee came out and said it would put a hole in our budget. Senator Mark Warner came out the other day.

CHUCK TODD:

19:26:26:00All right. M-- Mr. Cuccinelli, b-- as you prepare your 60-second response, you just said loopholes. We all hear that. We don’t know what that is. It sounds like you’re afraid to tell us what you’re thinking about cutting, because it’s the-- two months before the election.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:26:40:00Chuck, what we’re gonna do with the-- with the loopholes and exemptions is r-- rank ‘em. We all know what they are. They’ve all been identified.

CHUCK TODD:

19:26:47:00What are they?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:26:48:00But-- but-- the-- well, there’s-- there’s literally scores of them. And the-- the standard of eliminating one is what’s critical here. If all we’re doing is giving money to a business interest, that’s not something that’s working for the people paying for it, which is the taxpayers of Virginia.

19:27:05:00If instead, out of that tax credit, we get other economic benefits that return to the people, Virginia’s people, paying for it, that’s a tax credit to keep. Those are the ones that we want to grow our economy. But on a bipartisan basis. We’ve got to be able to find at least a sixth of them, about 15%, that don’t perform, that don’t meet that standard. That’s all we have to do to get our 58,000 job-creating tax plan-- put in effect. I’m the only candidate with a plan to grow jobs, other than to say the word “jobs” repeatedly.

CHUCK TODD:

19:27:43:00Julie Kerry has the next question for Mr. McAuliffe.

JULIE KERRY:

19:27:45:00Well, the tragic shooting at the Navy Yard has once again cast a spotlight on gun laws. Mr. McAuliffe, as part of your plan to strengthen Virginia’s cities, you say you support universal background checks, limiting the size of magazine, a return to the one-gun a month purchase rule. But missing from that list is and assault weapons ban, something you said as recently as December of 2012 that you supported. So I have a two-part question. First, have you changed your mind about an assault weapons ban? And secondly, how big a priority would you make it as governor to change Virginia’s gun laws?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:28:16:00I haven’t changed my mind. It’s a very pertinent question for tonight. Obviously, after the tragedy we just had at the Navy Yard-- the tragedy we had in Virginia, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown, Connecticut, as a father and as a husband, I can speak for everybody in this audience. When we drop our children off at school and we dropped our loved ones off at work, we want to know that they’re gonna be safe, that our communities are safe. It is so important.

19:28:50:00That’s why I’m for responsible gun ownership. I have called for universal background checks. My opponent doesn’t support that. I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I’m a hunter. I own guns. I’ve gone through background checks. They take just a couple minutes. We have a gigantic loophole in Virginia. You can buy guns through mail order. You can go to these gun show loopholes.

19:29:14:00There are certain individuals who just should not own a gun. There are individuals that have mental illness. I think this is such a critical issue for us. How many people have to be killed till we wake up to have sensible gun ownership? Now I was very dismayed with the United States Senate this year. 91% of Americans support universal background checks. And the Senate refused to even bring it up for a vote. As governor, I’m gonna push. Most importantly, we need universal background checks for everyone--

CHUCK TODD:

19:29:51:00Mr. Cuccinelli, could--

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:29:51:00--to keep our loved ones safe.

CHUCK TODD:

19:29:51:00--you-- could you address in your-- 90 seconds why all of the-- recommendations from the Virginia Tech review haven’t been implemented, including background checks?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:30:01:00Of course, the-- tragedy at Virginia Tech led us to look at a lot of things. And for those of you who know me, you know that I have been deeply involved in working with people suffering from mental illness for years. And-- one of the common themes in the most public tragedies is that we’re dealing with people who suffer from mental illness.

19:30:22:00I would tell you, though, that the more common tragedy in mental illness is day to day, one person at a time, that you don’t read about in the paper. It’s a suicide. It’s a family struggling and they’re at their wits’ end to try and get one of their family members on a path to recovery and-- sustainability. We have not found-- gun control to-- to effect that, to be effective in that area.

19:30:51:00What we’ve done in Virginia is we have become the number one state per capita in screening out people with mental illness from gun purchases. We’re the f-- we’re the best state at that in the country. We’re also the number one state that I’m aware of, The Department of Justice doesn’t keep data on all of them-- in terms of prosecuting people who attempt to buy guns illegally.

