Former Democratic Party boss Terry McAuliffe, now one of three Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidates, thinks he has found gold in the roar over conservative talker Rush Limbaugh. In his latest fundraising letter, McAuliffe cites Rush's wish that President Obama fail and calls on the only GOP candidate for governor to condemn the talk show host. Using a political straw man is a classic trick, and this one is likely to get a lot of attention.
In his E-mail, McAuliffe says, "At a time when we desperately need to come together as a nation to confront this economic crisis, Rush Limbaugh says he wants Barack Obama to fail." Then he pivots to GOP candidate Bob McDonnell, who has portrayed himself as a bipartisan moderate. "If Bob McDonnell's rhetoric about bipartisanship is sincere, then he should prove it by condemning Rush's remarks."
It's unclear if McAuliffe's plan will work, but it does do one thing for the top fundraiser on the Democratic side: It clearly shows that he has already moved on to the general election before the primary is held. Here's his letter:
At a time when we desperately need to come together as a nation to confront this economic crisis, Rush Limbaugh says he wants Barack Obama to fail.
I don't believe we should ever allow ideology to stand in the way of what's best for our Commonwealth. That's why after Rush reiterated his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend, I called on Bob McDonnell to condemn them. Bob often talks about the need to work together to find solutions, but so far he's refused to say anything that might offend Rush Limbaugh.
If Bob McDonnell's rhetoric about bipartisanship is sincere, then he should prove it by condemning Rush's remarks. And we need your help to apply some public pressure in order to make it happen.
Click here to tell Bob McDonnell to condemn Rush Limbaugh's hateful remarks.
Bob ought to use the leverage at his disposal and help the raise the level of debate. He seems to think he's got some pull with national Republicans. Just last week he bragged to the Washington Post that, " 'Everybody who cares about the Republican Party nationally or everybody who wants to run for president in 2012 will be in Virginia' this year."
I know that we can turn things around and create the jobs of the future. But doing so will require making a clean break with this kind of rhetoric.
When Rush started wishing that our President would fail, he stopped participating in an open debate about the right course of action. Instead, he was feeding a political culture that isn't about results—it's about who wins and who loses.
But this isn't the Super Bowl we're talking about. It's our economy. It's our families. It's our country. It's our future. Click here to tell Bob McDonnell to condemn Rush Limbaugh's hateful remarks.
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