Race to Richmond

Complete coverage of the 2009 primary and general elections for Virginia governor.

Analyzing the Final Debate Between Democratic Virginia Governor Candidates

Democratic candidates for Virginia governor gathered for their fifth and final primary debate May 19 at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. Below is a video presentation of the full debate along with an transcript annotated by the Post's Virginia political team.

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Scenes From the Debate
Democratic candidates for governor face off one last time.

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Full Coverage of the Primary Debate

Candidates Clash

Deeds, Moran go after McAuliffe as campaign enters the homestretch.

Annotated Speech Transcript

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Transportation Plan

DEPUYT: Hello. I'm Bruce DePuyt from NewsChannel 8.

CILLIZZA: And I'm Chris Cillizza from The Washington Post.

DEPUYT: We're on the campus of Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale for the last debate -- the final debate of the Virginia gubernatorial primary.

CILLIZZA: And joining us today on stage from left to right are former State Delegate Brian Moran, State Senator Craig Deeds, and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

Audience, please join me in welcoming the three candidates.

(APPLAUSE)

DEPUYT: We are going to ask -- we're going to ask that that be the last time that we hear from the audience until the end of the hour. We've got a very tight schedule. We want to get to as many questions as we can. And the candidates have requested that the audience here in the hall refrain from applause until the very end.

CILLIZZA: For the first 40 minutes or so of the debate, Bruce and I will question the candidates. Some of these questions are ours; others have come from Washington Post's readers. The candidates nor anyone else has seen these questions in advance.

DEPUYT: Candidates will have 60 seconds to respond to each question, followed by a 90-second rebuttal period. Candidates, please don't go beyond the 60 seconds, because, in fairness, we will cut you off at 60.

(LAUGHTER)

CILLIZZA: Candidates will get to question one another near the end of the debate. We'll wrap up with closing statements.

And with that, let's begin.

Much of the governor's attention over the past legislative sessions has been focused on getting sustained state transportation funds, particularly to Northern Virginia, where transportation is such a large issue. It hasn't worked. What will you do differently?

The first question, I believe, goes to Senator Deeds.

DEEDS: From the beginning of this campaign, I've said that the most important task of the next governor is to restore confidence in the economy. The quickest way to do that is to develop a statewide solution for transportation.

You know, I've got broad ideas about how that transportation solution is going to occur. The transportation solution should be one that's long term in perspective. We need to figure out what modes of transportation are relevant to our lives.

Just a few weeks ago, I was proud to stand with Governor Kaine as we announced the largest investment the state's ever made in passenger rail. That's just a hint of things to come under a Deeds administration.

It's going to be long term in perspective. It's going to be statewide in scope. We can never develop the consensus we need if we continue to pit one part of Virginia against another, and it's going to be creative in nature.

I will tell you: There's a reason why Senator Saslaw, and Whipple, and Petersen, and Howell are supporting me, and that's because they understand that I understand transportation from a statewide perspective. And I'm the governor that's going to get it done, and I'm going to get it done in 2010.

CILLIZZA: Mr. McAuliffe?

MCAULIFFE: Yes, transportation is a mess. It's not only a mess here in Northern Virginia; it's a mess all over the commonwealth. We're going to be one of the few states in a few years that no longer will be able to get federal highway matching funds. Right now, for every dollar of Virginia money, we get four dollars back from the federal government.1 [1 Amy Gardner: It's true. Part of the discussion about Virginia's transportation crisis has revolved around that that more and more of the state's investment in highways has gone toward maintenance and repair rather than new construction. If the state allows its expenditure on construction to dip too low, it will miss out on federal highway dollars that are available on a matching basis to the states.More ».]

Imagine: I want to create thousands of jobs. I want to be able to tell people, "Come to Virginia. We've got the best transportation system." But we're in a very difficult position. We're going to have to have an honest discussion about revenue. This has been part of the partisan battles that have gone on for years down in Richmond. That's what I want to change.

We need high-speed rail. President Obama has just committed $9.3 billion to it. We should go from Northern Virginia to Richmond to Hampton Roads. It would create 176,000 jobs. We'll get tens of thousands of tons of CO2 out of our atmosphere. It would be great. It would be jobs; it would help our environment.

But we've got to get serious about a big plan on transportation. We've got to sit at the table, figure out how we're going to pay for it. But once Virginians know that they no longer will be able to access their own highway funds from the federal government, their taxpayer money...

DEEDS: Time.

MCAULIFFE: ... I think we're going to bring people together.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, Mr. McAuliffe.

Delegate Moran?

MORAN: Thank you, Chris.

In fact, transportation improvements not only ensure a better quality of life for all Virginians, but will ensure our future economic viability. We must invest in our transportation system, and it must be a comprehensive approach.

I've worked on pedestrian-friendly communities, teleworking. Since 2002, now I'm proud to say 20 percent of our state workforce will be telecommuting. In addition to that, we must invest in rail, in transit.

And I congratulate so many who are involved in rail to Dulles. That will allow smart growth and development around our Metro stops, which Arlington County has been able to do so wonderfully.

Now, this is, indeed, a statewide approach. It is -- must be sustainable. And it must be sufficient. A billion dollars per year would generate 35,000 jobs. We need economic development and expansion of Route 58 in Southside, freight along I-81 on the backbone of Shenandoah County, Hampton Roads. We have a port in Hampton Roads that can generate a tremendous amount of economic activity.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

Let me interrupt, but let me give you an opportunity to expand. You were in the assembly when Governor Kaine's plan to do what a lot of you three are talking about went through. It did not pass.

What's different? What has changed? What would a Governor Brian Moran do differently than a Governor Tim Kaine?

MORAN: Thank you, Chris, because really what I believe I bring to this race and why I am confident I will realize a transportation solution over my four years as governor -- because that's all you get in Virginia. You must make use of every day as the governor of Virginia.

What I bring to this, Chris, is actually having a history and a record of bridging regional divides, patching partisan divisions. You know, I've been serving in the legislature in the House of Delegates where the problem is. For eight years in the minority, I have successfully reached across the aisle to protect our children from online child sexual predators with the passage of Alicia's Law.

I've successfully reached across the aisle and -- and passed Business One Stop, which allows Virginia to be the best place for business in America.

CILLIZZA: Mr. Moran, let me -- let me quickly, because we are on...

MORAN: What we require, Chris, is that type of reaching out across the aisle, reaching consensus, not only among Democrats and Republicans, but regional divides, working with Ward Armstrong in Southside to expand Route 58 for economic development.

CILLIZZA: Yes, sir. Let me -- let me -- I want to -- because we only have 90 seconds, I want to continue. We will do our best to get back to you.

I want to go to you, Mr. McAuliffe, on this very quickly. You have run as an outsider in Richmond. Is it reasonable to think someone who doesn't know the ways of Richmond can get this kind of thing done when past governors have failed?

MCAULIFFE: Yes, I think that's what we need. We need a fresh approach, some big, bold, new ideas. I make the argument, not all good ideas come out of Richmond. The point is, we've had a mess on transportation for years.

The simple answer is, Chris, I want to win the House of Delegates with like-minded folks. That's the simple answer, to get the House of Delegates. That's why I'm running the grassroots campaign I'm running, but go in with big, bold ideas.

