Entries in Bob McDonnell (18)


Va. Gov. McDonnell Approval Rating Drops

Kris Connor/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sits on many potential vice presidential lists, but problems might be brewing in his home state where his approval rating has slipped in the past 12 months, according to a new Washington Post poll.

His approval rating dropped to 56 percent from 62 percent in the past year, the poll found, and 35 percent of Virginia voters disapproved of McDonnell’s work in the state, a 9 point increase from last year.

McDonnell, who is barred by Virginia statute from running for a second term, still enjoys a high approval rating compared to other governors, but the drop comes after a difficult year in the state legislature and a controversial ultrasound bill that brought national attention to the state. He assumed office in January 2010 after three years as state attorney general.

The Virginia governor and retired Army lieutenant colonel, 57, has the support of 52 percent of the state’s women, a constituency with which presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is looking to boost his own standing this fall.

And would a Romney-McDonnell ticket help turn out independent voters in the key battleground state of Virginia? Seven in 10 independent voters said that adding McDonnell to the GOP ticket would not affect their pick in November.  Eight percent said McDonnell’s spot on the ticket would make them vote for Romney while 18 percent said they’d opt for Obama.

McDonnell’s PAC, Opportunity Virginia, recently placed a substantive ad buy intending to highlight the job growth and economic prosperity of Virginia.  McDonnell’s team denied that such spending was an attempt to boost his approval ratings before Romney’s selection of a running mate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Coy About VP Prospects

Kris Connor/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell stuck to the ambiguous script of a potential running mate Thursday morning. No comment.

“I’m not interviewing or auditioning. I’ve got Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson’s job. It doesn’t get any better than that,” McDonnell said in an interview on Fox News.

He may not be calling it an audition, but McDonnell is getting his very public moment with Mitt Romney on Thursday. The two will appear at a Romney campaign stop in Portsmouth.

Asked if Thursday’s campaign appearance with Mitt Romney is a test run for VP, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said, “That’s good media drama, but that’s not what’s happened.”

During an interview with Politico last August, McDonnell said he’d be “very interested” in the vice presidential slot, but reiterated Thursday that he merely meant he’d consider it.

“Any candidate that calls a potential nominee and says listen you could help the party, you could help the country, of course you’d consider it,” McDonnell said on Fox.

McDonnell listed a number of potential candidates he thinks would complement Romney well – “Rob Portman, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal.”

The Virginia governor, who won the state by 18 points in 2009, explained the importance of the independent voter in the state.

“Our independent voters can vote the person. They vote the issue, and right now the issues are debt, jobs and the economy, and energy and leadership, and all those scores I think Mitt Romney’s got the best record.”

Still, when it came to predicting if a Republican would win Virginia this November, McDonnell wouldn’t commit a prediction, saying only, “It’s going to be a tough fight.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Virginia Governor Says He’d Consider VP Slot, If Asked

Kris Connor/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Thursday he’d consider being vetted for the vice presidential slot if Mitt Romney’s team approaches him.

“Well I think anybody that gets a call from the nominee and says, you can help our party, you can help our country. Of course you’d consider it, but I’ve got the job built by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry,” McDonnell said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.

“That’s all speculation. That’s completely up to Mitt Romney. I’m not looking for, campaigning for it, or expecting it, so we’ll see what happens. You’ll have to ask Governor Romney what he’s planning to do,” McDonnell added.

McDonnell has long said he’s happy in his position describing it as the best governorship in the country.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gov. McDonnell’s ‘Virginia Is for Lovers’ Gift to Obama

Kris Connor/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, a key Mitt Romney supporter, showed some Virginia love for the president, greeting Obama on the tarmac in Richmond Friday afternoon and giving him a “Virginia is for Lovers” golf glove.

“I thought that it would be an appropriate gift,” McDonnell, a potential Republican vice presidential nominee, told reporters after their brief meeting.

“He was very impressed that we knew he wore a left-handed glove,” the governor said, according to pool reports. “I told him we had done our opposition research.”

