Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli stopped in Roanoke Monday morning to address supporters as part of their “Just Say Yes” tour. McDonnell is the Republican state ticket leader in his run for Governor, while Bolling seeks a second term as Lt. Governor. Cuccinelli was chosen at the state GOP convention last weekend to run for attorney general, besting Roanoke lawyer John Brownlee in the process.
The name of the tour comes from the GOP’s message that they are more supportive than the Democrats of new proposals and ideas regarding the economy. A charge levied nationally at the Republicans is that they have been the party of “no” during the economic crisis – criticizing, but not offering solutions.
“Unlike our opponents, we do believe that coal – clean coal technology – is an important part of the economic future of Virginia,” McDonnell said while speaking at Roanoke Regional Airport. He listed nuclear energy and offshore drilling as two other options his Democratic opponents had “just said no” to. Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling called the Democrats “naïve” in their assumption that the energy crisis can be solved purely through methods like wind and solar energy.
“We’re for wind, we’re for solar, but we know that only accounts for a small percentage of the energy we use in our country,” Bolling said. (The Democratic ticket will be chosen in the June 9 primary; Terry McAuliffe, Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran are seeking the gubernatorial slot.)
Bolling made a point to reach out specifically to Roanokers, saying they were planning on beginning their endeavor to make Virginia an “energy capital” with the creation of the Virginia Energy Institute and the Virginia Energy Center in the southwest region of the state.
McDonnell, who also gave the commencement address at National Business College in Salem Sunday, promised to address the rising cost of college tuition, accountability in government, transportation (promising to work on I-81 and other projects) and creating jobs.
“We’re going to be the party of big ideas and reform, and moving Virginia in the right direction, no matter who the other side nominates,” McDonnell said.
The candidates also expressed their commitment to upholding the “values that have made America and Virginia great,” by defending the right to life, the second amendment and private property rights.
“Americans, more than I’ve seen in my 18 years of activism, are responding to principles,” said attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli. “One of the great things this ticket has going for it is we are right.” His statement elicited cheers from the sign-waving crowd. “The most important issue facing our state today is getting this economy moving again,” Bolling said. “We know that you don’t do that by more government regulation, which is what our opponents want to do.”
Despite the repeated distinctions the candidates made between themselves and Democrats, McDonnell said that he planned to reach across party lines. “We know that amazing things can happen when people work together. We’re going to bring together people for the common good once again.”