19:31:11:00That is the best way to enforce our gun laws is to be aggressive and proactive. I’m running against the only F-rated candidate from the-- N.R.A., the only one of all six running statewide. I will support the Second Amendment. It deserves support-- as does our whole constitution. But I will continue to focus on where I believe the main source of this problem is. And that is resolving mental health issues.

CHUCK TODD:

19:31:35:00All right. Mr. McAuliffe, you’ve got 60.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:31:38:00He absolutely said nothing with that response as it relates to gun control. Obviously, we both believe in investing in-- in-- in mental illness, mental health, and what we need to do. I can tell you this, without the Medicaid expansion money, there’s not a penny for any new investment in mental health, not a penny. With his tax plan that would take all this money out of our budget, there’s not a penny.

19:31:58:00So it’s really just talk. Now whatever rating I may get from the N.R.A., I’m gonna stand here and tell you today that as governor, I want to make sure that every one of our citizens in the Commonwealth of Virginia are safe. Everyone of our children, when they go into a classroom, should know that they are safe. When any one of our loved ones goes into work, what happened at the Navy Yard the other day is continued pattern of what’s going on. We need to eliminate guns from the folks who should not own guns. There are many reasons why individuals who are dangerous, who have a issue of mental hellness-- mental illness. And a background check, I’ve done it, it takes two, three, four minutes.

CHUCK TODD:

19:32:39:00Thank you there. We’re gonna do a pause here for a brief commercial break. We’re gonna be right back with many more questions for the candidates of the governor-- for governor of Virginia. And after the debate, you can join me and News 4 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Kerry for a special Google Hangout on NBCWashington.com. We’ll be right back. (APPLAUSE)

19:32:58:00(COMMERCIAL BREAK NOT TRANSCRIBED)

CHUCK TODD:

19:35:29:00(APPLAUSE) And we are back, live here in McLean with the two candidates for governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli. Mr.-- Cuccinelli and Mr. McAuliffe, this next question, you’re both gonna get 90 seconds to respond. It has to do with the-- the stuff that’s goin’ acr-- on across the Potomac. Just a few miles away, the possibility of a government shutdown, which would affect thousands of Virginians as you both know.

19:35:49:00So a quick 90 seconds, both of you, on this. Mr. Cuccinelli, I want you to go first. Do you support the-- Ted Cruz’s effort here to use any means necessary to prevent the implementation of the president’s health care law? And Mr. McAuliffe, do you think President Obama has shown the right leadership to resolve this stalemate? Mr. Cuccinelli, you first.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:36:08:00Well, first of all-- I’m a Northern Virginian. I’ve lived up here my whole life. None of us want to see a government shutdown. We don’t want to see that across the river. It wouldn’t be good for America. We’re already seeing in the Virginia economy the problems associated with the uncertainty of federal budgeting as it is. Both in Northern Virginia and in Southeastern Virginia in the Hampton Roads area.

19:36:29:00And that’s causing all sorts of problems here in Virginia. But since I’m running for governor, what I want to tell you is that this is not the kind of thing that you’d see happen in a Cuccinelli governorship, as we put together a Virginia budget. But 10 days ago-- 11 days ago, last weekend, my opponent repeatedly said that he wouldn’t sign a Virginia budget that didn’t have the Medicaid expansion in it.

19:36:52:00And you’ve heard him here tonight talk over and over and over about how this is basically his funding mechanism for everything he wants to do. So it’s clear he’s very committed to the Medicaid expansion. I understand that. But it is not the be all and end all of Virginia budgets, particularly if you’re willing to shut down Virginia government just to get the Medicaid expansion, which he said repeatedly he won’t sign a budget without Medicaid expansion in it.

19:37:18:00Now I disagree with him on Medicaid expansion. But this is not an appropriate tactic for Virginia. This is a Washington tactic. And if you like the way Washington works, you will like a Governor McAuliffe. If you don’t think Washington works right, if you think it’s dysfunctional, as I do, then I’m your candidate in this race.

