In another sign that Virginia’s gubernatorial race will take the national spotlight this fall, GOP nominee Bob McDonnell today provided the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s weekly radio address.
McDonnell talked jobs, the economy and why the GOP proposals are better than the president’s. As expected, McDonnell decried the so-called cap-and-trade energy bill, calling it “the wrong policy for a nation struggling with the worst economy in generations.”
He also talked about health care reform and snuck in a few of his own platform planks, for his Virginia audience. It was no real surprise that McDonnell mentioned that he supports President Obama’s call for more charter schools.
The address is significant because it is a chance for Republicans across the country — including those with deep pockets — to hear directly from McDonnell, one of just two GOP candidates for major office this year. Many of those who tuned in could be called upon to help bankroll McDonnell’s campaign during these last 80-odd days.
You can watch the address here. The full text is after the jump.
Hi, I’m Bob McDonnell from Virginia.
Times are tough in our state, and in yours.
Yesterday’s jobs report is yet another reminder that families and small businesses are struggling as unemployment remains high.
Here in Virginia, we face unemployment rates at a twenty-five year high.
As I travel throughout Virginia, I listen to our people who are concerned about the jobs they have, worried about finding the jobs they need, and concerned about what jobs will be available for their kids in the years ahead.
As a father of five, I share those same concerns; that’s why our main goal is to bring Virginians together to create jobs and more opportunities all across our state.
And we want government at all levels to be a partner in promoting small businesses and entrepreneurship.
As Republicans, we believe you create jobs by keeping taxes and regulation low, and litigation at a minimum.
Americans succeed when government puts in place positive policies that encourage more freedom, and more opportunity.
Right now Virginians are particularly concerned about federal cap-and-trade legislation. This legislation would amount to a huge new national energy tax. If implemented, electricity rates would skyrocket and jobs would be lost.
Two weeks ago I was in Covington, in Western Virginia; I visited Mead Westvaco, an international packaging company. It’s the largest employer in the area, providing 1500 good jobs. They told me the cap-and-trade legislation, if passed, would threaten those jobs. Mark George, the vice-president of the facility, told me this, ‘I feel that the next governor of Virginia, and every representative we have, should care about keeping those good jobs in Virginia; I agree.
We must do everything we can to keep and grow jobs in Virginia, and every state in the Union. That’s why we strongly oppose cap-and-trade, a job-killing energy tax that would put American companies at a tremendous competitive disadvantage with employers in other countries; it’s the wrong policy for a nation struggling with the worst economy in generations. That’s why we’ve fought against the job-killing card-check legislation being pushed by big national labor unions and Democrats in Congress.
It’s why we are committed to helping more Americans get the healthcare and coverage they need; not through nationalizing the system with a costly government-run plan, but rather by supporting free-market incentives and helping small business owners make coverage more accessible and affordable, and ensuring that Americans can keep their individual private policies.
Government must be more efficient, and more accountable; which is why we are calling for an end to runaway government spending that is leading to an exploding deficit and burdening our children with new debt that they will have to repay.
The cornerstone of our founders system of federalism is that the states are the laboratories of democracy, where new ideas can be tried and innovations unleashed. I’m calling for environmentally friendly offshore drilling, selling our state-run liquor stores to put more cash into transportation, and expanding access for Virginia students at our colleges.
I’ve said that the President is right in his call for real education reform, with more charter schools, and performance pay for great teachers and principals. Now that’s a bipartisan reform that will help all our children get the education they need today to get those good jobs of tomorrow.
Together, we will use innovation and free-markets to bring new jobs and more opportunities to Virginia, and America.
Have a great weekend!