While their meeting was reportedly friendly, Republicans have done plenty of research on the president’s golf hobby.

Romney has slammed Obama in the past for focusing too much on his game and not enough on the economy and his campaign has an entire website devoted to raising campaign cash off Obama’s love of golf.

“‘Fore’ More Years?” reads the homepage of, which urges supporters to “donate $18 to send President Obama on a permanent vacation.”

The site claims the president has played 1,656 holes of golf since coming into office.

McDonnell was also present at the president’s speech at the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe jet engine disc manufacturing facility in Prince George County, where Obama touted the economic recovery and promoted his agenda to boost manufacturing.

“We are tired of rhetoric, you know, tired of this thing where we need to get people back to work,” McDonnell told reporters after the president’s speech.

“Let’s do the policies that actually would repatriate businesses. Let’s cut the corporate income tax that’s now the highest in the world,” he said. “That’s why people aren’t going to put businesses in Virginia. That’s why they go off shore. Let’s do something about that. That would be a great start but I haven’t heard him talk about that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Virginia Governor Alters Abortion Ultrasound Requirement

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a potential GOP vice presidential candidate, has pulled his support for a controversial state bill that would require women seeking an abortion in early stages of their pregnancies to undergo an invasive type of ultrasound.

With the governor’s change of position, the Virginia House quickly tweaked a new version of the bill and was passed.

McDonnell, who is widely expected to be considered as a potential running mate for the Republican ticket in 2012, still supports a requirement that pregnant women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound.

The governor issued a written statement Wednesday that he no longer believes an invasive transvaginal ultrasound is necessary for women in early stages of pregnancy who want to obtain an abortion.

“It is apparent that several amendments to the proposed legislation are needed to address various medical and legal issues which have arisen,” he said in the statement.

McDonnell opened his statement switching positions on the ultrasound bill by arguing that he opposes abortion rights.

“I am pro-life. I believe deeply in the sanctity of innocent human life and believe governments have a duty to protect human life. The more our society embraces a culture of life for all people, the better country we will have,” he said, pointing out he has supported legislation in Virginia that requires women to undergo state counseling and wait 24 hours before obtaining an abortion.

The new proposal would make the rules even stricter, requiring a woman to obtain an ultrasound as well.

“It is clear that in the majority of cases, a routine external, trans-abdominal ultrasound is sufficient to meet the bills stated purpose, that is, to determine gestational age. I have come to understand that the medical practice and standard of care currently guide physicians to use other procedures to find the gestational age of the child, when abdominal ultrasounds cannot do so,” he said.

“Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure,” the statement said.

Rejecting the vaginal ultrasound requirement for some women is a complete turnaround for McDonnell. On Friday his spokesman told ABC News the governor “has said he will sign this legislation if it is passed by the General Assembly.”

The bill has sparked outrage among abortion rights activists. Opponents of the measure were angry about the invasiveness of the requirement and also that women would, many times, have to pay for the procedure.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Virginia Gov. Looks Ahead to Obama's Budget Reveal

Melina Mara/The Washington Post(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's Republican address, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell touts the various achievements of GOP leadership on the heels of President Obama's 2013 budget announcement.

But first, McDonnell finds fault with Senate Dems, who he points out have not passed a budget in "over 1000 days."

"This is an astounding failure of leadership and management of the nation’s finances," McDonnell says.

On Monday, the president will unveil his budget in person in a speech Monday at Northern Virginia Community College.  The White House said Friday that this budget projects a deficit of $1.3 trillion for 2012. Under the administration’s tax and spending proposals, the deficit would fall to $901 billion next year.

The budget largely echoes the domestic proposals that the president has been pushing for the last year, including spending for job creation and tax increases for the wealthy.

But Gov. McDonnell says Americans can expect to see things worsen with President Obama's proposals.

"We can expect the President’s budget to make private sector job creation tougher because it will raise taxes and continue policies like Obamacare that are making it harder for small businesses to hire -- at a time when millions of Americans remain out of work," McDonnell says.