I have a business plan, five chapters, 130 pages. If you look at chapter five, I talk all about transportation and what we need to do. It isn't just talk. I have very specific...

(CROSSTALK)

CILLIZZA: And we will get...

MCAULIFFE: ... but I want to win that House of Delegates. That's how we'll do it.

CILLIZZA: And, Mr. McAuliffe, we will get back to that. I turn it over to Bruce.

Too Big to Fail

DEPUYT: Let me pose the second question.

The federal government has been active in bailing out companies deemed too big to fail. Are there any Virginia companies that are too important to be allowed to fail? And would you back state support for them if they were to falter?

Terry McAuliffe, you go first this time.

MCAULIFFE: Yes, I don't necessarily subscribe to "too big to fail." If they don't have good business practices, then, you know, we shouldn't step in and save companies that they've made fiscally irresponsible decisions. I just don't support that.1 [1 Rosalind Helderman: Of course, the federal government has come to a different conclusion. On the other hand, the feds are dealing with huge, multinational corporations. More »]

I have been a huge supporter of the stimulus package. On the other hand, I'm very concerned. We have a $1.8 trillion deficit this year. China and Japan now buy 50 percent of our debt. We are -- our biggest trading partners are now our bankers.

So I think we have to be fiscally responsible. My argument for running for governor is I want to create jobs. I have created thousands of jobs. So I don't want to think that way. I want to think, how do we help the small businesses that are here? And how do we create new economic activity here in Virginia? That's why I'm running for governor.

DEPUYT: Thank you. Delegate Moran?

MORAN: Well, thank you. And every -- there is no Virginia company that is not vital to our success. I am making sure that we grow our economy from the bottom up. I have a small business job creation tax credit plan so that we make sure the doors of the stores on Main Streets all across Virginia stay open, not just Wall Street.

You know, I've traveled all across Virginia for years. And in every small town and big city, Bristol to Granby Street in Norfolk to Broad Street in Richmond, we must make sure that those small businesses stay open and those doors. They're the ones that make sure we have a healthy economy.

Now, you know, created thousands of jobs, Terry? Come on. You know, 300,000 Virginians have lost their jobs. Thousands more are worried about their jobs. You've said you've created hundreds of thousands of jobs. That's -- that's more than Bill Gates and Microsoft.2 [2 Amy Gardner: McAuliffe led a home-building company in Florida that did, indeed, create thousands of jobs in the construction trades. And most of those jobs were union. But McAuliffe never created jobs in Virginia ... McAuliffe did create five businesses in Virginia, but all are investment partnerships registered to his home address in McLean, and none has employees). More »]

Right now, Virginians need a true leader who has, indeed, worked with our businesses in Virginia to keep those doors open and generate economic activity here in the commonwealth.

DEPUYT: Senator Deeds?

DEEDS: As I said a little bit ago, the most important job of the next governor is to restore confidence in the economy. Transportation is the beginning of that.

But I want to -- there's no such thing as a company that's too big to fail. Virginia is rated -- has been rated by magazines as the best state for -- to do business in the country, the best state to a business -- for a business to move to, to a country, the best state to raise your children in the country.

A lot of things are going right here, but -- but we still have an awful lot of work to do. I'm committed to the notion that -- that we need to build the best economy we can throughout Virginia.

And we've never -- the reality is, we've never had a problem attracting businesses to Virginia. We have a wonderful business climate. What we have a problem is supporting business -- supporting individuals with infrastructure. We've got to rebuild our transportation system. We've got to invest in our educational institutions to ensure that we build the smartest workforce in the world.

If we can do those things, the economy is going to be in fine shape here. And that's the governor I intend to be.

DEPUYT: Thank you, Senator.

In terms of the business community and the downturn in the economy, it is an incredibly rough environment out there. What distinguishes you from your rival, from the others on the stage, in terms of being able to be Virginia's cheerleader-in-chief as this region competes with the Carolinas and with others for businesses that might move here and keeping those that we have?

I'll throw it open. Feel free.

DEEDS: Well, you know, I've spent the last 22 years in public office. I've spent 18 years in the general assembly. I wrote the law that became the Governor's Opportunity Fund. I've spent a long time recruiting businesses to Virginia. I know this state like the back of my hand. I -- I think I know the strengths and I know our weaknesses. I know our people from -- from Big Stone Gap to Fairfax County to the Eastern Shore. I can be a salesman for Virginia, and I'll do whatever it takes to bring the best-paying jobs to Virginia.

But -- but, frankly, this is the way we do it. We build the infrastructure to support economic growth. We build the infrastructure by building a transportation system that becomes a model for the rest of the nation. And by investing in higher education and making sure we have the best K-12 system in the country, we invest in our people.

If we do that, if we build the smartest workforce in the world, if we have the best transportation system in the country, we're going to have economic success throughout the commonwealth.

DEPUYT: Terry McAuliffe, did you want to respond to what Delegate Moran said about job creation?

MCAULIFFE: Yes, I think the governor does create jobs. And as I say...

DEPUYT: And your record?

MCAULIFFE: Pardon me? And I've said this from the beginning of the campaign: I have created thousands of jobs. I started my first business when I was 14 years old, wanted to go to college, had to pay for it myself, then involved in a variety of different businesses, and, I'm proud to say, created good jobs, good wages with good benefits. And I think that's important.

I've gone into states like Florida, right-to-work, and hired all union workers. I've paid a little bit extra out of my pocket; it was the right thing to do.

I come at having been involved in businesses. I -- most importantly, I have a business plan up on my Web site. My first about 60 pages are very specific detail of how we need to create jobs here.

We have not been successful at going after what I call the big production facilities, BMW, ThyssenKrupp, International Paper, Kia, Toyota. Martinsville has 20 percent unemployment today. If we could bring one of those facilities there, we could really help that community.

DEPUYT: Time.

MCAULIFFE: As governor, I want to bring jobs everywhere in the commonwealth.

Better Education

CILLIZZA: Mr. McAuliffe and for all three of you, we have a reader question that I think we'll expand. This is obviously a critical issue, jobs in the economy, both in this region and in Virginia. So we have a question submitted from a -- a Washington Post reader. Elizabeth High (ph) of Lake Ridge writes -- and I'll read a portion of it for you, and I'll read it slowly -- "Many of our struggling citizens today have few job skills and are unable to find work. They also lack practical knowledge of personal money management. What changes in Virginia's public education would you propose to better prepare our youth to prosper in this changing economy?"

On this one, we are going to start with Delegate Moran.

MORAN: Thank you very much. Yes, you know, business plans are about profit. We need a governor who puts people first.

That has been my record in building this economy in Virginia and why we are the best managed state in the nation, why we're the best state in the nation to do business, and, most importantly, anybody's measurement, we are the best state for child's lifetime success.

I have two children in the public schools. Nothing is more precious to me, but precious to society, than to make sure they have excellence in education so they can reach their God-given potential.

We must start and graduate students with a strong, skilled workforce, with graduates in science, technology, engineering, mathematics. And they will graduate strong and skilled because we start them strong, with quality preschool, reduced class sizes between K-3, and, yes, the best paid teachers in this country.1 [1 Full Text: Moran's Education Plan (pdf).] That's how we will make sure we strengthen our economy, not only for tomorrow, but for the next day and the next day, is to make sure we invest in our people.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

MORAN: We are -- I apologize, Chris. I am having difficulty...

