Virginia Gubernatorial Candidates Stumble on Redskins Name During Debate

Area fans don’t think the name should be changed. What about these candidates?

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III during a game against the Detroit Lions in Landover, Md.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Sept. 26, 2013, 6:15 a.m.

Al­though the team is based in Mary­land and has Wash­ing­ton’s name­sake, the Red­skins foot­ball team was the sub­ject of a ques­tion dur­ing the Vir­gin­ia gubernat­ori­al de­bate on Wed­nes­day night. And it caught the can­did­ates off-guard.

NBC’s Chuck Todd, the mod­er­at­or of the de­bate and a big sports fan, asked if the name should be changed, cit­ing wide­spread con­cern over its of­fens­ive­ness to Nat­ive Amer­ic­ans. It seems to be one of the few is­sues the two rivals agree on.

First up was Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate Terry McAul­iffe, who stumbled on the ques­tion:

“I don’t think the gov­ernor ought to be telling private busi­nesses what they should do about their busi­ness,” he said at first.

Todd in­ter­jec­ted, “Even if it’s of­fens­ive to people?”

“I don’t think the gov­ernor should be telling private busi­nesses,” McAul­iffe in­sisted.

“Do you have a per­son­al opin­ion on it?” Todd pressed.

“As gov­ernor, I’m not go­ing to tell Dan Snyder or any­body else what they should do in busi­ness. And I want to con­grat­u­late the Red­skins, be­cause I went down to the train­ing park in Rich­mond, and it is spec­tac­u­lar, Gov­ernor Mc­Don­nell,” McAul­iffe said be­fore get­ting heckled by a mem­ber of the crowd and cut off by Todd.

Hav­ing wit­nessed this, Cuc­cinelli was bet­ter pre­pared.

“I think that is up to them en­tirely,” Cuc­cinelli said. “I think that 80 years of his­tory with that team is kind of hard to leave be­hind. I un­der­stand that. I also don’t think RGIII should have been played in the second quarter in the play­offs last years.”

Quar­ter­back Robert Griffin III, also known as RGIII, suffered a sea­son-end­ing in­jury after play­ing in game des­pite a doc­tor’s warn­ing. Wheth­er he should have played has been a con­ten­tious de­bate for some months.

And maybe the can­did­ates’ an­swers, however un­grace­ful, were smart polit­ic­ally. Ac­cord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post poll re­leased in June, 61 per­cent of Wash­ing­ton area res­id­ents like the name of the foot­ball team and two-thirds say the team shouldn’t change its name.

Though it doesn’t look like there’s go­ing to be any pres­sure from the Old Domin­ion to do so, some still in­sist that own­er Dan Snyder make a change. Even some mem­bers of Con­gress have pub­licly called for a name change.

Here’s the video of the de­bate ex­change:

What We're Following See More »
DISAPPOINTING RESULTS
GDP Grew at 1.2% in Q2
50 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.2% in the second quarter, "well below the 2.6% growth economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast." Consumer spending was "robust," but it was offset by "cautious" business investment. "Since the recession ended seven years ago, the expansion has failed to achieve the breakout growth seen in past recoveries. "The average annual growth rate during the current business cycle, 2.1%, remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949."

Source:
‘DEMOCRATIC GENERATION’
Schumer: We’ll Take the Senate
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in waiting, not only thinks his party will take the Senate this fall, but that it's on the cusp of an era of "electoral dominance." He told Politico: “We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Barack Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”

Source:
TAPING IN NEW YORK TODAY
Biden to Guest on ‘Law and Order: SVU’
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Vice President Joe Biden will appear in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that will mention the backlog of untested rape kits in many cities, as well as efforts to end violence against women—an issue close to Biden, who authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994." He'll be in New York to tape the episode today.

Source:
PREEMPTIVE STRIKE?
Clinton Heading to the Rust Belt
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Clinton's first order of business after the Democratic convention is a bus trip through the electoral battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Ohio, the opening move in a strategy to defend her party's grip on states President Barack Obama won and to brand her opponent as unfit to be president. It shows a campaign eager to close off a likely effort by Donald Trump, her Republican opponent, to build an Electoral College majority by winning working-class, white voters in the Rust Belt and other slowly diversifying states."

Source:
RUSSIANS AGAIN?
FBI Probing Hack at DCCC
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) that may be related to an earlier hack at the Democratic National Committee." The intrusion "may have been intended to gather information about donors, rather than to steal money."

Source:
×