CHUCK TODD:

19:37:37:00All right, M-- Mr. McAuliffe, before you answer, you-- you didn’t-- answer the Ted Cruz portion here. So do you support--

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:37:42:00I said I don’t want the federal government to shut down.

CHUCK TODD:

19:37:44:00So you don’t-- you-- you don’t support his effort, what he’s doing?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:37:46:00Well, he finished a sort of filibuster today. And, you know, at-- at some point you gotta vote. So--

CHUCK TODD:

19:37:51:00So you don’t support what he’s doin’?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:37:53:00Well, I’d like to see Obamacare pulled out of-- federal law, but, you know, we’ve gotta keep moving forward and make compromises to get the budget going.

CHUCK TODD:

19:37:59:00Mr. McAuliffe, is-- is President Obama showing--

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:38:01:00First of all, no-- no budget is--

CHUCK TODD:

19:38:02:00Has President-- has President Obama shown the right leadership? This is--

19:38:04:00(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

19:38:05:00--this is your-- this-- you’re both talkin’ about this. I’m tryin’ to-- we’re tryin’ to save a little time here.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:38:08:00But let me answer the question, if I could, that he just laid out there, if I could for a second, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

19:38:11:00I-- well, the question is about whether you think President Obama’s shown the right leadership to solve this crisis.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:38:15:00No budget will be shut down in Virginia over the Medicaid expansion. I will work in a bipartisan way to get it done. That is why over a dozen former Republican legislators have endorsed my candidacy. Many of them who had never endorsed a Democrat before. Just last week in Virginia Beach, the mayor-- Republican mayor of the largest city in Virginia, who has never endorsed a Democrat in his life, Mayor Will Sessoms, endorsed our candidacy.

19:38:45:00I now have six of the seven mayors in Hampton Roads. Why? Because they know we will work together to get things done. So we won’t have any-- government shutdown. And the only one on this stage that almost had that effected was Ken Cuccinelli, when he almost derailed the Virginia budget, when he was trying to defund Planned Parenthood.

19:39:05:00So he’s the only one on the stage that actually has tried to shut down our government. Now I think it’s disgrace what’s goin’ on in Washington. I place a pox on everybody’s house that’s not workin’. It’s just not workin’ as it is today. Sequestration should never-- these issues that we have goin’ should-- it was supposed to be so onerous that it would never happen. Well, it’s now happening. And these things should never be used as bargaining chips for our budget. So until they get it resolved, I say shame on everybody.

CHUCK TODD:

19:39:33:00Including the president?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:39:35:00Shame on everybody till this gets done.

CHUCK TODD:

19:39:37:00Julie Kerry has the next question for Mitch-- Mr.-- Cuccinelli.

JULIE KERRY:

19:39:40:00And we’ll talk a little bit more about Medicaid. As everybody knows, next weekend enrollment for the new health care exchanges begins. Mr. Cuccinelli, we all know that you’re firmly against Virginia expanding Medicaid to give health care coverage to a family of four making $32,500 a year. What do you say, though, to those low income Virginians, who would not be able to get Medicaid coverage with the Governor Cuccinelli, but could if they simply lived across the Potomac in Maryland or the District?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:40:07:00Well, understand Julie that right now we have approximately a million-- Virginians-- in poor families in our Medicaid program. And it can work a lot better for the folks who are in it. A 40% expansion of Medicaid is not the way to help make it work better. Now Governor McDonald took a broad view of government reform. And I have a narrow and deep view. And it is-- focuses on VDOT and it focuses on DMAS.

19:40:35:00I’ve had an awful lot of time as their attorneys to spend learning about those-- two agencies. There’s an awful lot more we can do there. Earlier, Terry had said, “Well, we can’t move money around in Medicaid.” Well, yes, actually, we can. And we can-- address mental health more if we move money from one waiver program to another within Medicaid, if that’s our priority.

19:40:55:00And for me, it is a priority. I think we need to make Medicai-- the Medicaid system we have now work better for the people who are in it. And there are ways to do that. We’re losing doctors and nurses and medical practices in our Medicaid program. We’re trying desperately to keep them in. And that’s a tremendous struggle for us.