CILLIZZA: No problem. We will -- we will do our best. Thank you.

MORAN: The lights -- I can't see very well in this lighting, at least.

CILLIZZA: We will ask...

MCAULIFFE: Chris, you may want him to move up here, because, honestly, we cannot see him at all when he puts the red sign up.

CILLIZZA: Absolutely.

MCAULIFFE: He needs to move.

CILLIZZA: Absolutely. Senator Deeds, go ahead.

DEEDS: The most important...

MCAULIFFE: Creigh's the only one with good eyesight here.

CILLIZZA: Hold on one second. ... Go ahead, sir.

DEEDS: The most important investment we make is the investment we make -- in the development of young people and the investment we make in the -- in education. Education is -- is the key to the future.

I've got lots of specific proposals, and I would direct you to my Web page to look at my "Better Schools, Better Jobs" plan.2 [2 Full Text: Deeds's Education Plan (pdf).] But here's where we need to start: We need to make sure, you know, with pre-K -- or universal pre-K is the most important investment we can make in K- 12 education. We need to make sure children start school ready to learn.

I'm convinced that not only will that pay off with lower dropout rates. It'll pay off with future people incarcerated. It'll pay off with better job skills 10, 12 years down the road. But we need -- also need to focus on our system of higher education. We need to focus on making our system more affordable and more accessible to Virginians.

Over the last eight years, tuition increased -- has increased over -- around 80 percent. It's unacceptable. It's brought education out of the reach of ordinary people. We've got to make sure campuses like this one, this place of hope and dreams, as the Washington Post reported, is open and accessible to many people.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, Mr. Deeds. I apologize. We will get -- we will get the timing -- I keep a running metronome in my head, and I will do my best to keep you guys on schedule. We have a clock here.

MORAN: Looks like we've lost the two -- oh, there they are.

CILLIZZA: They have reappeared. The magic -- the magic of television. You may look over there. Mr. McAuliffe, go ahead.

MCAULIFFE: Well, to go to her specific question that she asked, what do we do for folks today to make sure they have a better understanding? Chapter Four of my business plan, where I talk about education, we need to have what we have -- we call money schools. We need to be teaching courses in our high schools and in our colleges.3 [3 Full Text: McAuliffe's Education Plan (pdf).]

I've called for a total shutdown of all payday lending stores here in Virginia. They are a disgrace. They prey upon the financially weakest. And many people are signing documents. They don't know what they're signing. I spoke to a woman yesterday, Tara down in Hampton Roads. She's on the verge of losing her house because of these payday loans that she took. She wasn't quite exactly sure what she was signing.

We have got to get financial literacy early in our high schools and in our college courses. We need better public-private partnerships. There's a lot of CEOs, you know, who'd love to go teach a -- you know, in school, would love to volunteer their time. I think it's important.

So I think public-private partnerships and inside the schools, having a financial teaching so that they understand some of the basic elements of finance.

CILLIZZA: Let me go back to Senator Deeds, and then I'll open it up for the other two, because, Senator Deeds, you have called community colleges -- and I think it's appropriate, since we're here to ask it -- points of access.

DEEDS: Right.

CILLIZZA: How do we match up folks graduating from Northern Virginia Community College with jobs? Are there simply not jobs out there? Or are people not matched up with them?

DEEDS: The jobs are out there. I -- I was so impressed with a story I read in the Washington Post a couple of years ago about -- in the world where I live, I know lots of people who used to work in sewing plants and textile mills who now work in Wal-Mart, if they work anywhere at all. They have to drive 35 or 40 miles, so you can imagine, when they're paying $2 to $4 for gasoline, what crisis that creates in their lives.

States have retooled their community colleges to build -- to take those laid-off textile workers making $15,000, $16,000 a year and turn them into pharmaceutical manufacturing workers making $40 to $50 an hour. I don't -- I think we just need a little retooling of our community college system, not just here, but across the state, to attract the smart jobs to Virginia in every corner of the state.

CILLIZZA: Delegate Moran, do you agree, number one, in terms of the retooling of the community college system? And can you give the folks here in attendance a suggestion of one or two specific ways in which we can make that happen?

MORAN: Yes, well, you know, I lot of kinship with those who are serving -- attending our community colleges. As one who put himself through college working the midnight shift at the gas station, construction, and a variety of jobs to get myself through college -- in fact, I moved home my last year and lived at home to -- to afford college -- community college students are working very hard and attending school. So I have a great deal of respect and admiration for each and every one of them.

What we need to do are a couple of specific things, Chris, and they are occurring in Virginia. There's some good news here. We need to collaborate with our community college education system and our business community.

In Ikea plant in Danville, we are accomplishing this. Thirty-four graduates graduated, and they're all now working at Ikea, because there's collaboration between our community college system and what Ikea needs in terms of skills.

Same thing is happening at Rolls-Royce jet aviation plant in Prince George County.

CILLIZZA: Delegate Moran?

MORAN: It should happen here in Fairfax County. We're about to build a Metro...

CILLIZZA: Sir, I'm sorry to interrupt you. We will have ample opportunity to get back to you, but I'm going to turn it over to Bruce. Thank you.

4 [4 Whose education plan do you think is best? Discuss it with other readers.]

Gay Adoption

DEPUYT: Under current Virginia law, a gay couple cannot jointly adopt a child. One parent can, but not both. Do you men believe that, let's say, two women raising a child constitutes a family? And should Virginia law be changed?

We start this time with Senator Deeds.

DEEDS: When it comes to figuring out where -- how a child should be raised, the emphasis should be on, what's in the best interest of the child? In -- in that instance, what's in the best interests of the child has -- has to be determined according to law.

I don't have any problem at all with a child being adopted by two loving parents, whether -- you know, as long -- male, female, same sex, a traditional couple. I think that ought to be up to the court and it ought to be up to the people who examine whether the adoption should occur.

Virginia law -- we've had that issue before, I guess, four or five times over the past number of years. I don't know that there's a consensus to change that in the General Assembly among Democrats or Republicans.

But I think that we ought to never get past the best interests of the child. That ought to be the paramount consideration.

DEPUYT: Delegate Moran?

MORAN: Well, this has been an issue that has come up and a significant difference between the three of us, is the repeal of the Marshall-Newman amendment, Bruce.1 [1 Rosalind Helderman: From The Post, April 28 -- Sensing an opportunity to separate himself from his Democratic gubernatorial opponents, former state delegate Brian Moran last week began emphasizing a topic that has long made Virginia Democrats wary: gay rights. More ».]

That was one of the darker days in my 13 years of service in the legislature. I don't believe anyone should be discriminated against by purposes of placing language in our constitution that has always been reserved to protect the rights of the minority.

I fought against that. I voted against it. I campaigned against it. And, unfortunately, it was passed.2 [2 Amy Gardner: While Moran has made it a major plank of his campaign to overturn a state constitutional amendment passed in 2006 banning same-sex marriages in Virginia, he voted yes to a proposal (put forth by Republican Bob McDonnell, the former delegate and attorney general who will face the winner of the Democratic gubernatorial primary) urging the Congress to pass a federal constitutional amendment. Moran says he voted against that proposal too, and his campaign says the one vote in favor was in the middle of the process and does not reflect his true feelings on the issue. More ».]

