Conservative Issues Become Ammunition in Governor's Races
Virginia Democrat Creigh Deeds continues to slam Republican Bob McDonnell for a thesis he wrote 20 years ago while attending Regent University. In the thesis, McDonnell described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family, said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators," and called a Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples "illogical."
Deeds took the thesis and ran with it, using it to paint McDonnell as a "social crusader" during last night's debate and in at least four different TV ads. One ad features six women who question McDonnell's voting record. "What did this thesis say about women?" another ads asks. "A lot ... abortion should be outlawed and birth control should be restricted–even for married adults."
McDonnell responded with two ads. One features women who worked with him while he was state Attorney General, while the other is narrated by his daughter, Jeanine, who served as a platoon leader in Iraq. McDonnell, who is Catholic, has five children.
Another ad is being aired by the Virginia Values Voter PAC, tied to the Family Research Council; this one accuses Deeds of flip-flopping on the issues of same-sex marriage and partial-birth abortion.
McDonnell also said that his views have changed since the time he wrote the thesis, especially regarding women in the workplace:
Virginians will judge me on my 18-year record as a legislator and Attorney General and the specific plans I have laid out for our future – not on a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven't thought about in years.
Despite the attack ads, McDonnell has consistently remained 5 to 10 points ahead of Deeds.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine targeted his opponent on abortion and stem cell research in a new ad released Thursday. The ad criticizes Christie's support of a constitutional ban on abortion and opposition of funding stem cell research. "A governor who doesn't share our values," the announcer says. "Chris Christie. Wrong when it matters most."
Christie has said he became pro-life after his children were born, but he will not "force that down people's throats" as governor. He favors banning partial-birth abortions, requiring parental notification and a 24-hour waiting period. He also opposes additional gun control laws.
The two candidates are running neck-and-neck.