19:41:14:00I believe we ought to lower the liability for medical practices for those who are working in our Medicaid program, like our good Samaritan standard that we have-- for doctors, for instance, that come across accidents. This is below cost medical care that we’re getting for Virginia’s poor. Overwhelming the system we have now that’s struggling as it is isn’t a way to get good health care--

CHUCK TODD:

19:41:37:00Mr. McAuliffe.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:41:38:00--for other Virginians.

CHUCK TODD:

19:41:38:00Ninety seconds.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:41:40:00As we’ve discussed, this Medicaid expansion is very important. It’s supported in a bipartisan. It’s mainstream. Let’s be clear. We should just walk through the numbers very quickly. Beginning next year, 400,000 Virginians will get access to quality, lifesaving care. Number two, this is our money. It is now the law of the land. Twenty-nine other states have agreed to accept it. Some very conservative governors have agreed to accept it.

19:42:03:00We’re bringing back and as Lieutenant Governor Bolling said the other day, we’re gonna pay $26 billion over the next 10 years into the federal government. Why would we not bring $21 billion of our money back into the Virginia economy to turbocharge our economy, use that money to bring more efficiency to the health care delivery system, make it more cost-effective?

19:42:22:00And if we don’t take the Medicaid expansion money, then many of our rural hospitals could be jeopardized. The federal DSH payments, disproportionate share payments, that is slowly being ended. So today with a low income individual who goes to a hospital, they get reimbursed by the federal DSH payments. That may go away.

19:42:41:00In addition, it frees up over the next eight years, $800 million in the general fund, which we can use for our priorities. But I go back to the point, he continually goes to-- on these big federal issues. But he was absent on one of the most important federal issues that we had, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He was one of three attorney generals in our nation that refused to sign a letter. 47 other attorney generals. I don’t know why he would not v-- want Virginia women protected against violence.

CHUCK TODD:

19:43:13:00Go ahead, Mr. Cuccinelli, 60 seconds.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:43:15:00Well, first of all, unlike my opponent, I do my homework. I called Congressman Ryan about the federal match that we’re promised, the-- the raining down money that Terry is relying on to fund everything he’s promising everyone all over Virginia. And Congressman Ryan told me, “Ken, it doesn’t matter whether Democrats are in charge up here or Republicans, we don’t have the money in the federal government to meet these matches that-- that are proposed in the federal health care bill.”

19:43:46:00So the question then becomes for a state, when we’re thinking of getting in, whether you trust that the money will be there even if you have a plan to fund the state share, which my opponent does not. I am not willing to risk Virginia’s budget when the federal government is already taking the position, many of them taking the position, that they cannot afford it, even if they wanted to. The hole in our budget when this is fully implemented now is $200 million a year.

CHUCK TODD:

19:44:17:00All right.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:44:18:00That’ll explode when they don’t fund it at the federal level.

CHUCK TODD:

19:44:19:00Thank you, Mr. Cuccinelli. Aaron-- has the next question for Mr. McAuliffe.

AARON GILCHRIST:

19:44:23:00Mr. McAuliffe, the new NBC 4/Marist poll shows 54% of Virginia voters support gay marriage. You are among those who support that. But you say the legislature would not be able to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage. Why not use the office to lead on this issue?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:44:40:00And we certainly could. I do have some tremendous-- challenges because of the issues of economic development, job creation that I need to focus on. But I have come out for marriage equality. Irish Catholic kid growin’ up. Dorothy and I spend a lot of time discussin’ this issue. And what really turned it for us is probably the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

19:45:01:00The idea that we could send our men and women across the globe to fight for us. And then they come back and they don’t have the same equal opportunities and equal rights, I just think was plain wrong. So I support marriage equality. And I’ve said that. And this is quite a difference from my opponent.

19:45:17:00He has referred to gay Virginians as “soulless and self-destructive human beings.” I made the point earlier. It almost cost us the Northrop Grumman deal. And he said it isn’t true. Well, the New York Times reported a-- Governor McDonald administration official, who told the New York Times that his actions almost cost (UNINTEL) the deal. So I would just go back to Governor McDonald’s administration and ask that individual why he said that then. But this is a very important issue. I was out early on the issue. And if we can get a bill through the-- general assembly and on my desk as governor, I’d sign it.