As governor, I will not rest until we repeal the Marshall-Newman amendment. Then we can actually get into conversations with respect to that.

The simple answer to your question is yes, that loving parents who -- who want to adopt a child should have the right to do so. It is in the best interests of their child to be adopted by a loving couple. So the simple answer is yes.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to even have that discussion, because the Marshall-Newman amendment was passed, which forbids same- sex contracts -- contracts between same-sex individuals. I will not rest until we repeal that.

DEPUYT: Terry McAuliffe, one minute for you.

MCAULIFFE: Yes, the standard of the best interests of the child, as both Creigh and Brian have said, is something I support. I have been a long-time advocate for civil unions. I did it when I was chairman of the national party.

I am full -- for full contractual rights that individuals should have that live here in Virginia. Fifty-seven percent of the state did a constitutional amendment. They passed it. My argument is that I want to make sure that people have those contractual rights so that they can -- life-or-death decisions they can make themselves, death benefits they can make themselves.

I'm not for discrimination at all. I've got to fight hard on those issues every single day. And the issues that I'm going to fight on are quality-of-life issues that betters peoples' lives.

I make the argument, unless we fix these economic problems we have here in Virginia today, a lot of the other issues that we talk about are moot, because we don't have the funds. We're going backwards on education, on transportation and health care. We just got an "F" the other day on college affordability. We're 37th on per-pupil spending. We're 31st on teacher pay.

Let's have a big, honest discussion of moving Virginia forward. Just announced the other day that we're $250 million under on our budget again.

DEPUYT: Time.

MCAULIFFE: So we've got to -- we've got to deal with those issues of economic interests.

DEPUYT: We're in the -- we're in the 90-second rebuttal period. Delegate Moran?

MORAN: Well, that's -- you know, one of the things we've been hearing from -- from Terry during this course of this campaign is, you know, some very big, bold claims, but there's some contradictions, Terry.

I mean, you claim you're for civil unions and for contracts, but then you tell Virginians, you know, I'm not going to have time to repeal the Marshall-Newman amendment.

The Marshall-Newman amendment bans civil unions in same-sex contracts. You can't have it both ways. You can't say, "I'm for civil unions," then refuse to have the time to repeal the Marshall- Newman amendment.

DEPUYT: Mr. McAuliffe?

MCAULIFFE: I clearly have argued for my life for civil unions and for full contractual rights. And there is no difference of opinion on that.

But let's be honest: As I've traveled all over Virginia, when people are looking at their next governor, they don't want the Democrats all fighting one another. They're tired of the divisive politics. They want us to go forward in a unified way.

I have laid out a very specific plan. As I have said over 130 pages, on transportation, on health care, these are the issues that the voters that I have met with who look me in the eye and say, "Terry, I need a job. I want my kids to stay here." That's who I'm fighting for every day.

DEPUYT: We have 30 seconds left. Senator Deeds, are there some issues that, given Virginia's political make-up, let's say, are -- are just best avoided and that a future governor should focus on a few core, key things?

DEEDS: Here's a thing about the Virginia governorship. Unlike the other 49 governors, unlike the president, you only get one four-year term.

Now, I would argue that you have to -- you have to have a plan for the use of that four years. You've got to -- you've got to figure out how best to use your time, because it's -- anybody who's ever raised children knows what I'm talking about. Four years flies away from you so quickly, it's a preciously short period of time.

The next governor, I'm convinced, has to focus on restoring confidence in the economy. That's the number-one thing. We've got 6.8 percent unemployment. One...

DEPUYT: Time. Thank you.

Utility Rates

CILLIZZA: Let's -- we're going to get back to an economic question. And, again, I turn -- we turn to Washington Post reader, a man named John Fishwick of Roanoke. And he writes, "Virginia utility companies seem to get rate increases whenever they want them. What will you do to protect Virginia consumers?"

And we're going to start this one with you, Mr. McAuliffe.

MCAULIFFE: That's why my first chapter, most important chapter is on alternative energy. We have got to deal with this. This is why I'm the only candidate running for governor that refuses to take a check from Dominion Power or their PAC.

We need a mandatory renewable energy standard here in Virginia. Why? It's not only critical for our environment, but it's also critical to bring jobs here into Virginia.

You look at what Governor Rendell -- he just did a big wind project, an RPS with 10 percent wind. He was able to get Gamesa from Spain to come in and create hundreds of jobs because he worked with this RPS standard.

We're not doing any of that. Why should Dominion continue to get rate hikes every time they come and get them and we're not doing anything about putting wind farms off the coast of Virginia Beach? We're one of the few states in our great nation that does not offer any tax incentives for solar, biomass, biodiesel. We're falling behind.

So I have, as I say, a very specific plan. This has not happened. Richmond, we've got to shake it up with some big, bold, new ideas. I have laid that out.

But you're right: We shouldn't give them any more rate increases until they agree with us. Let's go ahead and start doing some wind and solar.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, Mr. McAuliffe. State Senator Deeds?

DEEDS: Utilities in Virginia, electric utilities are regulated monopolies. They have to go before the State Corporation Commission to get rates approved.

Virginia power, Dominion Resources requested a rate approval a few weeks ago. You know, I immediately called on a rejection of that rate approval. I'm not sure where Terry was.

And you know what? I hear from him all the time about not accepting Dominion's money, but that doesn't prevent him from going to Tom Capps's home -- Tom Capps is the former president of Dominion -- and having a fundraiser. I mean, it's a little duplicitous to talk like that, Terry, frankly.1 [1 Amy Gardner: McAuliffe has not accepted any donations directly from Dominion, but he attended a gathering in his honor last week at the home of Thomas E. Capps, the company's retired president and chief executive officer. Capps donated $2,500 to his campaign. Eva Teig Hardy, a former executive and chief lobbyist for the company, contributed $7,750. Another executive Christopher B. Rivers contributed $1,700. More ».]

(LAUGHTER)

The future does belong to alternative and renewable energy. That's the, I think, the next -- the next big thing is energy technology. That's what we're going to build the next economy one. That's biodiesel. That's fuel. That's biofuels, biomass. That's rural economic -- rural economic development opportunity, solar, wind, the whole thing.

CILLIZZA: Delegate Moran?

MORAN: Thank you.

Well, to get back to one of those earlier questions, you always have a governor to make sure that you fight for equality for all Virginians. I can't imagine anything more important than making sure that every Virginian has an opportunity here in this great commonwealth. So that -- of course that's a priority of mine and will be as governor.

Now, in terms of Dominion, I opposed their rate increase. Times are very difficult right now on Virginians, and this is no time to be raising the rate.

I am the only one for governor running who -- who calls for decoupling. Now, that's -- what that means is Dominion can make their money, but it is based on energy conservation and efficiency, not energy generation and usage.

MORAN: That's where we need to go to address global climate warming. And I am the only one who opposes off-shore drilling. I want to put those windmills off the coast of Virginia Beach, and those wind turbines will be built right here with Virginia labor, creating Virginia jobs.

