Friday, April 3, 2009

Creigh to McDonnell: Apologize For These Hurtful Statements

Sen. Creigh Deeds joined Dick Cranwell, Sen. Mary Whipple and Cynthia Hull in calling on Bob McDonnell to condemn the divisive and unnecessary remarks of his campaign surrogate, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, concerning Virginians who live in the Northern part of the state, and to apolgize for "these hurtful statements."

As widely reported, Huckabee told a crown in Tazewell County that people in Northern Virginia think differently than they do ("I don't even know what that means," Creigh said), and that Northern Virginians don't know what it is like to have to "put a paycheck together."

Creigh likened Huckabee's ridiculous comments to those this past summer, when a John McCain supporter said the folks up in Northern Virginia who supported Barack Obama were not real Virginians.

Huckabee's foot-in-mouth episode also brings to mind George Allen's "Macaca Moment."

"We can't let Republicans pit Virginians against one another," Creigh said, noting that there are signs of economic distress, whether lost jobs, foreclosures or rising healthcare costs, that stretch across the Commonwealth. Times are tough all over.

"Bob McDonnell doesn't understand we are one Commonwealth," Creigh added. "We are all bound together. That's the only way it works."

Creigh further said "This [kind of attitude] sets us back," and it explains why Richmond can't accomplish anything, specifically citing the regional conflicts over transportation that have prevented Virginia from addressing this critical issue.

"What I say in one part of the state I say in every part of the state," Creigh said, explaining, for example, that he is willing to tell people in Southwest Virginia that for there to be transportation infrastructure improvements there, that those folks need to support road building in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.

Legally, Creigh said, a commonwealth is no different than a state. "But it's a wonderful metaphor for our common condition," he said.

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