Transcript: Sept. 25 Virginia gubernatorial debate

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TERRY MCAULIFFE:
19:14:56:00: My opponent’s been the attorney general. He’s run on jobs and transportation when he runs for office. He gets into office. And he runs on and serves with an ideological agenda. Let it be women’s health centers, where he bullied the Board of Health to shut him down. He sponsored personhood legislation that would outlaw most forms of contraception, would make the pill illegal.

19:15:15:00: He’s referred to gay Virginians as “self-destructive and soulless human beings.” He was one of only three attorney generals when the Violence Against Women Act was being reauthorized in the United States Congress. 47 attorney generals signed a letter, violence against women, not controversial. He is one of three who refused to sign it. It has been a pattern.

19:15:39:00: And as it relates to his attack on gay Virginians, when he was attorney general, he sent a letter to every college and university sayin’ they could provide no protections against discrimination based upon sexual orientation against professors and students. What happened? Northrop Grumman, which was about to move their national headquarters to Virginia, it was between Maryland and Virginia, obviously the employees squawked at that.

19:16:04:00: And what happened? Governor Bob McDonald had to interject himself to stop his attorney general and save that deal. 300 high payin’ jobs were right up the street from where we are today. There are consequences to this mean-spirit attack on women’s health, on gay Virginians. If we’re gonna build a new economy in Virginia, we’re gonna do it by bringing everyone together.

CHUCK TODD:
19:16:28:00: Mr. Cuccinelli, as you — re — prepare your 60-second response to Mr. McAuliffe, I was hopin’ you would also respond to what — the Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling said about you and the entire Republican ticket. He said, “It’s the most ideologically driven ticket that the GOP has ever put forth.” And he is worried that it’s pushing away mainstream voters. What do you say?

KEN CUCCINELLI:
19:16:48:00: Well, until he stepped out of my race — by a lot of measures, he’s more conservative than I am. So I — I think that — he — he had some comments based on not being in this race. The Northrop Grumman charge is false. The soulless comment is offensively false. The kind of personal attacks that Terry opened up his remarks with today by saying this has been going on are coming from Terry McAuliffe.

19:17:16:00: I mean, you all are seeing the ads. It’s overwhelmingly negative. It is unbelievably false. And no one up here, no one up here has done more to protect women, which is a focus of his attacks, than I have. Whether it was back when I was an engineering student at UVA and a friend of mine was sexually assaulted, my response was to start a new organization that’s still functioning there to protect young women at UVA. And it was the first of its kind in the country. We run multiple domestic violence programs in the Attorney General’s Office. And we started from scratch fighting human trafficking.

CHUCK TODD:
19:17:51:00: All right.

KEN CUCCINELLI:
19:17:50:00: And we’ve done a great job of it.

CHUCK TODD:
19:17:52:00: Ben Pershing has the next question for Mr. McAuliffe.

BEN PERSHING:
19:17:54:00: Mr. McAuliffe, you proposed spending more money on teacher salaries, on pre-K education, on community colleges. Now we haven’t heard quite enough specifics to put an exact price tag on it. But we’re wondering how exactly would you pay for that, especially if the General Assembly doesn’t approve Medicaid expansion?

TERRY MCAULIFFE:
19:18:11:00: Very important question. And what I’ve said is responsible budgeting. First of all, when I’m governor, we’re gonna look at the efficiencies we can bring to the government. And then we’re gonna work together to get that Medicaid expansion. If we don’t get the Medicaid expansion, we can’t bring in the efficiencies, then I agree with you. There’s not money to be spent.

19:18:26:00: So I think it’s prudent budgeting first to determine how much money you have. Then when you have it, then you can apply it to your priorities. And this is quite a difference. My opponent has proposed a $1.4 billion tax cut per year. He doesn’t say how he’d pay for it. Just the other day, his lieutenant governor said that E.W. Jackson and Ken Cuccinelli want to get rid of the corporate income tax in Virginia.

19:18:51:00: Well, let me tell you what would happen to our budget. You will see hundreds of millions of dollars come out of education. You could see thousands of teachers bein’ laid off. At a time that we need to compete on a global basis. As I talked about cyber security and all these very important new businesses, we’re not gonna be able to do that, because money will come out of education.

19:19:12:00: It’s important for me to have the Medicaid expansion. And when I talk about my budget, I say it’s important to figure out how much money you have. And then you prioritize and put the money in. But his plan, $1.4 billion a year, doesn’t say how he’d pay for it. That’s $6 billion over the course of the next four years. Vince Callahan, the former Republican chairman of the House of Appropriations Committee, said it would put a gigantic hole in our budget. The idea that you could cut $6 billion out of the budget, get rid of the corporate income tax, not take the Medicaid expansion. He didn’t want the transportation $6 billion —

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