Editor's note: This story originally posted Sunday afternoon.
Well before Virginia gubernatorial candidate Democrat Terry McAuliffe hit the stage in Dale City on Sunday, a long line wrapped around the building of the VFW Post on Minnieville Road where he spoke along with former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton who spoke last at the Putting Jobs First event, told a crowd of more than 400 supporters and journalists that he wants McAuliffe elected governor because what happens in Virginia is very important to this country and to the world, as Norfolk is the site of the biggest naval station in the world.
Referring to McAuliffe’s son Jack, a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who appeared at Sunday’s event, Clinton said, “Don’t you want him to get out and be proud of the service he can render and the protection he can provide?”
Clinton also referenced the differences in the candidates whose names appear on the ballot on Nov. 5.
“You have two amazingly interesting and wildly different people,” Clinton said.
“… Here’s what I’ve learned in 12 years as governor and 8 years as president; you want people to make their differences clear. Differences are good, they are healthy; debate is good. We should all have our philosophies and general outlooks, but if we become ideological then we are blind to evidence. We can only hear people that already agree with us … and you can choose that course here, but I’m telling you—I was governor for a dozen years and president for eight years and it doesn’t work,” Clinton said.
The only thing that works is cooperation, he said.
Justifying denying access to healthcare and inflaming people about women’s health, excites people but it, “doesn’t get a darn thing done,” the former president added.McAuliffe spoke about the recent government shutdown which had many Virginians out of work for the first part of October.
As a result, many parents had to tell their children they couldn't work because of the "political dysfunction," in Congress, he added.
While he wants to focus on things that bring Virginians together, his opponent
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccincelli, wants to focus on issues that divide the Commonwealth such as healthcare.
Cuccincelli said "Medicaid is outright welfare" and opposes providing healthcare to 400,000 people in Virginia who need it, but yet he wants to fingerprint those who need medical attention at the emergency room who can't pay their bill, McAuliffe told the crowd.
Organizers say about 400 people gathered for the ticketed event. Before Clinton and McAuliffe took the stage, the crowd was addressed by: McAuliffe campaign volunteers Terron Sims, Hala Ayala; Del. Charniele Herring, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia; Congressman Gerry Connolly; Sen. Mark Herring; and Kellie Blair Hardt, a local teacher.
Dale City resident Eleanor Garrett said she came to hear McAuliffe speak to determine if she will give him her vote.
"For me it's time for a change," she said. "He's got a good lead and once I hear what he has to say, then he'll have my vote."
Her husband, Willie, who also attended the event, said McAuliffe already has his vote, because he surely isn't going to vote for Cuccincelli.
Cuccincelli press secretary Anna Nix issued this statement in response to the Putting Jobs First event.
"While Terry McAuliffe campaigns with President Clinton, we wonder whether thegubernatorial candidate will finally answer critical questions. At the top of the list of questions his campaign still refuses to answer is whether McAuliffe knowingly profited off of the death of others. Another will be why he opened a $750,000 line of credit benefitting a union company. President Clinton won't be able to answer those questions for him. It’s time for Terry McAuliffe to tell the truth." -
After leaving Dale City, Clinton and McAuliffe addressed crowds in Richmond, Hampton, Norfolk and Blacksburg. They will be back in Northern Virginia today to speak at 6:30 p.m. at Herndon Middle School in Herndon.