CHUCK TODD:

19:45:51:00Mr. Cuccinelli.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:45:52:00Well, it actually doesn’t happen in the form of a bill. It’s a constitutional amendment, so it never comes to the governor. But to your point, a governor can still lead on the issue. But it will never come to the desk of a Virginia governor. Look, I understand and respect the fact that this is a sensitive issue to a lot of Virginians.

19:46:10:00But I’m one of those who do believe that the institution of marriage should remain between one man and one woman. I would note that my opponent appears poised, based on some of his comments-- during the campaign, to not defend our state constitution. Now look, as attorney general, I’ve defended laws whether I like them or not. And as pointed out by a former Democrat attorney general, Tony Troy, a pattern for Terry, though, that’s been emerging is that he seems to think he gets to decide which laws and which parts of the Virginia Constitution that you’re obligated to defend as the Virginia governor.

19:46:47:00We have two lawsuits running right now on this matter. And the duty of the attorney general and the duty of the governor is to defend our constitution. If they want to change it, one could lead, as the question suggested, to try and get the general assembly to make those amendments and put it on the ballot. But-- but the office has duties that come with it. And I respect the office. And I respect those duties. I respect Virginia’s history. And this is part of it now. It may change in the future. But right now, the next governor’s obligated to defend our constitution. I intend to do that.

CHUCK TODD:

19:47:20:00Go ahead, Mr. McAuliffe, do you have a response?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:47:21:00Yeah, I will support legislation that allows equal rights for individuals, for gay Virginians. I’ve said continuously that-- you know, my opponent has continually attacked gay Virginians. And you cannot grow a business by doin’ that. But clearly, if we get through the general assembly, we go to a referendum, we come back as it relates to gay marriage.

19:47:38:00But I have some big issues that I’m facing right in front of me. He talks about his duty in office. Well, I gotta tell you, we had thousands of landowners in Southwest Virginia who had methane gas taken off their property. They were owed money by two out of state energy companies. Now what was the attorney general’s office and their responsibility?

19:48:01:00What they were doin’ was secretly telling those two out of state energy companies how to get out of that deal and givin’ ‘em advice of how to beat the landowners. Now my opponent took $100,000 in contribution. So while he was taking contributions, the folks-- who were owed money, thousands and thousands of Virginia landowners were denied their money that was due them from--

CHUCK TODD:

19:48:25:00All right.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:48:25:00--methane gas that had been taken off their property.

CHUCK TODD:

19:48:27:00Thank-- thank you, Mr. McAuliffe.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:48:27:00He’s not doin’ his job as attorney general.

CHUCK TODD:

19:48:28:00All right, thank you Mr. McAuliffe. Ben’s got the next question for Mr.-- Cuccinelli.

BEN PERSHING:

19:48:32:00Mr. Cuccinelli, why do you think that Johnny Williams, the CEO of Star Scientific, gave you the state’s top law enforcement official $18,000 in gifts. And now we know you wrote a check to charity for that amount. But why were you willing to accept those gifts in the first place, given that your office has said he was not a close friend of yours?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:48:50:00Well, I-- I would say that-- you know, I-- I met-- ironically, I met-- Mr. Williams through-- the governor. And-- and at the time-- you know, what was goin’ on there didn’t seem like a big deal. I didn’t know about-- any business he had before Virginia. And as far as I know, except for their tax case, they had none. And the only thing we did in their tax case was oppose them, vehemently.

19:49:17:00They never got-- a break from us. And-- and they’re still fighting it today. And-- and we’re still through free council to the taxpayers-- defending that. And I did give the $18,000 to a charity. Because I thought it was the right thing to do. It took awhile to get that together for the Cuccinelli family. That was-- a hard thing to do.

19:49:38:00I also called this summer for a special session for ethics reform. And I’ll remind some of you that I’m sure don’t remember in 2009, when I ran for attorney general, I put forward an ethics platform. And we got about half of it achieved, including the inspector general, which was a big deal to me when I was in the state senate and when I was attorney general.