CILLIZZA: Let's -- let's return in the -- the 90 seconds we have to Mr. McAuliffe. State Senator Deeds mentioned, is -- is your taking no money from Dominion simply a superficial promise, in that you have attended this fundraiser? What's your response there?

MCAULIFFE: Listen, I'm very clear. From day one, I said I wouldn't take a check from Dominion, so everybody who works at Dominion knows my stand.

And if there's individuals inside Dominion who say, "You know what? I agree with this guy. We need, for the future of Dominion, to move to a mandatory renewable energy standard," fine. They know that I publicly say I won't take a check from the company they work for. That's enough of a slam every single day.

And if they decide they want to help me with that, then, you know, it's up to those individuals and that company to support me. But if you want to support me, you know where I stand as it relates to Dominion.

I went down. I had never met Tom Farrell. I went down, spent several hours with him, the head of Dominion, said, "Here's why we need a mandatory renewable energy standard, actually would be good." Duke Power, one of our neighbors in the south, very progressive on a lot of these alternative energy. We're just not doing it.

Delaware is about to start a wind farm in the ocean, Massachusetts, Rhode Island right behind them. We are nowhere near it. And unless we create these sustainable jobs for the future, we're going to be out of this game. That's why I say we have to have a mandatory standard. I would love Dominion to work with me, but until they do it, I'm not going to accept their contribution.

CILLIZZA: Senator Deeds, because you brought this up, I'm interested. Mr. McAuliffe's argument is essentially that it is worth talking to these people and being frank with them and saying where you stand. Does that logic not fly with you?

DEEDS: He's absolutely correct. We have to talk to those people. It's just duplicitous, in my view, and a little disingenuous to say he will not take money from Dominion Power because he's got -- he's got a stand on some ridge and tell them what to do when he takes money and has fundraisers from seven-figure executives with Dominion Power, who know -- who aren't going to be persuaded.

MCAULIFFE: I'm sorry, when he retired -- I just -- I'm not -- for clarification, I think he retired, isn't he? He's not a seven-figure executive.

DEEDS: He -- he was seven-figure...

MCAULIFFE: Retiree.

DEEDS: He was seven figures when he retired.

MCAULIFFE: Okay, I think he's retired.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

MCAULIFFE: And, in fairness, he didn't write a check.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, gentlemen.

MCAULIFFE: It was at his house, but he didn't write a check.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, gentlemen. We're moving.

DEPUYT: Thank you. We'll go to the next question here.

(LAUGHTER)

Immigration and Prince William

DEPUYT: Many -- many Virginia localities have taken it upon themselves to deal with illegal immigration. Prince William County has received perhaps the most attention with its crackdown, but the issue has affected local governments across the commonwealth, including Virginia Beach, Culpeper and Fairfax.

What role should the state be playing in the immigration debate? And we start this time with Delegate Moran.

MORAN: Thank you, Bruce. Yes, as you know, many of the conversations -- I've been on your show discussing immigration in Northern Virginia. You know, we are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.

I share a wonderful immigrant story. When my grandfather left the shores of Ireland in 1901 and -- and arrived here and had seven children, and -- and my father being one of them, who had seven children. Little did that grandfather know that he would have a grandson serving in the United States Congress and one running for the highest office of Virginia.

That is an immigrant story that we share all across Virginia, all across America. It is what makes us so strong and diverse. Now, federal government clearly has not done its job. And we're having to struggle with the consequences. Absolutely, Virginians deserve their laws to be enforced. That's what I will do as governor, to enforce our current laws and work with our federal government to come up with an immigration policy that, indeed, protects us from illegal immigration, but also embraces those who are here who are trying to make a living here in Virginia and working hard.

DEPUYT: Terry McAuliffe?

MCAULIFFE: I'm sorry. Repeat the question?

DEPUYT: Same question for you. What role should the state play in the broader immigration debate?

MCAULIFFE: Sure.

DEPUYT: Looking at the experience in Prince William and elsewhere.

MCAULIFFE: Yes, first, of course, it's a federal issue. And President Obama has committed that we will get immigration reform. I think we'll deal with it very shortly. I've come out very publicly.

I don't think our local police should be doing the responsibilities of ICE, the immigration. I mean, that's not their job. Public safety, as governor, is one of your top issues. And I would not support that issue.

Public safety, obviously, is a top concern. The way I look at it, I want everybody to get into a pathway to citizenship. As a governor, I want to make sure every person who is working and living here are paying their fair share of taxes, too. I don't want people here taking advantage of the system that are not registered and are not paying taxes. I want everybody signed up.

And as governor, if you're in our state taking advantage of the -- our beautiful state, then you're going to have to be part of that system and paying your fair share of your taxes.

DEPUYT: Senator Deeds?

DEEDS: The reality is that people who are here should be here legally and that anyone who breaks the law should -- should not -- should be punished for breaking the law.

But let's face it: The economy in this country has worked in large part over the last 230 years because of liberal immigration policies. The federal Constitution pre-empts immigration, foreign policy. We have no borders with any foreign country. The United States is in charge of those things.

The states' role in this issue is very limited, that we have to do what we can do to protect -- to make sure that the people who are in Virginia are here legally, but this is primarily a federal issue. And, frankly, I've not figured out as a legislator and I will not figure out as a governor how we can spend state tax dollars to do something that the federal government has not been able to do. Our tax dollars should be used to promote economic growth and to protect Virginians, not to do the federal government's job.

DEPUYT: The supervisor -- the chairman of the board of supervisions in Prince William, though, believes that the crime reduction that has come since their crackdown is attributable at least in part to their aggressive checking of the paperwork status of everyone they arrest.1 [1 Jonathan Mummolo: From The Post, April 12 -- About 2 percent of the people charged with major violent crimes in Prince William County last year were illegal immigrants, but they were arrested for a larger portion of secondary offenses, according to newly released statistics and a Washington Post analysis.More ».]

Do you think -- A, does that strike you as being potentially true? And, B, is that something that could be replicated more broadly? Anyone, please. We have 90 seconds.

DEEDS: Well, from my -- from my perspective, everything is connected. So is the decline in enrollment at Prince William schools. That's connected to that -- that topic, as well.

A couple of years ago, our oldest daughter was finished with college. She spent a summer in England, and I wanted to be part of the homecoming. While I'm off on this campaign all the time and Pam's at home, we decided to meet halfway so I could be part of the homecoming at BWI.

Wal-Mart in Manassas was halfway between Suffolk and Bath County. I walked in a little early, and I looked around. I didn't see any white faces, and I didn't see any black faces. I saw Asian and Hispanic faces. And I wondered to myself, "If you're going to kick out all of the -- all of the immigrants in Prince William County, who in the world is going to do the work, pay the sales tax, and do -- just do the jobs necessary in Prince William County?"

MORAN: Also, Bruce, let's underscore some of the issues that are in Prince William. Not only are you spending money on something the federal government should do, if that's what they choose to so do, in terms of checking the background on these individuals, but it also takes money from Prince William County schools. You know, you're taking money out of the school system to do this.

You're also increasing foreclosures. If you look at the number of foreclosed homes in -- in Prince William, you cannot tell me there is a relationship between that type of enforcement and those being foreclosed, both illegal and legal. It's not a very hospital atmosphere right now in Prince William County.

