September 25th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
5 years ago

McDonnell fights back in new TV ads

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hoping to advance the narrative that Democrat Creigh Deeds is the "negative" candidate in the Virginia governor's race, Republican Bob McDonnell unveiled two new television ads Friday pushing back against the onslaught of attacks about McDonnell's conservative voting record and his 1989 master's thesis that criticized working women.

One ad ticks through a series of Virginia newspaper columns accusing Deeds of concoting "disingenuous and deceitful ads" about McDonnell's positions on abortion rights and contraception. "Creigh Deeds: No positive ideas, just dishonest attacks," a narrator says.

The second ad is called "Working Woman" and puts McDonnell's daughter Jeanine - who served as an Army lieutenant in Iraq - in front of the camera to tell viewers that McDonnell encouraged his three daughters "to be independent and achieve our goals."

The ads suggest that the McDonnell campaign is playing a bit of defense, as their substantial lead in the polls evaporated after the Deeds campaign started running ads in northern Virginia calling attention to the controversial thesis. Deeds now trails McDonnell by just five points, according to the most recent Washington Post poll of the race.


But McDonnell campaign adviser Ed Gillespie said the Virginia race has "really begun to chrystallize" in McDonnell's favor as a choice between one candidate with ideas and another running "a non-stop negative campaign."

"When you get tagged as the negative candidate this late in the campian, that solidifies and it's hard to come back from that," Gillespie said in a conference call with reporters shortly after the ads were announced.

Gillespie also pounced on Deeds for failing to secure the endorsement of former Virginia governor Doug Wilder, who said Thursday he won't support Deeds because of his support for gun rights and his willingness to raise taxes to fund transportation.

"The last Democratic candidate to run for governor to not get the endorsement of Doug Wilder was Don Beyer, and you remember the outcome of that race," Gillespie said, referring to Beyer's unsuccessful 1997 bid against Republican Jim Gilmore.

Gillespie denied the Virginia race is a referendum on the White House - "This election is not about President Obama," he said - but he also noted that national Democratic legislation on health care and energy will have a harmful effect on the commonwealth's economy.


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Creigh Deeds • Virginia
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Don't make me barf Bob. You are the wrong guy for the job. I didn't want Deeds, I wanted Moran. Anyone will be better than you. You will set woman back 100 years.

    September 25, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. CR

    McDonnell meant what he wrote in his thesis. Outside of teabagger rallies that kind of fanaticism isn't going to play well. He's a Pat Robertson trained Dominionist. No thanks.

    September 25, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. DJ

    Another perfect example how the Republican ideology is totally stuck in the past – party of stagnation, no change, no future, rudeness and ignorance.

    September 25, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. victim of republican greed

    If Ed Gillespie says it, it must be true. When has he ever been known to stretch the truth on behalf of one of his clients?

    It is too bad that Wilder has chosen not to endorse Deeds. That gives McDonnell, the NRA backed candidate, the anti womens' rights candidate, and the Little Bush clone an edge.

    September 25, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. stan

    The gop cant win running far right wingers,when 2012 gets here its going to be 24yrs since the gop got more then 300 electoral votes,the reason for that is simple the minority vote.the gop is going to have a tough time beating obama in 2012,the minority vote is going to be 29% which means the gop have to get 65% of the white vote to win,and i dont see any gop nominee getting that because the gop is to far to the right on issues these days,obama is going to win and a landslide once again,the gop have to realize the demographics have shifted tremendously in favor of the democrats,i just dont know how the gop is going to win in the future,the numbers for the gop is just not there,obama can have approval ratings in the 30s in still win in 2012,because the gop just dont have the numbers anymore its that simple.

    September 25, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. victim of republican greed

    According to all the wingnuts, this is a referendum on the white house.

    September 25, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. DickCheneyTheMadharchodh

    Bob pl. dont ROB us any more – we are already broke finding the WMDs in Raq!!

    September 25, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Centrist

    McDonnell cannot deny writing his negative positions against working women at age 34, so he hypocritically tries to project onto others in desperation. Disappointing.

    McDonnell's far-right fundamentalism was revealed by his own mentioning of the thesis to the media. Those are McDonnell's extreme views which should not belong in public office.

    Fortunately, Deeds is the moderate candidate seeking bipartisan approaches to resolve issues as Virginia's next governor.

    September 25, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Denna

    Wow. A Republican complaining about negative ads. Did you really think that your party would be the only one trying this? Man up and stop complaining. Also, Gillespie, you lie. Everything Republicans do is a referendum on the White House. You people are obsessed with regaining the White House. You don't really care about the American people, you just want control.

    September 25, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. TangledThorns

    Deeds is running a very negative campaign and not even Wilder would endorse him. This is telling that McDonnell is the better choice. I live in Reston, VA and hope my fellow Virginians will vote McDonnell.

    September 25, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Ellid

    Amazing, how all these supposedly good "Christians" have no problem lying and backpedaling when their extremist views are exposed.

    "By their words ye shall know them," Mr. McDonnell.

    September 25, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. John K.

