February 18, 2017 News & Press Releases · Press Releases and Announcements

First GOP Gubernatorial Debate: It’s Trump’s Party Now

by Democratic Party of Virginia

As GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Gather for Their First Debate, Trump Will Be Front and Center As Candidates Align To Implement His Far-Right Policies on Virginia

Meanwhile, New Poll Shows Democrats Beat Republican Candidates in All Possible Match Ups in General Election

As Donald Trump’s first month in office continues to unravel, the Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidates today will continue their race to the right and align themselves to Trump’s agenda. Despite Trump’s 30% approval rating with Virginians, the four Republican candidates for governor are now racing to out-Trump one another.

“Since day one of Trump’s presidency, Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial candidates have supported Trump and his far-right policies at every turn,” said Becca Slutsky, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia. “On everything from Trump’s travel ban, to the president’s support of a 20-week abortion ban, to Trump’s freeze on federal spending -- a direct hit to Virginia’s economy -- the GOP candidates will continue their race to the right today as they fully align themselves behind the unraveling Trump presidency.”

Virginia rejected Trump in November, and continue to reject his agenda. A new Quinnipiac poll out this week shows that Democrats are beating Republicans in all possible matchups come November’s election.

As this first debate will make clear, when you pull back the curtains from today’s Republican party, all you find are alternative facts and a lack of common sense solutions -- which is why Democrats are beating Republicans in all possible matchups come November’s election.

Here is what we expect to see from the first GOP debate in Charlottesville:

Full Support of Trump: When it comes to general support Donald Trump, the GOP candidates have been right there along with him. Ed Gillespie’s support of Trump was “clear from the beginning” and have since urged Republicans to “come home” to support Trump. Corey Stewart likes to brag that “I was Trump before Trump was Trump,” Frank Wagner was co-chair of Trump’s Virginia campaign, leaving Denver Riggleman to claim that Trump “opened up the lane” for people like to him to run for office.

Trump’s Travel Ban: While multiple federal courts have ruled to uphold halting Trump’s illegal travel ban, both Stewart and Riggleman have called Trump’s executive order “necessary.” Wagner has said he backs Trump’s executive order, and despite top security experts agreeing that this travel ban makes Virginia less safe, Gillespie said that a pause of refugee resettlement is a rational step.

Trump’s Federal Spending Freeze: Trump’s freeze on federal spending will slash jobs throughout the Commonwealth. Even Rep. Barbara Comstock broke with Trump on his executive order instituting a government wide hiring freeze. Corey Stewart has publicly backed Trump on this effort, leaving Republicans wondering where the other candidates stand behind Trump’s executive order.

20 Week Abortion Ban: Stewart, Gillespie, Wagner and Riggleman have all affirmed their support that they would back a 20-week abortion ban. This is their direct attempt to take away the constitutional rights of women and make abortion illegal, endangering the health of women across the Commonwealth.