As the race slips away, all that’s left for Hurt is anger


    Robert Hurt’s campaign is taking on an air of desperation, flailing about without any real direction or coherence.

    I first noticed this at the debate last Thursday in Danville. Hurt seemed angry and frustrated all evening. He was unable to answer a single question about what he would actually do if he were elected to Congress, indicating instead on three issues crucial to voters here:  

    — He would not fund rail transportation for the Fifth District,

    — He did not think there was a role for the federal government in education, and

    — Beyond trimming congressional salaries has no idea what he would cut to balance the budget (except saying that the 70% of the budget covering defense and entitlements is off limits).

    Rather that provide answers to the citizens of our district, Hurt seems to think it is enough to attack Tom as an alleged tool of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Obama.

    It isn’t.

    The charge is not only false, it is laughably false. Tom is a Democrat, so of course he agrees much of the time with his party and President. But Tom is also consistently recognized as one of the most independent members of Congress as well, based on his voting record. Agree or disagree with Tom’s positions, to suggest that he is in anyone’s pocket is simply a lie.

    (more on the flip)

    This may be red meat for Hurt’s most Conservative partisans, but these baseless attacks do nothing for letting the thousands of voters in the district looking to our elected officials for leadership what he will do to help them and their families.  

    That Hurt takes this campaign tack, however, should surprise no one. He really has no choice, because the fact is that he has nothing to offer.

    Indeed, the only “positive” actions Hurt has said in these debates he is ready to take are repealing health care reform, including the provisions protecting people from being thrown off their insurance just because they get sick, or allowing insurance companies to deny children insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

    Is that we elect Congressman to do on our behalf?

    Jobs? The fact is that Robert Hurt is a major beneficiary of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and regardless of whether the Chamber is spending foreign dollars on this campaign or not, it is beyond doubt that the Chamber supports outsourcing, which is good for the large multi-national corporations that comprise its membership.

    Is it any wonder, then, that Robert Hurt signed a pledge that promises no increases in any taxes, a pledge commonly understood to require opposition to closing the outsourcing loophole in the current tax code – a key objective of the Chamber of Commerce.

    So, why is Hurt so frustrated and mad? I can’t say for sure – I don’t know the man, but I do have a theory.

    As I said last week, I suspect he feels this race slipping away from him. I think Hurt thought the anti-Democratic tide in the electorate would be all he needed to win this election, but what he has found instead is that voters are not just angry and fearful, they want thoughtful solutions and decisive leadership to address their anger and fear.

    And as the campaign in rolling on, it is clear to all that voters are concluding that Tom Perriello gives them both of these things.

    And it is also clear that Robert Hurt gives them neither.  

    • Cool_Arrow

      This should be a very interesting race to say the least. Now Obama is coming to C’ville on Friday for Perriello. I think it’s a wise move by Perriello. Obama’s approval is underwater here and Perriello has been clearly trailing in the polls. The most reasonable and reliable recent poll (I discount the Survey USA polls and any internal polls) was done last week by Roanoke College and said Hurt 46 – Perriello 40. The interesting part about this poll is that only 14.6% of the voters were African-American. VA-05 is nearly 25% African-American so there is no doubt that Perriello has the chance to grow here. He likely won’t get to 25% but an interesting calculation is if he can get 20% AA turnout @ 90% of their vote and 40% of the white vote (for comparison sake in 2006 Webb had 42% of the white vote statewide, I am not sure how that translates to VA-05 as there is no specific VA-05 subsample) he would be tied with Hurt.

      Clearly upping the African-American vote is his path to victory and Obama can definitely help with this. He’s also betting that the anti-Obama vote is just about maxed out and he’s not going to make any in-roads here. I have to agree here. Whether this will be enough remains to be seen but if he loses a narrow race it won’t be because Obama came to stump for him.

      Old poll as of 10/18 is here:

    • VADEM

      he DID seem angry–angry that he even had to be there and-God forbid-answer questions from the little people. I suspect his great political strategy was to just attack Tom with lies. He doesn’t seem to have any policies or a platform. Obama coming here for Tom will really fire up the base I think. I would have preferred he go to Southside instead because C’Ville is pretty blue already and has a great GOTV operation.

    • Va Breeze

      so I am glad Obama is going to help him out!