    Go Bob! You're leading in all of the polls. Yesterday, we received huge news that Gov. Wilder's not endorsing Deeds. Bob McDonnell will be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia! Signed, a voter from Falls Church.

    September 25, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    Deeds is the best for our Commonwealth.
    Just today Va is Forbes #1 state for business – and under eight years of moderate Democratic Governors. Deeds will continue the path for the benefit of all Virginians.
    McDonnell and Cuccinelli are social and religious radicals who interject their personal opinions into their elected duties.
    I went to Cuccinelli's website last spring and the only issues he had listed that you could comment on were; Home Schooling, Gun Rights, Religious Issues, and Taxes.
    Apparently he had no interest in public schools, higher education, environment, heathcare, housing, civil rights, transportation concerns, etc., nothing but right wing issues for Cuccinelli.
    So if you don't care about anything but four narrow issues, by all means vote for McDonnell & Cuccinelli.
    If you want Virginia to continue be a great state to live and work in (47 years for me) – vote Deeds and Shannon.

    September 25, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Felonious Monk

    McDonnel is lost somewhere in the past. All things must change.

    His extremist views are discouraging for thinking people, and very silly in this day and age. People need to learn to step down.

    September 25, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. Keith A Sillsbury

    Calling the kettle black, are we. So what have you got in change for the virginia people BOB. nobody knows because your wasting all our time and your supporters money playing the blame game like a true republican. you don't care about the people or what you can do for them and your country. all you care about is who puts money in your pockets and power. you spit on the common man and knock down woman.

    September 25, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Denny, Va.

    You left wing losers keep picking on Bush every time you puke up something about one of your candidates and it's having the opposite effect of your intentions. You remind me of that screaming idiot Dean from Vermont whose entire mantra was "we democrats don't need any ideas, we just blame Bush". Where is Dean now??? Well, that idiot in the White House certainly has no plans, other than to bankrupt the nation and kiss up to dictators. Deeds is the same. All he can do is run a negative campaign, he's got no real accomplishments, and certainly no plan for Virginia. Just like that loser that occupies the Governor's chair now, a big spending Democrat that ran through $1,5billion surplus, and ran us into a $3billion deficit. That's $4.5 billion in less than 3 years. Oh, I forgot, blame Bush. You left wingers keep singing that tune and you'll hand the Republicans a victory in November. Then we can get back to fixing the real problems in Virginia, and Kaine can take over his new DNC job, which he's been doing for the past year and a half while he was sucking up to Obama while he was campaigning.

    To Denna's comment about the Republicans trying to regain the White House, what the hell do you think the Democrats have been doing the last 8 years????? Your darn right it's about the White House, it'll take years to clean up the stench of this anti-American fraud that occupies it now. But don't fret too much, Obama will always have a job within ACORN.

    September 25, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. RRRUSA

    Women get home and start the kettle! Bob McDonnell's comin' to town! You all be free and achieve your goals....long as they don't involve woman actually makin' real decisions in the world, or takin' the guns away from the NRA!

    September 25, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. Moderate Democrat

    I'm just happy we got the low life republicans out of the white house. Republicans do not belong running anything. We've seen what they do to states (Ca & SC) as well as countries (Bush is the WORST president EVER). One thing is for sure, if you put a republican in office, what ever they touch goes to hell in a hand basket.

    The first, last and ONLY good republican was Abraham Lincoln. They haven't had a sign of intelligence since him.

    September 25, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    We know what Deeds is doing and it should be considered illegal, but he is a democrate.

    September 25, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    McDonnell reminds me of the wing-nuts in DC that live and worship at C-Street. Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up just to see him on TV.

    Beware, Virginia, McDonnell is Bush Jr. in disguise. He'll break you financially in the name of guns and god

    September 25, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    Interesting how fellow Democrat and ex-Virginia Governor Doug Wilder noted he was not endorsing Deeds because he showed no leadership in his vision for the Commonwealth’s future. Say what you want about Wilder, he still knows what it takes to get the job done and apparently Deeds doesn’t have it.

    September 25, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. JoLanda

    Oh that’s right Rev. Wright is like an Uncle…part of the family and a spiritual adviser. Why was Michelle Obama’s ‘Senior Thesis’ at Princeton hidden? Or the fact that Barack Obama ran uncontested for the Senate because his Harvard ‘friends’ [lovingly] convinced the other candidates to drop out of the race…why was this not hammered on?

    September 25, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    So, this throwback to the 1950's wants to be like hip? Yaeh man, right on and groovy!

    September 25, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. Pragmatic

    ya gotta love it! Telling the truth – quoting the man's own written words and pointing out his own voting record is now "negative!" ha ha ha!

    A thesis, written when you are 34, is a carefully worded public record of what you believe. These were not some off the cuff remarks ... and McDonnell wasn't shy about waving this same thesis to cement his conservative credentials ... this year! Too bad his thesis wasn't on nano-technology or quantum physics ... something that shows real research and real intelligence ....

    September 25, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. curious

    McConnell-keep up the good work. Your endorsement should be the death knell for any politician!

    September 25, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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