Virginia law did not require the governor to disclose the $15,000 that Williams gave McDonnell's daughter Cailin for her wedding. But in his radio appearance Tuesday, McDonnell acknowledged the political sensitivity of the matter.
"I think, obviously, from the attention it has gotten, it has certainly now been disclosed," he said. He said it was hard to say whether he would ask his daughter to reject the gift if given a chance to do it over. "It's caused a fair amount of pain for me personally," McDonnell said. "I'm a governor, but I'm also a dad and I love my daughter very much."
In Louisiana, polls and anecdotal evidence suggest many people have grown tired of Jindal's national travels, state government layoffs and budget cuts, especially to health care and higher education. His sweeping tax plan drew wide criticism.
It marked a setback for the fast-talking Rhodes scholar, who has urged the GOP to stop being "the stupid party" that's out of step on key social matters.
In the past 50 years, more governors and vice presidents have been elected president than have sitting senators, although a few senators almost always try. Republican senators weighing possible presidential bids in 2016 include Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Michael Dukakis are among the incumbent or former governors who won their party's nomination but failed to win the White House. Four of the last six presidents, however, were governors.
Republican Governors Association spokesman Jon Thompson defended his team. GOP governors, he said, are balancing budgets "while tackling energy, pension and education reform. Their successful brand of results-oriented conservatism shows why today's leaders of the GOP come from the states."
Lewis reported from Richmond, Va.
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