Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell appeared on Fox News Sunday this week and when asked by Chris Wallace if his thesis he wrote back in 1989 was advocating a "radical agenda", McDonnell did his best to downplay it.
Wallace: You enjoyed according to the polls, a solid lead in this race until it was revealed that in 1989 you wrote a master’s thesis in which you said, and let’s put up some of the things on the screen, this has obviously been a big issue here in Virginia-- The new trend of working women and feminism that is ultimately detrimental to the family. You criticize tax credits for child care. And you even opposed a Supreme Court ruling legalizing birth control for married couples. Mr. McDonnell, isn’t that a pretty radical agenda?
McDonnell: No. I think those are a couple of quotes out of a 100-page document, Chris, and what the whole purpose of the, of the thesis was to say, look, families are the bedrock of society. And I think there’s broad agreement on that, and that government programs should not undermine the family, because that will lead to more government spending for problems that occur when the family’s not intact.
Look, it’s been twenty years ago and some of my views over time have changed. I strongly support women in the work force. That was one of the criticisms my opponent made. My daughter’s been in Iraq, my daughters both work, my wife is working and outside the home, I mean… those allegations that I think have been inferences from a quote or two out of an old thesis is simply not accurate.
Wallace: But if I may, your opponent says and I’m going to represent his interests here because he’s not here to speak for himself, that it isn’t just what you wrote twenty years ago when you were age 34 in a master’s thesis, that you have followed these as a state legislator. Let’s put up an ad that Creigh Deeds is running.
After playing the clip Wallace points out McDonnell's voting record.
Wallace: In face we checked the record. As a legislator you voted against a resolution that would have called for ending wage discrimination based on gender. You voted against extending child care services and you voted against extending or requiring health insurance plans to cover birth control. So it’s not just a thesis.
McDonnell’s defense… "You have to look at my entire record" and he claims that many of the ads run against him are “outright lies” and are not honest, but he does not say just what those distortions are. Of course Wallace doesn’t follow up and make him give specifics as to what he disagrees with in the ads. That said I think when even Chris Wallace is calling you "radical", that's not a good sign for what the voters are going to think as they learn more about this guy.