19:49:56:00And I think that’s a big step forward for Virginia. We have a lot more to do in that area. But I would say that this is an area I’ve led on as attorney general when I ran for that office. I’ve run on-- a platform this time. I would have liked to have gotten it done during the summer. But the governor didn’t agree with it.

CHUCK TODD:

19:50:13:00Mr. McAuliffe, as you formulate your answer, you’ve talked a lot about this tonight. So can you-- explain why you haven’t returned-- released more of your tax returns. You pushed Mitt Romney to do this. And you said by not releasin’ him the imagination runs wild.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:50:26:00Yeah, I’ve gone-- I’ve gone beyond what the last governors have done, when Governor Kane, Governor Warner, and Governor McDonald ran. I’ve gone up and beyond that. But the issue about the attorney general and Star Scientific, let’s be clear, Star Scientific owed the state $1.7 million. This suit languished for two years, for nearly two years.

19:50:48:00Now instead of the attorney general, as I say, going after that, bringing that money back to Virginia-- taxpayers, he was being taken to New York City. He was being taken to a Smith Mountain home-- Lake resort. He spent time and his staff stayed at his house in Richmond. He took $18,000 worth of gifts. He bought stock in the company. And it wasn’t disclosed.

19:51:07:00That company had business before the attorney general. That was his legal responsibility. That’s why I’ve called for ethics reform. I’ve called for a bipartisan commission, number one. And number two, I have called for a $100 gift ban. Any state elected official cannot take a gift of more than $100. Now I’m gonna propose that the day I’m-- inaugurated as governor. And I’m not gonna wait. I’m gonna issue an executive order for myself, my family, and my appointees that they cannot take anything over $100. And-- 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.

CHUCK TODD:

19:51:47:00Mr.-- Cuccinelli?

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:51:48:00Well, first of all, the Star materials are-- I reported them. It’s important for Virginians to know I brought this forward. I disclosed them. I called a press conference to do it. That’s how committed to transparency I am for Virginians. Because I understand there were problems there. But I’m the one who brought them forward. I turned it over to a Democrat prosecutor. And he cleared me.

19:52:12:00Does anybody think Terry McAuliffe would have ever done that if the roles were reversed? I released eight years of my tax returns to the media. He won’t release any, even though the company he’s chairman of or was chairman of (that’s not altogether clear) is under Securities Exchange Commission investigation and Department of Homeland Security investigation.

19:52:32:00I think now more than ever we need transparency from people who seek to have the trust of the folks of Virginia to assume the office of governor. And it’s pretty rich to have the guy who rented out the Lincoln Bedroom, sold seats on Air Force One, was an unindicted coconspirator in a Teamsters election law--

CHUCK TODD:

19:52:50:00All right.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:52:49:00--money laundering case be talking about ethics now.

CHUCK TODD:

19:52:52:00All right. Good news for you--

19:52:53:00(OVERTALK)

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:52:54:00--false things tonight.

CHUCK TODD:

19:52:55:00Good-- good-- good news for you is that-- we got a little bit of time. I’m gonna do a little lightning round with you, so you both-- I want you to just take 30 seconds, deal with this question. Would you be open to Virginia-- Mr. McAuliffe first, to Virginia joining most other states in the country and allowing school districts to start school before Labor Day? It’s somehow not allowed in this state.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:53:15:00No.

CHUCK TODD:

19:53:16:00You don’t want to allow it? Keep it-- keep it the way it is.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:53:17:00The tourism business is too important. The change would result in Virginia-- it’d cost us about $369 million. Tourism-- is a vital part. It is our second biggest industry. Agriculture and forestry are one and three. They’re a $79 billion industry.

CHUCK TODD:

19:53:32:00Even though kids could fall behind-- with AP tests, things like that?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:53:35:00Oh, there’s a lot of best practice we can do. I was just down at Newport News, the Achievable Dream, a spectacular school. They go an hour longer during the day. They go every other Saturday. There’s many things that we can do. But we cannot with these economic headwinds give up $369 million worth of--

CHUCK TODD:

19:53:49:00Tryin’ to squeeze it in here.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:53:49:00--tourism money.

