On Tuesday when Moody’s announced that it might downgrade Virginia’s AAA bond rating because of the struggle in Washington to raise the national debt limit, three current or former governors reacted.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) called for Republicans to compromise on debt talks. Former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) urged members of Congress to set aside “political gamesmanship.” U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D), another former governor who has been working on a compromise for months, said the consequences of inaction were far-reaching.
But George Allen, the former governor and senator who is running for U.S. Senate next year, was uncharacteristically quiet.
Allen said through a spokesman Wednesday that while the news from Moody’s is “extremely concerning,” he maintains his firm stance on the deal being worked on in Washington.
Allen spokesman Bill Riggs said Allen believes that any solution needs to include “iron clad spending cuts”and no new taxes as well as some kind of balanced budget amendment.
Riggs said Allen, who has pushed for a balanced budget amendment for years, believes the United States government “would not be facing trillion-dollar deficits” if Congress had agreed to a balanced budget amendment.
“It’s the only longterm solution that gets to the root of the problem — a responsible, reasonable approach,” he said.
Kaine, his Democratic rival in the Senate race, was quick to criticize.
“As a former governor, George Allen should know what a dangerous game he is playing,” Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said. “Virginia’s credit rating is not a bargaining chip. It’s time for George Allen to join Governors McDonnell, Kaine and Warner in calling on Washington to set aside partisanship and do what’s right for the nation and the commonwealth.”
This story has been updated.