He later adds, "Now we can expect the President’s budget to again fail to address the $15 trillion, and growing, national debt -- in fact, it will probably make it worse. With no boldness or leadership or setting priorities, the Obama approach is simply more debt, more taxes, and more blaming others."

After predicting the president's delivery of a "bloated budget that doubles down on the failed policies of the past," McDonnell highlights the "$65 billion in deficits" closed by Republican governors in recent years.

"While Washington D.C. borrows at a staggering $3.5 billion a day just to keep the lights on, Republican governors have closed $65 billion in deficits the past two fiscal years alone," he says.  "Here in Virginia, we closed $6 billion in budget shortfalls without raising taxes and produced nearly $1 billion in surpluses the past two years, by putting new money into transportation and colleges and universities. In Nebraska, Governor Dave Heineman proposed $326 million in tax cuts. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie is pushing to cut the state income tax by 10 percent."

"And Republican governors in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico and South Carolina are all working to reform their tax systems to make their states more competitive," he adds.

Finally, Gov. McDonnell talks about what Republicans believe the role of government should be in economic recovery.

"At every level, governments should pass budgets on time that fund core functions like education, transportation and public safety well, and don't waste precious taxpayer dollars.  And, at every level, governments should enact policies that ensure our private sector job creators, small business owners, and entrepreneurs can compete again the world, create jobs and innovate," McDonnell says closing out the address.

"The American people can out-compete and out-work anyone, anywhere.  All they need is the opportunity."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Va. Gov. Skips Romney Fundraiser Because of Va. Tech Shooting

Melina Mara/The Washington Post(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell decided against dropping by a Mitt Romney fundraiser Thursday afternoon after two people were shot and killed on the Virginia Tech campus.

A spokesman for McDonnell told ABC News that the governor would remain in the office throughout the evening instead of attend the Romney event.

“Given the events of today, the governor will be unable to stop by tonight’s reception,” said Tucker Martin. “He regrets that he cannot welcome Gov. Romney to Virginia, but he needs to be with his public safety team as it continues to monitor and work on this tragic situation at Virginia Tech.”

Romney and McDonnell appeared publicly in late October at Fairfax GOP headquarters, where the Virginia governor was bombarded with questions as to whether he planned to make an endorsement in the Republican primary.

Martin said at the time that the “The governor thinks very highly of Gov. Romney and the campaign he is running. He does believe a current or former governor would make the best next president of the United States. However, he will not make an endorsement in the race, if he does at all, until after Virginia’s mid-term legislative elections in November.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Virginia Governor Almost, Sort of, Endorses Romney

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(FAIRFAX, Va.) -- At a GOP headquarters office where volunteers were working the phones to get out the vote, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gushed over presidential candidate Mitt Romney, showering him with compliments but stopping short of an official endorsement.

“I’m kind of partial.  I think the former governor ought to be the next president of the United states,” said McDonnell as he introduced Romney to a room packed with volunteers on Wednesday.

After a brief tour of the phone bank operation -- and a quick voicemail made by Romney left on a voter’s answering machine -- McDonnell continued to express his admiration for Romney outside the headquarters.

“Gov. Romney gets it when it comes to free enterprise,” said McDonnell.  “He has a marvelous record of achievement at Bain Capital creating wealth and jobs and opportunity for people, a great record of achievement in Massachusetts where you actually have to balance the budget and get things done on time…That’s the kind of leadership you’ve seen with Gov. Mitt Romney and his very specific plans to get America back on track.”

Asked by the press whether he expected an endorsement from McDonnell, Romney said, “There are no endorsements today, although those are always welcome.”

He later added that he hasn’t just asked McDonnell for an endorsement, but has “asked every governor.”

Romney also rejected speculation that McDonnell might be on the short list for his running mate, should he win the nomination.

“He’s a terrific guy doing a great job here in the state of Virginia.  It would be presumptuous for anyone in my position so far from the nomination to start thinking about who would be vice president,” said Romney.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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