President Clinton Headlines McAuliffe Rally in Charlottesville

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October 30, 2013

With six days to go until the gubernatorial election, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe called in friend and former President Bill Clinton to campaign for him at a stop in Charlottesville.

In the "Putting Jobs First" rally at the Paramount Theater, Clinton called McAuliffe a "deal maker."

"Even the people who have criticized him before have to admit that he has not only reached out to Republicans, he has taken more positions on more issues to certify his Democratic roots," Clinton said.

Hundreds of people attended the rally, where criticisms of the Republican ticket were front and center.

"The Tea Party ticket proposes an ideological and irresponsible tax plan that could lead to a budget crisis and devastating cuts to the education program," McAuliffe said at the rally.

A list of prominent speakers took the podium prior to the president's arrival, including former 5th District Rep. Tom Perriello.

"We don't want to wake up the day after and think, 'If I had just talked to five more neighbors and friends, if I had just called a few more people across the state," Perriello said.

Del. David Toscano, the House minority leader, also spoke of the importance of rallying potential voters less than a week before the election.

"It's a lot about turnout," Toscano said. "It's all about turnout at this point. And with that, we will bring it home for Terry McAuliffe, [lieutenant governor candidate] Ralph Northam and [attorney general candidate] Mark Herring."

Introducing Clinton and McAuliffe to the crowd was Michael Mann, the former University of Virginia professor who was the center of a lawsuit by attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. The attorney general accused Mann of skewing research about global warming funded by public dollars.

"Cuccinelli's ideological crusade embarrassed Virginia across the globe," McAuliffe said. "Here's the bottom line. We cannot grow Virginia's economy by suing scientists."

The focus for Democrats at the rally was job creation and building the economy.

Clinton said Virginians now have their choice to make.

"Virginia has so many assets for the kind of future you want," he said. "Now, you've got to give your state the kind of leadership it requires."

Wrapping up and citing voter turnout numbers from previous elections, Clinton stressed the importance of casting a ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and encouraging others to do the same.

"Every rock you push up every hill ensures that you get the kind of future that you need and deserve," Clinton said.

The Charlottesville rally wrapped up a four-day tour across the commonwealth for McAuliffe and Clinton, and the momentum may continue. On Sunday, President Barack Obama will appear with McAuliffe at a rally in Northern Virginia.

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