In defending the recently passed and bipartisan supported transportation bill in the Virginia General Assembly, Gov. Bob McDonnell used the rhetorical wild-card to stifle the anti-tax critics of the bill: Ronald Reagan did it!
During his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio appearance on the Virginia News Network on Thursday, McDonnell defended his legacy bill by noting that “Reagan pushed for an increase in the federal gas tax 30 years ago to address highway funding needs.” So there you anti-tax critics!
The first caller during McDonnell’s radio appearance asked the following: “I just wanted to know why you would have been willing to sign the largest tax increase in the history of Virginia when you ran on a campaign of no increased taxes and smaller government?”
Not one to be deterred by contradictions, McDonnell shot back that the caller’s representation of the transportation bill was “factually incorrect.” McDonnell then proceeded to elaborate on just why the transportation bill is a good thing for Virginia and Virginians.
“Over the past three or four years [McDonnell can’t remember?!!], I’ve done everything that I had available to me as a tool in order to try to improve the transportation infrastructure in Virginia. It’s a jobs issue. It’s a quality of life issue. It is an issue that affects every man, woman, and child here in Virginia…”
The only surprising aspect of McDonnell’s response was how off-kilter he seemed to be when defending the transportation bill. McDonnell was no doubt just as aware before the bill was passed in the General Assembly as he is now that the anti-tax wing would lambast the tax increases included in the bill.
If the far-right nutty’s crawl back into their private holes sometime in the near future, McDonnell could have a good shot at running for and winning the Republican presidential nomination come 2016. With the passage of Virginia’s first comprehensive transportation bill in many years, McDonnell has certainly solidified himself as a political leader who can pull both sides of the political aisle together to reach a legislative compromise.
Of course, not everyone is happy about the transportation bill in the General Assembly. Shocker! But to make sausage you have to…actually I don’t know how you make sausage, but it must be akin to the car-crash process that is legislative deal-making. I’m just glad everyone made it out with only a few scratches!