May 14th, 2009
05:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Bill Clinton: Terry McAuliffe 'born to lead' Virginia

Bill Clinton is helping former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe campaign for governor in Virginia.
Bill Clinton is helping former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe campaign for governor in Virginia.

HERNDON, Virginia (CNN) – To hear Bill Clinton tell it, Terry McAuliffe is destined to become the 71st governor of the commonwealth of Virginia.

“He was born to lead at this moment,” Clinton said of McAuliffe at a campaign rally in northern Virginia on Wednesday. It was the former president’s third appearance on behalf of his friend and longtime political ally, who is now in the final weeks of a tough three-way primary battle for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

The winner of that contest will face Republican Bob McDonnell, the state’s former attorney general, in the general election.

Clinton praised McAuliffe from all angles, making sure to plug the former Democratic National Committee chairman’s apparent mastery of Virginia issues. McAuliffe has struggled with the perception that he’s a newcomer to Virginia politics, while his two Democratic rivals have labored in the trenches of state government for more than a decade.

The former president even said that if every child were raised as McAuliffe’s five children were, “this country would have about half the problems it’s got.”

Clinton and McAuliffe made their pitch to about 200 voters at a park in the northern Virginia town of Herndon, standing on a stage just downwind of a ripe-smelling pig sty. They held a second, larger rally later in the day a few miles away in the Washington suburb of Annandale.

Clinton stressed that if elected, McAuliffe will be “socially progressive” but also fiscally responsible. “Everyone knows that this guy raised a lot of money for me,” Clinton said. “What I want you to know, every nickel he raised, he also talked to me about how to be careful spending it.”

He also said that McAuliffe has the work ethic to help President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan achieve its goals.

“I think it was a good package and I supported it,” Clinton said of the president’s $787 billion stimulus bill. “But how well it works will vary from state to state, depending on the leadership the vision and the ability to follow through of the governor.”

The candidate himself spoke after Clinton and outlined his plans for renewable energy, transportation, education and job creation. He promised to bring a fresh perspective to the state house in Richmond.

McAuliffe said McDonnell - who is framing himself as pragmatic, solutions-oriented conservative - has “an ideological agenda” and criticized him for having campaigned with national Republicans like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.

“They just announced they’re bringing Sarah Palin in,” he added, a claim that drew boos from the audience.

However, a spokesman for McDonnell denied that the Alaska governor will be campaigning in Virginia.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Bob McDonnell • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    Virginia don't need another Clinton liberal lapdog screwing up America.

    May 14, 2009 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  2. Enough Billy

    You want to know why Hillary's campaign "crashed and burned"? Add Terry's name to Wolfson, Penn, Davis and more. Now we have governors by birth and "divine right". Don't think so, Bubba, but then you we're a real asset last year in South Carolina weren't you?

    May 14, 2009 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  3. CHERYL IN FLORIDA

    I LOVE Bill Clinton!
    He was a great President!

    May 14, 2009 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  4. Todd

    McAuliffe simply is not the person to govern the Commonwealth of VA. My vote will not be cast for this candidate...

    May 14, 2009 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  5. Gerald

    Bill the piller of upstanding morals giving advice , talk about some one given a pass, this is absurd.

    May 14, 2009 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  6. TCM

    Clinton's an idiot...why would anyone, other than a liberal, want to listen to him? Hillary shows no depth as a human whatsoever; after being publicly humiliated by him and that tramp Monica...they both strut around like they're royalty. Funny, how the libs in this country except such a lack of morals for their leaders.

    May 14, 2009 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  7. hongli

    What will be will be. Bill Clinton was,is and will always be a "GUIDING LIGHT".

    May 14, 2009 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  8. Lolbama

    I certainly hope that Virginia is more than for lovers and is wise enough to bounce that crook McAuliffe...truly a bum's bum

    May 14, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  9. dominican mama 4 Obama

    I loved that zinger that teflon Bill setn Cheney about sticking to target practice! lol! I would suggest that Cheney and fam take a long vacation in Spain.

    May 14, 2009 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Terry McAuliffe talks a good game, but I'm not voting for him unless he gets the nomination.

    May 14, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  11. Linda

    "Clinton and McAuliffe made their pitch to about 200 voters at a park in the northern Virginia town of Herndon, standing on a stage just downwind of a ripe-smelling pig sty. "

    Come on, don't blame that stench on the pigs; we know where it was really coming from.

    May 14, 2009 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  12. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    Barf! He wasn't born to lead! Terry is a big, goofy, nerd!

    May 14, 2009 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  13. Bubba

    Too bad they had to make the first speech in a Republican stronghold.

    May 14, 2009 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  14. Steve, Columbia SC

    Last thing we need in Virginia is someone "born" to lead the state...............sounds just like the Clinton elitist mantra............

    May 14, 2009 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. munchmom

    Let's hope not-if he's anything like Bill, then Virginia is definitely in trouble!

    May 14, 2009 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. Jeff in Virginia

    Love ya Bill, but you're not doing the right thing here. Just because your top money man wants to be a governor somewhere doesn't mean you should tarnish your legacy by schilling for him.

    As the head of the DNC, McAuliffe presided over the worst hemorrhaging of Democratic congresspersons in the past century. He puts personal ambition and partisan politics above all else.

    This is not the kind of executive that Virginia wants or needs. Please Bill, just leave this one be.

    May 14, 2009 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  17. Kevin in Ohio

    Go away, Bill.

    May 14, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  18. Larry S

    Who cares what Clinton thinks? He is a 'has been' . . . we need to be worrying about the spending and bad decisions of the curremt BO group.

    May 14, 2009 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  19. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    This smarmy, immoral liar has no right to talk about anyone else in a derogatory manner. So happy is campaining for the equally smarmy and disgusting McAullife. There are two poster boys for the dems.

    May 14, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  20. Obama - NOPE

    Will this self-serving slob never get off the stage?

    May 14, 2009 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  21. This liberal not for Obama

    I couldn't ve said it better myself. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe!

    May 14, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  22. Nancy

    Go Bill!
    Someone needs to start hitting on Cheney!
    You are just the man to do it! We love you Bill!
    And Hillary and Barrack! All of you will make a
    great team..I was just saying last night that
    someone needs to tell Cheney he is out of
    office now.

    May 14, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  23. Dino

    More economic bad news this morning. Middle of the road Democrats like Clinton and Obama suck. I voted for Obama but I am a progreissive. Obama is a sell out. He hires the same Pro-Wall Street team tha Bush used to trash the economy. He won't even pursue the Bush criminals that participated in torture. What a joke.

    I will vote Green or Independent next time. Good luck, Dems. Keep shooting yourselves in the foot. Ha!

    May 14, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  24. Billy boy

    I wonder if Bill will show Terry how to properly 'season' those cigars? And he has the nerve to joke about Cheney? He should be sittong in the corner with John Edwards with his mouth closed.

    May 14, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  25. WI Cheesehead

    Cheney’s arrogance will not let him keep his mouth shut. When he was VP all he ever said was he doesn’t have to explain anything because he’s only answerable to the George W. Now all over a sudden he wants our lending ears. Sad to say but Cheney is busy preaching “the end justifies the means” summon and sure enough he has an audience for that kind of talk. But then again he might just be jealous of his cousin Obama being POTUS. One advice for Cheney: Don’t shoot your friends anymore you don’t have executive privileges anymore.

    May 14, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
1 2