What the media is saying:
EVEN the Washington Post says Bob Won the Debate on Transportation, while Deeds “… he bungled it pretty badly.”
Washington Post, September 18, 2009
Deeds Has Trouble with Taxes, Press Corps
– Clearly Paves Way for Gas Tax Hike, Hounded by Media After Debate –
– In Traffic-Congested Northern Virginia, Still no Details on Roads from Democrat –
RICHMOND – A day after the pivotal debate hosted by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, the hubbub surrounding Democrat Creigh Deeds’ flustered performance continued Friday. Pressed by Republican Bob McDonnell and moderator David Gregory of NBC, Deeds quite clearly revealed his plan to increase the tax on gasoline – while still not providing a single detail of what his transportation proposal actually is. Following the debate, Deeds willfully refused to be coherent when pestered by the media, but did make telling utterances that belied his desire to raise the gas tax.
Headline: “Plain and Simple, Deeds Stumbles In N.Va. Debate”
“If you’re a candidate for governor coming to debate in Northern Virginia, you’d better be able to say simply and plainly how you’d raise money to repair and improve the roads. Democratic State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) failed to do that Thursday. In fact, he bungled it pretty badly. He managed to sound both vague and two-faced about the most important issue in the race for the Washington region.”
“When asked directly by moderator David Gregory of NBC News whether he would raise taxes if necessary in the current economic climate, Deeds said: ‘No, I’m not going to raise taxes. But I am the only person on this dais who will sign a transportation plan that raises new money.’
“Huh? When I and other reporters pressed him afterward to clarify, he said he meant only that he wouldn’t raise taxes for the state’s general fund, which pays for a broad range of services, including education and law enforcement. That clearly left open the possibility that he’d raise taxes for the transportation fund, which is separate.”
Read the Rest here in the Washington Post which includes the now infamous Deeds line “‘I think I made myself clear, young lady. I don’t know,’ Deeds said.
“Deeds said he would not increase taxes for general fund programs such as education, health care and public safety, despite budget shortfalls that have forced Gov. Tim Kaine and state lawmakers to slash billions in funding for state programs. But Deeds would not make the same pledge when it came to transportation…”
“Deeds faced a barrage of questions after the debate from reporters asking him to clarify his position on taxes and transportation funding. He grew testy at one point, telling a reporter, ‘I think I’ve made myself clear, young lady.'”
“The two clashed on taxes and transportation. Deeds said he won’t raise taxes, but as he has in the past, made an exception for transportation.”
“Deeds said he has promised to work for a bipartisan plan that includes $1 billion in new revenue, although he said he would not raise general fund taxes–suggesting that taxes that don’t go to the general fund, such as the gas tax, would be an option.”
“McDonnell repeated previous accusations that Deeds hasn’t articulated a transportation plan, at one point holding up a blank sheet of paper as an example of what he says are Deeds’ ideas to pay for road projects.
“‘I’m shocked that 47 days to go, my opponent walks in here and has no transportation plan – not one dime, not one project,’ McDonnell said during a debate with Deeds in Northern Virginia. ‘Here’s my opponents’ plan – not a thing on it. Look at his Web site. There’s nothing there.'”
“Both men said that if elected, they would not raise taxes despite the recession. Deeds later clarified that he would support an increase to pay for roads but wouldn’t support other new general-fund levies.”