August 16th, 2010
04:26 PM ET
4 years ago

McDonnell becomes big draw for GOP candidates

 Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has become a key fundraiser for the GOP.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has become a key fundraiser for the GOP.

Washington (CNN) – Potential presidential candidates like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney have grabbed headlines this year for handing out pivotal endorsements in key midterm races, but Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has quietly become one of the most sought after attractions on the GOP money circuit.

McDonnell is headlining a fundraiser at Altria headquarters in Richmond on Monday for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who faces a difficult re-election challenge from former Houston Mayor Bill White.

Next month, he'll team up with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling to raise cash for Marco Rubio, Florida's Republican candidate for Senate.

In all, aides to McDonnell say that by mid-September, McDonnell will have held 15 fundraising events for out-of-state candidates.

"The campaigns are coming to us," McDonnell's political adviser Phil Cox told CNN. "What the out-of-state candidates are seeing is, he ran a model campaign in a competitive state. He is providing an example for how Republicans can govern by balacing the budget though cutting spending and not raising taxes, which is in marked contrast to what's coming out of D.C."

Among those who have already tapped into McDonnell's fundraising muscle: gubernatorial candidates such as Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, Sam Brownback in Kansas, Brian Dubie in Vermont and Bob Ehrlich in Maryland.

Naturally, most of the requests are coming from Republicans hoping to become governor. There's one McDonnell fundraiser coming up in Cincinnati for John Kasich, the GOP's nominee in Ohio.

He's also slated to raise money for Republicans in targeted governor's races out West: Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in Nevada.

But federal candidates like Rubio are also looking for help from the Virginia governor. McDonnell will travel to St. Louis in the coming weeks to raise money for Roy Blunt, and he'll host a Washington, D.C. event for California's Carly Fiorina in September.

Rubio adviser Todd Harris said out-of-state events like the McDonnell fundraiser have a long-term impact. Raising money with one of the party's newest stars, he said, is a way for candidates to tap into fresh sources of money and build their network of support.

"Donor lists go stale faster than old bread," Harris told CNN. "Gov. McDonnell's popularity and recent victory puts him in a perfect position to help us raise our profile with the Virginia donor community."


Filed under: 2010 • Bob McDonnell • Virginia
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Buster

    This Republican Governor and New Jersey Governor Christie are prime examples of what conservatives can accomplish in states that had been run by demorats. We just need to take care of business in November 2010 then in 2012 replace a liberal tax and spend demorat in the White House with another conservative.

    August 16, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Truth

    Any ethics complaints being filed?

    How do you know how many requests have been made to Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin?

    August 16, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. GAK

    It is interesting that the budget was balanced by making businesses pay their taxes early so Bob could show a surplus when in fact there was none.. And his no tax increases has not solved VDOT's money problem!!.The only thing that will IS a tax increase of the fuel tax which is a miserly 15 cents,and he can't figure out why all the states surrounding Va. have no problem fixing their roads..Its because their tax is higher and have the money to fix their roads and mow the grass.But hey the conservatives think he is the next best thing since peanut butter!!!

    August 16, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Larry

    Most obstructionist, lying, racist bigots, are a big draw for the GOP

    What's the news ...?

    August 16, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Grrr-Awful-O

    ... But back to the president... I thought Obama said he was going to focus on jobs during his last state of the union address 6 months ago? But then he immediately dropped all of that and went back to pushing the government healthcare take over through ("by hook or crook" apparently). Unemployment subsequently went up another half point from where it had been at the time of the state of the union. I don't care how many jobs they say they saved (what? 50 million or so?) they have lost more than they have created and saved combined. Losing more jobs than you create or save (combined) means more people are now out of work. Although I'm sure it's all George Bush's fault for the continued poor economic performance, shouldn't Obama at least have done what he said he was going to do: focus on jobs?

    August 16, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. the real ib

    He's a good gov. that's why. He has done a lot to clean up the mess left by Kaine who had the biggest tax increase in the history of this state and then wanted another tax increase before he left office but didn't get it. McDonnell knows how to manage money to bad the democrats and Kaine can't figure that out.

    August 16, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Bob McDonell is no different than the rest of the wingnuts in his party. I live in VA where Gov. McDonnell has cut teachers jobs. Not to mention he pinched a nerve with me with his "Confederacy Month." I do commend him on giving me my voting rights back though although it took almost a year. However, with my freedom back, I'll be voting NO for the Party Of NO in NOvember.