I want to work with the elected leaders. I'll work with the Democrats and Republicans to make sure we provide opportunity in, you know, the ability to increase that economy there in a way that embraces all those living in Prince William.

DEPUYT: We have 15 seconds left in this 90 seconds. Do you want a final say on this?

MCAULIFFE: The bottom line: We need to set an atmosphere in every single county in Virginia. We don't want the word going out that we are shutting our counties down. We want an inviting environment so that we can bring thousands of new jobs in from all over the world. That should be what we should strive for. And everyone who's here needs to pay their taxes.

Drilling and Alternatives

CILLIZZA: I want to -- I want to return -- I want to return to energy, because we've -- we've touched on it, but it's a critical issue.

Congress has now lifted the ban on drilling on the continental shelf. Should Virginia pursue that sort of drilling? Should we pursue oil, natural gas, one or the other, or both?

And we're going to start this question with you, Senator Deeds.

DEEDS: Well, that -- that's an excellent question. Energy independence is a matter of national and economic security, and I don't believe that any means towards achieving independence should be taken off of the table under the science takes it off the table, and that includes off-shore drilling.1 [1 Full Text: Deeds's Energy Plan (pdf).]

Now, we passed a policy in Virginia several years ago to allow for the exploration of gas. The most recent data we have -- and that's 30 years old, granted -- but the most recent data suggests that there are large gas deposits off the coast of Virginia. There's little oil.

Now, I --- if we can drill for gas in a way that -- under the federal regime right now, we cannot receive royalties. If we can receive royalties to protect the environment, protect fisheries, naval operations, and tourism, then we ought to drill for oil.

CILLIZZA: Mr. McAuliffe?

DEEDS: Or drill for gas, I'm sorry.

CILLIZZA: Mr. McAuliffe?

MCAULIFFE: Yes, and I've been consistent from the start of this campaign. There was bipartisan legislation passed, signed by Governor Kaine, promoted by Governor Kaine, that says no oil drilling, no oil drilling and limited exploration for natural gas.

I've said this from the beginning. This is a bill that Brian supported, wasn't even a close vote. No amendments were offered to it. So I'm supporting the legislation that was passed on a bipartisan basis, signed by the governor.

But the whole point is, we've got to move to the alternatives. That's why -- I hate to go back to Dominion again, but that's why we have to take it to Dominion.2[2Full Text: McAuliffe's Energy Plan (pdf).]

And as I say, if I've gotten five or six contributions from Tom Capps and others, so be it.

The point is, we have got to get tough with them, because we've got to fight them on a mandatory renewable energy standard. Without it, we're going to lose all these jobs to other states. We're going to lose all these sustainable energy jobs.

Tennessee just announced a major deal to build solar panel. Arkansas just announced a billion-dollar deal to build wind blades and towers. We should be bringing those jobs here. I want everything out, a full discussion of all of our assets on the table.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, Mr. McAuliffe. Delegate Moran?

MORAN: Thank you, Chris. This is, indeed, an important issue.

I was the first to come out with a quarter of our energy requirement come from clean, renewable energy sources. We must connect the dots between energy, a strong economy, and protecting our environment.3[3Full Text: Moran's Energy Plan (pdf).]

I do oppose off-shore drilling, because right now the technology does not exist between -- distinguishing between oil and gas.

We also have a billion-dollar tourism industry in Virginia, particularly -- well, billion dollars in Virginia Beach. We need to be concerned about those jobs.

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, we're asking you to pay millions of dollars to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. That's why I oppose a new coal-fired power plant in the Chesapeake Bay4[4Tim Craig: From The Post, Jan. 23 -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran vowed Thursday to fight a proposal to build a coal-fired power plant in southern Virginia, breaking with political leaders who have tried to shore up the once-powerful mining industry. More ».], which will introduce tons of new pollutants into the very Chesapeake Bay we're trying to clean up.

Also, the United States Navy opposes off-shore drilling. Those are jobs. That strengthens our economy in Hampton Roads. That's an enormous economic engine in Hampton Roads to have our Navy there.

So there are any number of reasons to oppose off-shore drilling. I oppose it. I do believe we can put windmills, which would generate 20 percent of our electricity needs. Those windmills will be built here in Virginia with Virginia labor. We can be more energy efficient.

CILLIZZA: Delegate Moran, I'm going to -- I'm going to come back to you on this. Given we've all seen gas prices over the last few weeks rise, given that -- you talk of windmills and Mr. McAuliffe talks of alternative energy, are we facing a crisis now, though, that would force you to at least reconsider that position, as opposed to, say, yes, we need to put alternative energy plans in place down the road?

MORAN: Off-shore drilling isn't happening tomorrow, Chris. I mean, what we need to do right now is decouple energy so that we can start empowering our consumer users.

I want that meter not in the back of my house. I want it in my house so I can be empowered with more information as to when I should be washing the clothes or Karyn washing the dishes. I try to do it. I try to do them. I'm not at home as much as I -- I should be.

But that's the type -- we can empower energy consumers and users. That's what we should be doing, Chris. And we're not going to do it if you take the position of my opponents here, because I know. I've been in Richmond 13 years.

If you -- leadership is not going along with the flow. I know there are great interests like Dominion and a number of special interests...

CILLIZZA: Very quickly, let me...

MORAN: ... that are pushing off-shore drilling, pushing new coal-fired power plant...

CILLIZZA: ... because we have a short period of time...

MORAN: Leadership is...

CILLIZZA: Because we have a short period of time, let me go to Senator Deeds and let me go to Chairman McAuliffe. Senator Deeds, very quickly, 15 seconds, is Delegate Moran correct in his criticism?

DEEDS: You know, you listen to what I say. We can do the offshore drilling if we get royalty payments and if we can protect naval, tourism and fishing economies. Now, what's wrong with that?

We have -- he's correct in that we need to lead with alternatives, because that's the future. But we -- we can't take anything off the table.

And he's also correct that whatever's off the coast of Virginia is not the panacea. It's not going to bring down prices.

CILLIZZA: And let me just quickly, Mr. McAuliffe?

MCAULIFFE: Yes, we've got to -- our future is going to be tied to the alternatives. I talk about net metering. You look at what New York and New Jersey have done. We're very small. We're five kilowatts; they're two megawatts. Nobody's coming here to do these renewable plants. We don't have feed-in tariffs, which you know in Germany they've done two gigabytes.

There are technologies out there today that we can move away from a lot of these discussions. But our future is putting all of these alternatives on the table.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

MCAULIFFE: We're going backwards on it. They are the jobs of the future.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

MCAULIFFE: That's why I'm so passionate. And to be honest with you, that's why the League of Conservation Voters endorsed me the other day, because of my passionate commitment to alternative energy.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, Chairman McAuliffe. We appreciate it. We're going to move into another...

MCAULIFFE: I get excited about alternatives. Sorry.

Questioning Each Other

DEPUYT: Time to move to the next phase in our debate. Time for candidates to question one another. We're getting into the second half-hour of our time together today, so we're going to push you a little bit harder than we have been on time.

Candidates have one minute to pose a question. The person they ask it of then has 90 seconds.

