McDonnell: 'I'm not going anywhere'
July 24th, 2013
12:11 PM ET
12 months ago

McDonnell: 'I'm not going anywhere'

(CNN) - Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said he hasn't given any thought to resigning as he faces heat for gifts and loans he's received from a political donor in recent years.

"I'm not going anywhere. I love this job," the Republican said Wednesday, saying there had been some "very bad rumors" about his possible resignation. "There has been no consideration of that."

His comments came in an interview with TV station News4 in Washington, D.C. McDonnell was speaking via satellite from Kabul, Afghanistan, where he's visiting U.S. troops.

The embattled governor announced Tuesday he was paying back more than $120,000 in loans amid federal and state investigations into gifts and financial contributions he received from the wealthy executive, Jonnie Williams, Sr.

McDonnell, who has said previously he will not resign, added he was working toward advancing policy items in the final five months of his governorship.

He said Wednesday he was "deeply sorry that those things that have been done either by me or my family have created a problem for Virginia government and have caused some embarrassment."

"If it undermined peoples sacred trust in me or government, I wanted to make it right," he said.

McDonnell argued he broke no laws and is committed to regaining his constituents trust and confidence.

The Republican governor has been under intense scrutiny for the past several weeks over gifts and loans he received from Williams, the owner of a dietary supplement company that McDonnell and his wife have promoted in recent years.

On Tuesday, McDonnell said he had repaid Williams $52,278 for a loan made to his wife Maureen McDonnell in 2011, as well as a $71,837 for two loans made to a McDonnell family business.

Funds for repayment came from McDonnell himself, his family, and his family's business.

Until the recent controversy McDonnell was considered a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. McDonnell was elected governor in 2009. He was unable to run for re-election this year, as Virginia law prevents governors from serving consecutive terms.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee in this year's Virginia gubernatorial election, owned stock in Williams' company, but sold off his shares earlier this year. He also collected more than $18,000 in gifts from the executive and stayed at his vacation house on Smith Mountain Lake.

Cuccinelli's Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe Tuesday called on the attorney general to follow McDonnell's lead on Tuesday.

"Since the Governor has begun the process of repaying Jonnie Williams, so should the Attorney General," McAuliffe spokesperson Josh Schwerin wrote. "The Attorney General should repay the $18,000 in gifts he received from the CEO of a company he was supposed to be pursuing for unpaid taxes. Instead of taking Williams and his company to court, Cuccinelli was taking gifts and vacations and buying stock in the company."

Last week a state investigation indicated the attorney general would not face charges for the failure to report the gifts, adding that there was no evidence Cuccinelli committed a crime.

"Ken Cuccinelli has been open and transparent in his race for governor, while Terry McAuliffe uses scare tactics to distract voters from his history of broken promises and unanswered questions," said Anna Nix, a spokeswoman for the Cuccinelli campaign.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Peter Hamby, Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Virginia
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    On Tuesday, McDonnell said he had repaid Williams $52,278 for a loan made to his wife Maureen McDonnell in 2011, as well as a $71,837 for two loans made to a McDonnell family business.
    ----------------------------------------------–
    Sounds like a major conflict of interest. Regardless, he needs to resign and Coochinelli should be disqualified from running until this investigation is complete. I'm not too sure that he hasn't been compromised as well.

    July 24, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    Um, you ARE going home in January, Governor. Term limits.

    After that, I can tell you where you're NOT going to go: Iowa.

    July 24, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Flagship, NC

    Now.....McDonnell is a problem.
    We have see this before with Newt Gingrich.
    Corruption just creeps in and keeps on creeping, and creeping and creeping.

    This guy is not trustworthy!

    July 24, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Bill

    Well, he is right in one sense. His political career is going nowhere in the future. Now he will have time to buy all the colon cleansers, body wash, etc. he wants (with his own money). And he can muse about how he destroyed his reputation and political future. Bye Bye Bobby.

    July 24, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    If the allegations are true, you MIGHT be going to jail, dude.

    July 24, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I guess Bob wants some more rope to get himself into deeper trouble and even more jail time.

    July 24, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Until the recent controversy McDonnell was considered a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination..."

    Yes, well, this is what we have been told over and over again, although he never really stood a chance nationally.

    July 24, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Pam from Iowa

    Repaying the loans after he got caught does not rectify anything!
    He is not sorry he commited the crime – just sorry he got caught!!

    July 24, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    McDonnell argued he broke no laws and is committed to regaining his constituents trust and confidence.


    Then you have nothing to worry about do you?
    An innocent man would have no reason to give back what he legally received – but you did. Could it be you are just another corrupt politician who thought they were above the law?

    July 24, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Durundal

    Aww thats cute, now that hes had his first taste of power he will do anything he can to avoid relinquishing it, despite him being involved in can-able scandals. At least dems have the good grace to quit when they stick it to another woman. Him- hes sticking it to an entire state and thinks all is well

    July 24, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He's right, after his term is over he is NOT going anywhere, especially anywhere near the Whtie House.
    Buh-bye now Gov.

    July 24, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He should extend the same "courtesy" to all the thieves langushing in a Virginia jail.
    Allow them to make restitution like he's essentially making, and wipe THEIR slat clean.
    Waddaya say Gov?! You are after all the face, voice and CHARACTER of your state.

    July 24, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That should've read "languishing".Chubby fingers! Pardon.

    July 24, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Sandy

    Hmmm. I don't see any republicans calling for him to resign like they are Weiner. Weiner did nothing illegal but Governor McDonnell DID!

    July 24, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    Hey probie, I would love my job too if somebody would give me $120K (if that is the final figure) and pay for part of my daughter's wedding and I got to keep whatever extra money was left over.
    You kidding?

    July 24, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Nothing At All

    In any other state he'd be going to jail.

    July 24, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Mightyduk

    And he will retain his lavish pension and health care for life.

    July 24, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |