Virginia Democrats are seizing on an interview Gov. Bob McDonnell had with NBC-12's Ryan Nobles, saying that the governor has gone back on previous statements that he would serve a full term as governor through 2014.
Answering a question from Nobles (see below), McDonnell says he "probably" would find it difficult to turn down a request by a Republican presidential candidate to serve as a running mate.
In a press release issued today, Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director David Mills says: “It looks like when he said repeatedly that he will serve his full term, the Governor was either being untruthful or he's since had a change of heart. While I don't understand why he would leave his work here unfinished to join a ticket with Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney, at least he's finally being clear about his intentions."
I e-mailed the governor's office to ask for a clarification on McDonnell's aspirations at higher office. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin responds via Blackberry that:
“The Governor gave a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. He is not seeking any other position and is focused on serving as Governor of Virginia for the next three years. In his first 13 months in office he has cut 6 billion in spending, reduced state spending to 2006 levels, got 80 percent of his first session legislation passed, Virginia has added the 4th highest amount of net new jobs of any state in the nation, our unemployment rate has fallen to 6.7 percent- 9th lowest in the nation- and he is now poised to sign into law the biggest investment in transportation in Virginia in a generation, and a sweeping higher education reform plan that will help more Virginians access our colleges and universities. Its an impressive record of success, achieved with bipartisan support, so its not surprising the Governor is getting some national attention.”
I respond: So, bottom line is that Virginians will see the governor serve out his complete term even if he is asked to be a vice presidential running-mate. Yes?
Martin: "The bottom line is he is planning on serving his full term. He was simply giving a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question."
What do you think? Will he or won't he? And if he does make a bid for higher office in the midst of serving out his term as governor, would you consider him a hypocrite?