Delegate Moran, we start with you, one minute.

MORAN: Sure, thank you, Bruce.

Terry, you have made -- on -- during these weeks of the campaign, you've made a great issue of -- big issue about jobs. Just today, you've mentioned jobs over and over again. Yet, you know, you've been criticizing even to the extent that you've created the job-creation efforts of both Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

And, in fact, your record of creating jobs must be questioned: 300,000 Virginians are out of work right now. They are vulnerable to someone claiming that they have created 100,000 jobs. That's just not true, Terry. A hundred thousand jobs is more than Bill Gates and Microsoft.

You say you've built five Virginia businesses, but The Washington Post said they were run out of your home and never created a single Virginia job. You claim you'll look out for people's jobs, but as a consultant to Global Crossing CEO and as a board member of Telegy, you walked away with $20 million while over 10,000 people lost their jobs.

So tell me, Terry, how is this a positive, credible campaign? And how can Virginia voters trust that you'll care about their jobs or create any new jobs?

MCAULIFFE: Well, there's very few things, Brian, you've said are true there. But, you know, these are the divisive politics of destruction that people are sick and tired of.

I had a Washington Post story. And if you ask the reporter, I let her in, go through everything, my books. I took a company, American Heritage Homes, out of receivership. At the end, it built 1,300 homes a year. There's over 100 people that work on every single home. I can do the math for you.

But you know what? People who are sitting home watching this today saying, "What are you going to do for me? And how are you going to create jobs?" And they're tired of this personal destruction, the divisiveness.

I can justify everything I've done. I have been out on national television for years fighting on causes. I was the chief defender of the incumbent Democratic president for eight years. I went after George Bush for four years. I never thought he was up to the job as president. I was right.

But I have been out there. And I let my record stand for it. I have created great-paying jobs with benefits. I believe in profit-sharing. So I'll let my record stand there.

I have created thousands of jobs. People know that. I grew up, did it myself, worked hard, and I want to bring that experience.

But the divisive politics of trying to tear people down not on issues -- listen, we have a healthy discussion on issues. That's what Democratic primaries are all about. And we ought to have that discussion.

But the politics of personal destruction, those days should be over, because too many people today here in Virginia are hurting. They don't have a job. If you're a single mother here in Virginia, you make $5,593, you're not eligible for Medicaid. You go to any one of our surrounding states and you'd be covered.

That's what I want to get out of bed...

DEPUYT: Time.

MCAULIFFE: ... and focus on. I want to create jobs. I like to say I want to...

(CROSSTALK)

DEPUYT: Time.

MCAULIFFE: ... all of the other governors.

DEPUYT: Mr. McAuliffe...

MCAULIFFE: I think positive. I think big. I will knock that wall down. Thank you.

DEPUYT: Terry McAuliffe, your time is up. Thank you very much.

MCAULIFFE: I get excited about jobs, too.

DEPUYT: It's your -- it's your turn to ask a question of one of your opponents.

MCAULIFFE: Yes. And, Brian, I'd just ask, I'll just keep it on an issue. I came out in this campaign after traveling around, and I've seen so many people whose lives absolutely were devastated by the predatory payday lending stores here in Virginia. I could tell you story after story about them. I called for a complete ban of predatory lending stores. We've ought to shut them down. There's no reforming them. Let's shut them down. After I did it, you agreed with me. You said, "Yes, we should shut them down."

But the questions I would ask is, you know, why then did you vote to bring predatory lending here to Virginia1 [1 Amy Gardner: Moran voted for a bill in 2002 that opened Virginia to payday lending. Lawmakers from both parties thought the bill would license and regulate the industry, but instead payday operators quickly multiplied. Three years later, Moran did vote to enact some of the nation's most stringent reforms of the payday loan industry, though many opponents did not think it went far enough. Since 1996, Moran has taken $30,200 in donations from lending or consumer credit companies. More ».]? Governor Kaine has now said it was a big mistake. When Governor Warner asked for legislation a year after it was implemented to say, "We need to see the impact on the impoverished people," you voted to kill that piece of legislation that would have had that study done. And you have taken tens of thousands of dollars from payday lenders.

My question is: How do you reconcile that?

MORAN: Absolutely, Terry. And I don't have time to teach you the legislative process, nor do Virginians have time for you to learn.2 [2 Rosalind Helderman: Harshest line of the debate. More ».] We have four years for the next future of Virginia. It is.

You -- you -- you want to talk about energy. You want to talk about divisive politics. Terry, there are 300,000 Virginians without work. You're running television ads -- I'm going to -- I'm going to create jobs, hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Records are important. Records are important. I have a 20-year record of fighting for Virginians. In Virginia, Terry, prosecutor, legislator, Democratic leader, traveling this commonwealth to recruit and support candidates that will support education, that will support a cleaner environment, that will support investing in our young people.

That's what I've been doing for 20 years, Terry. You know, this isn't the politics of division. This is the politics of record. This is the politics of this primary we must determine.

Because I'll tell you: One thing all three of us agree with and everyone in this room, one of the three of us must be the next governor of Virginia.

(APPLAUSE)

And we must as Democrats look at someone who has a record -- you know, it's easy to say you'll govern like Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, another two who have been in the trenches each and every day to move our Democratic agenda forward. That is what I have been doing, and that's what I will do as your next Democratic governor.

MCAULIFFE: Payday lending?

MORAN: I opposed -- I voted...

MCAULIFFE: I just -- I just asked the question. I don't want to be divisive.

DEPUYT: We're straying from the format here, men. The question was asked; it was answered.

MORAN: I voted to cap payday lending. And -- and I'll -- I'll repeal it as governor.

DEPUYT: Thank you. Senator Deeds, a 60-second opportunity for you to ask a question of one of the men standing alongside you.

DEEDS: Terry, I asked my supporters to submit questions on my Web site and on Twitter for you or Brian, and I received an unbelievable response from Virginians about the things that you've been promising out there on the campaign trail.

Our next governor, in my view -- and I think each of us would agree -- needs to carry on the Warner-Kaine agenda of creating opportunity and protecting education. And both Governors Warner and Kaine have had to make pragmatic choices in tough budget and economic times, just like the one we're in now.

So my supporters -- this is a compilation question. They ask if you can really afford to keep all the promises you've made. Let's -- let's remember: You promised to personally build a high school gymnasium for the city of Martinsville. You promised teachers you'd pay off their mortgages, you'd pay off their car loans, you'd pay off their student loans. You promised to use your Hollywood connections to make Virginia the new film capital of the world. And today, you just reminded me that you promised to reform the Medicaid part of our budget, which I agree is -- is despicably poor, but it's also one of the driving forces of the budget.

So those are just some of the things -- those -- that you've said in public. I don't know what you've said in private.

(LAUGHTER)

So, Terry, I've got -- I've got to -- you know, I know that you've paid for this campaign about big ideas, but now...

DEPUYT: Time. Senator, it's time for him to answer.

DEEDS: ... now you might have to govern. How do you do it?

MCAULIFFE: That's a great question. Thank you for asking me that. I'm glad you gave me the opportunity.

Let me just say this: I think we have to do the things that I have promised. You could go to the District of Columbia, Maryland or North Carolina. On average, you make $14,000 more than you make as a teacher here in Virginia. Why do we lose 50 percent of our teachers to the profession or to another state?

