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 »
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."
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.”
"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.
"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."
"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."