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 »
Donald Trump is expected Monday to sign an executive order which will mark his administration's first action on offshore oil and gas drilling. The order is expected to call for a "review of the locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration."
Vice President Mike Pence has cut his Asia trip short "to race back to Washington, where the Trump administration faces a critical week on tax reform and a funding plan to keep the government running, an aide said on Sunday." Pence will return to Washington on Tuesday morning instead of Wednesday. Trump has a busy week ahead, as he plans to roll out a tax reform on framework, sign a number of executive orders, and works to keep the government open past Friday.
"Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right politician Marine Le Pen led the first round of voting in France’s presidential election, according to early projections, as voters redrew the political map, placing the European Union at the center of a new political divide. Projections by the Kantar-Sofres polling firm showed Mr. Macron on track to win the first round with about 24% of the vote, ahead of Ms. Le Pen with nearly 22%." The vote marks the end of the country's dominance by conservative and socialist parties. The top vote-getters head to a runoff on May 7.
President Trump will deliver the keynote address for at the National Holocaust Museum's National Day of Remembrance ceremony on Tuesday. He'll speak from the Capitol Rotunda. The move is likely an effort to try to mend fences with Jewish groups. In January, "the White House ignited controversy when it didn't mention Jews or anti-Semitism in a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day." And certain members of his inner circle are still suspected of harboring white supremacist or anti-Semitic views."
"President Trump and his top aides applied new pressure Sunday on lawmakers to include money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in a must-pass government funding bill, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown this week. In a pair of tweets, Trump attacked Democrats for opposing the wall and insisted that Mexico would pay for it “at a later date,” despite his repeated campaign promises not including that qualifier. And top administration officials appeared on Sunday morning news shows to press for wall funding, including White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, who said Trump might refuse to sign a spending bill that does not include any."