So it's something to me that we've got to deal with. Why did we get an "F" the other day on college affordability from the National Council of Higher Education? We need to move teachers around. Do I have a plan in my business plan? Yes, if you are -- if you are a teacher and you will go into a high-need area and teach children in a high-need area, we should incentivize you to do it. That's smart.

Everything I've proposed, I hate to say this, are being done in other states. We're just not doing it.

So how do we do it? We grow our economy. As governor, I'm going to sit down and negotiate the deals in the past we haven't. And we haven't done it, because the House of Delegates has refused to give the governor of Virginia the tools, tax incentive and bonding authority, to go compete for a BMW, which was a $5 billion investment, 5,000 jobs, ThyssenKrupp, $4 billion, 4,000 jobs.

People say, "Oh, Terry, we didn't want to do it because it didn't make sense." You don't know if a deal makes sense unless you were in the room negotiating it.

So, yes, I have big, bold plans. I've done it my whole life. I've met every challenge I've put out there. I want to get out of governor -- I want to be number one here in Virginia, education, transportation, health care. Do you want me to get out of bed saying, "I'm going to be 50th"? No. You shoot for the moon. 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. I apologize for being optimistic.

(APPLAUSE)

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

DEPUYT: Audience, let's remember...

CILLIZZA: Please, audience, we're -- we're on a tight...

DEPUYT: You've been great so far...

(CROSSTALK)

CILLIZZA: ... we're on a tight schedule. Thank you for your patience.

MCAULIFFE: I get excited about that.

CILLIZZA: Chairman -- Chairman McAuliffe, can you please -- we're moving into our closing statements. You will each have two minutes in a pre-determined order.

Closing Statements

MCAULIFFE: Thank you. Thank you, Chris, Bruce.

Thank you for this opportunity. As I always say, it's an order for me to be here both with Creigh and Brian.

I'm running for governor. You've heard a lot of the issues today, because I do think we need fundamental change in Richmond. We're going the wrong way on a lot of these big issues that I talk about.

I come in with big, bold ideas. I think positive. I believe I can change it. I can bring people together. I've done it my whole life. I've done it in business. I got our party out of bankruptcy for the first time in modern history, rebuilt the voter files. I like to think big.

I know we need to generate more revenue, because, as you know, we just announced another $250 million is going to have to be cut from our budget. We've got to bring new jobs in. That's why I'm passionate about alternative energy.

And anybody who wants to help me -- Tom Capps and others -- please give me money. I'll accept it if you will work with me on these things.

But let me be clear: Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran, any one of us will be better than Bob McDonnell. And that's why I say, folks, we have to be unified at the end of this process.

Please go look up my business plan. If you're looking for someone to go to Richmond to shake it up, think out of the box with a business background who is willing to go down and take on those tough issues, who hasn't been part of all these partisan battles and will bring a new fight down there, I will fight for you every single day as governor. I'd ask for your support.

Please read my business plan. And I promise you: I will accomplish what I say I will do. Thank you.

CILLIZZA: Delegate Moran?

(APPLAUSE)

CILLIZZA: You have two minutes.

MORAN: Thank you, Chris.

Well, thank you to The Washington Post for this opportunity to air some of the -- some of the honest differences between the three of us. Being governor of Virginia truly is an honor, privilege and challenge. A governor only has four years to accomplish so many things. We have challenges ahead we must conquer.

I've served with four governors, worked alongside Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. And it is one thing to say you'll govern like them, but it's another to have been in the trenches moving our Democratic agenda forward.

For 20 years, I have been fighting for Virginians as a prosecutor, legislator, and Democratic leader. The next governor, especially in these difficult times, must have the ability and the experience to get things done, the vision to get the right things done, and the courage and commitment to fight for it.

Campaigns are about finding the best candidate to serve the people. We each have records that tell you not just how we will govern, but about our character, as well. I've fought for the unemployed textile worker in Martinsville, the high-tech worker in Harrington. I've bridged those regional divides and patched those partisan divisions.

I believe that together we can reach a better, brighter future and build a commonwealth where everyone is welcome at the table of opportunity. Together, we will strengthen our economy by creating tens of thousands of green energy jobs, invest in a transportation system that works.

We'll build our economy from the bottom up by helping small businesses and raise the minimum wage. We'll make sure every single Virginia child has health care and our seniors will live with dignity and comfort in their own homes. We'll achieve educational excellence so every child can reach their God-given potential. And we'll ensure equality for all Virginians.

Democrats, we have a clear choice not just about policy, but about the principles we stand for, who can be trusted to accomplish the goals we believe in. In times like this, the stakes are just too high to get this wrong.

I ask you to stand up for these principles, our Democratic principles. I do humbly ask for your support and vote on June 9th. We will win in June, and we'll win in November.

CILLIZZA: Thank you. Thank you, Delegate Moran.

MORAN: Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

CILLIZZA: Senator Deeds, you have the last word, two minutes.

DEEDS: Sure thing. Thanks, Chris and Bruce. Thanks to The Washington Post. Thanks to NewsChannel 8. Thank you to everybody in the audience. Thanks especially to my wife, Pam, and our children. Without them, I wouldn't be on this journey.

It's crystal clear that middle-class families don't stand a chance with Bob McDonnell in the governor's mansion. His opposition to stem cell research and to a woman's right to choose even in cases of rape and incest put him clearly outside of the mainstream.

You know, Bob is actually proud of the fact that he's stood in the way of so much of the progress we've made these last eight years under Governors Warner and Kaine, and I'm proud that I stood with Mark and Tim every step of the way to protect the values of middle-class families, proud to put education about corporate tax breaks, proud to put a cleaner environment ahead of corporate polluters.

But this primary is really about who can go best head to head, who's got the best chance against Bob McDonnell, and who's going to stand up for Virginia's middle-class families, who's going to stand up for working Virginians.

And I just don't believe that working Virginians are prepared to have a nominee who made millions from credit card deals, high interest credit card deals, who stands with Donald Trump and Wall Street executives, who gets more than 80 percent of his campaign contributions from out of state. I don't think our party wants a nominee who still stands with a lobbyist under FBI investigation.

You know, I believe that I'm the best prepared to be the Democratic candidate for governor. I'm the best prepared to be the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia.

But what gives me the best perspective is that my wife works full time, we have four children, two in college. I understand exactly the challenges facing middle-class families these days. That's why my plans to revive this economy are built on education first and smart investments in transportation, a commonsense solution.

I promise you, Virginia, if I -- if you elect me, you will have a governor who's on your side every single day. Thank you.

CILLIZZA: Thank you. Thank you, Senator Deeds.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Chairman McAuliffe. Thank you, Brian. And a special thank you to everyone at NOVA, our very gracious hosts.

DEPUYT: Thanks to all. Election Day is June 9th. For the latest on the campaign from now through the election, check out The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com, NewsChannel 8, and News8.net. Thanks for watching, everybody, and good night.

CREDITS: By Kat Downs, Christopher Dean Hopkins, Rosalind Helderman and Amy Gardner, The Washington Post | Transcripts by Congressional Quarterly; Tag clouds created at TagCrowd.com

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