CHUCK TODD:

19:53:50:00Mr. Cuccinelli, go ahead.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:53:51:00I brought this bill on behalf of the Democrat Board of-- School Board of Fairfax County, when I was in the state senate. Children outrank tourism. Now there are changes that we can make to take the pressure off the pre-Labor Day start, like appropriate reforms to the standards of learning. Because we sp-- we focus on that day very much. There are things we can do to make this easier until we get before Labor Day. But ultimately, localities should have the opportunity to make that decision themselves.

CHUCK TODD:

19:54:22:00All right, before-- before I get to closing statements here, I got one weird sports question for you. The Redskins. Should they change their name, Mr. McAuliffe? Is it offensive to-- it’s offensive to a lot of Native Americans. Do you think they should change their name?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:54:34:00I don’t think the governor ought to be tellin’ private businesses what they should do about their business.

CHUCK TODD:

19:54:38:00Even if it’s offensive--

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:54:39:00I’m not--

CHUCK TODD:

19:54:38:00--to people?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:54:40:00I’m-- I don’t think the governor should be tellin’ private businesses--

CHUCK TODD:

19:54:42:00Do you have a personal opinion on it?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:54:44:00As governor, I don’t-- I’m not gonna tell Dan Snyder or anybody else what they should do with their business. And I want to congratulate the Redskins, because I went down to the training park this year in Richmond. And it is spectacular--

CHUCK TODD:

19:54:53:00Mister--

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:54:54:00--what Governor McDonald--

19:54:54:00(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

19:54:55:00Mr. Cuccinelli, do you-- do you think it’s time for the Redskins to change their name?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:54:59:00I-- I think that is up to them entirely. I think that, you know, 80 years of history with that team is kind of hard to leave behind. I understand that. I also don’t think RG3 should have been played in the second quarter in the playoffs last year. (LAUGH)

CHUCK TODD:

19:55:12:00Well, I had a l-- I had a little fun there. That concludes our questions. And now, Mr. McAuliffe, you have a one minute closing statement.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:55:19:00Well-- thank you once again to the-- Fairfax Chamber for hosting us tonight. There is a real choice in this election about who will grow and who will diversify our economy. We must work in a bipartisan way if we want to create jobs. My opponent talks a lot about experience. But his experience has been in dividing people by pursuing his own ideological agenda, introducing legislation that would outlaw most common forms of birth control.

19:55:50:00And bullying the Board of Health, which resulted in the shutting down of some women’s health centers. Frankly, I think Virginia women have had just about enough of Ken Cuccinelli’s experience. The approach that I’ll bring to Richmond is different. Building on bipartisan coalitions that we established and brought together in this campaign, I’ll work with both parties to find mainstream solutions to the big problems that we face. It’s the approach that worked for Mark Warner. And it’s approach that we need--

CHUCK TODD:

19:56:20:00All right.

TERRY MCAULIFFE:

19:56:21:00--desperately now in Virginia.

CHUCK TODD:

19:56:23:00And Mr. Cuccinelli, you get the last word.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:56:25:00The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s TechPAC and Virginia’s small independent businesses have endorsed me this week or last week. Because they know I’m best prepared to fight to grow Virginia’s economy. My opponent is the only one in this race who’s driven jobs from this state. And he has no plan to bring them back.

19:56:44:00Terry sold more visas to Chinese citizens as part of Greentech than his failed company has sold cars. His jobs history with Greentech is terrible. I’ll be a governor who fights for you. Terry will fight for Terry, because he always has. If you’ll give me your support on November 5th, I’ll fight for our education and economic policies that grow jobs for the middle class.

19:57:07:00And by leaving families and businesses with more of their own money, so they can invest those hard-earned dollars right here in Virginia. My jobs plan will grow 58,000 good full-time jobs in Virginia. I have faith in the people of Virginia that if we remain true to our noblest ideals and principles like limited government--

CHUCK TODD:

19:57:25:00All right.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:57:25:00--and strong families, that we can be better--

CHUCK TODD:

19:57:27:00Thank you.

KEN CUCCINELLI:

19:57:27:00--in the future than we’ve been in the past.

CHUCK TODD:

19:57:29:00Thank you both. Thank you very much. Voters, it’s up to you.

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