    August 16, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. David

    McDonnell is a Wall Street tool...

    August 16, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. ed fl

    Hey Mcdonnell you are fighting a losing battle for the CUBAN CROOK FROM MIAMI.. check out about the money he used from the GOP coffers for personal use and family personal use ,about the house he had in Tallahassee in forclosure on the sneak until someone blew the whistle. He wants the Arizona law here in florida forgetting that his family and himself could be considered immigrants and be elegible to get kicked out of the country with most of the Cubans in miami who are bribed to vote Republican. He cannot get any votes outside of DADE county. The rednecks in the panhandle know of him when he was speaker of the house and did most of his graft due to his position and avaiability to the GOP Money.Also the credit cards funds.

    August 16, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. jeff, alabama

    McDonnell couldn't be an usher at a Sarah Palin rally.

    August 16, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. American Patriot

    Oh' he does not look like a crook.

    PLEASE!!! Just another scumbag looking for a tax payer job and lobbying money.

    This guy is a sleez and so is Rick Perry a known thief and liar.

    Who in the world is electing these crookes, is it the old people???

    My god some common sensse please

    August 16, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    mcdonnel got lucky in Virginia. I don't know what the heck they were thinking about unless all of NoVa turned redneck and hillbilly on this election.
    He's just as significant as a gnat at a picnic. He and that other one, cuccinelli (sp?). The guy is a right wing bible thumping women in the kitchen and pregnant kind of good ole guy.
    One of his campaign commercials wasof his boys going off to school and the girls going to see grandma. This is the man who doesn't believe that women should work or do anything against "the man" of the house.
    Just what we need in the 21st century!

    August 16, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. The President was right Freedom of religion. What happen to the Constitution? It state that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Are these the same people that live in America since 9/11. The Government should theat everyone the same or equal, regardless of religion or race but the people don't.

    August 16, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Cutting spending? He had a $2.2B budget shortfall to muddle through so what does he do?

    He cuts $730M from education and $300M from health care to make up about half the difference....by FAR the largest cuts he made in any particular areas.

    Simple:

    Cut education and you screw the teachers union, which as we know, the GOPers/conservatives hate rabidly. The added bonus is a stupider populace that is more easily misled, angered, frightened and manipulated by those who choose to use ideological demogoguery and misinformation campaigns to gain votes.

    Cut state funded health care and, despite denying the truth of Darwins theories, you can hopefully instaigate a little "societal natural selection" of those poor people the GOPers/conservatives hate so much. If they're dead, they're not receiving any entitlements, right?

    August 16, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. strong

    He is so slick. Not trustworthy.

    August 16, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Codd

    I believe in Harvey Dent. :-)

    August 16, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. golinus

    Harry Reid is right: no one of Spanish heritage shoud be a republican because his/her interests are constantly being trampled by that party. Rubio is not trustworthy because he supports a party that does not care for the middle class or for people of color.

    August 16, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. hypocricnnation

    I Guess That This Must Be A Slow News Day, So This Story Figures To Qualify As Newsworthy. That's Great That The GOP (Grandstanding Obstructionist Party) Raises A Whole Lot Of Money. It's Just Too Bad (Well...Not Really!) That RNC Chairman Michael Steele (Magnolias) Either Hasn't Done The Same, Or Spends It All At Lavish (Society People) Parties.

    August 16, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. carlos

    and the voters in virginia and new jersey, now have VOTER REMORSE about those two nincompoops......popular?????, it is the ignorance of the retards,for lack of better opinion

    August 16, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. hal

    I would think that people would want Paul Ryan!!

    August 16, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. Former Democrat

    Why do Democrats is dislike McDonnell so much? I think he's pretty cool.

    August 16, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. itsme

    This McDonnell has a lot of catching up to do to top his big brother the fundraiser King, McConnell.

    August 16, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. cobra

    All the whiners on here complaining about the cuts in education, hell I bet all the extra money was being funneled to the NEA which is as corrupt as any union can be!

    August 16, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Ann-Virginia

    McDonnell has balanced the budget at the cost of many programs 7 jobs in Va.Don't let him fool you.He puts on a good face,but he is not telling the truth.

    August 16, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. Melissa

    Why are they hosting a major fundraiser at Altria (aka Philip Morris Tobacco)

    August 16, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
1 2