This morning, leading conservative radio host and the Virginia Co-Chairman of the Trump campaign John Fredericks became the latest Republican to criticize Ed Gillespie’s attacks the 2013 bipartisan transportation deal that helped improve Virginia’s economy and quality-of-life.
In a blistering segment on his show, Fredericks slammed Gillespie for his attacks on the 2013 transportation deal, saying “I don’t get it” and wondering whether Gillespie even understood the basics of transportation policy.
Fredericks went on to rip Gillespie for “attacking what his own party once described as a historic important piece of legislation” and accused the Republican nominee of running “another head scratcher campaign.”
Fredericks is the latest conservative to hit Gillespie for repeatedly attacking the bipartisan transportation deal that was strongly backed by then-Governor McDonnell and Republican legislators in 2013. This weekend, former Senator John Watkins called Gillespie “a political opportunist” for attacking the transportation deal. Former Speaker Bill Howell has defended the bill, telling the Richmond Times-Dispatch that “I think what we did was right.” House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones went even further — insisting that the $6 billion 2013 transportation law was necessary “to address the pressing needs of Virginia’s transportation networks.”
“The Republican backlash against Ed Gillespie’s attacks on the 2013 landmark transportation bill is well underway,” said DPVA spokesman Kevin Donohoe. “More and more conservatives are calling out Ed Gillespie for his misleading and cynical attacks on Governor McDonnell’s signature accomplishment. Gillespie has proven himself to be nothing more than a political opportunist who will say and do anything to get elected — and Virginia Republicans are horrified.”
JOHN FREDERICKS: Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie has been going around saying that he wants everybody to know that Democratic candidate Ralph Northam voted for what he calls the largest tax increase in history.
Wow. But Mr. Gillespie is leaving out one detail. The $6 billion 2013 funding package he is talking about was the signature policy accomplishment of Republican Bob McDonnell and Speaker of the House Bill Howell, and I for one supported it, vigorously in the press.
So, where is he going with this? I have no idea. This is going to be another head scratcher campaign.
Gillespie, who was the chairman of McDonnell’s 2009 campaign is attacking what his own party once described as a historically important piece of legislation.
I don’t get it.
Bill Howell, back in February of 2013 — former speaker, well he is still speaker — Bill Howell said, “This moment shows why Virginia is so fundamentally different from the rest of the country. In a time of crisis and need, we came together and worked in a bipartisan fashion to find a solution.”
Now, Ed Gillespie spins it a different way. He says, “The kind of Virginia we are going to have could not be more clear because my opponent, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, was a State Senator at the time, voted for the largest tax increase in Virginia history.”
But this was a tax increase backed by Speaker Bill Howell, Tommy Norment, all leadership of the Republicans, and clear-thinking media people like myself.
Because see you need roads. And you are not going to get them by finding change under the seat cushions.
Virginia. Needs. Roads.
Where are you going to get the money?
So now Gillespie, blasting Northam for voting for that, he would have to blast the majority of Republicans in the House and the Senate who also backed it.
Look, I thought — I don’t know where this campaign is going. They win the nomination on June 13th, what have they done? They have hired no new people that I can see. Ok that’s fine. That’s their business. They do what they want. I don’t know how they are reaching to Trump voters.
And they threw a press conference on bottle rockets. And now they are attacking the Transportation compromise of 2013 that I was in favor of.
And if you live in Hampton Roads, or Richmond, and you are driving up or down 64 and you see it being widened all over the place — well that is because of this bill.
If you are coming from D.C. going through Fredericksburg and you are bottle-necked where the E-ZPass bottles up 20 miles south of, north of Fredericksburg, and then you get off it, and you see them trying to widen and add that for another 10-15 miles to get rid of the bottle neck, that is where your 2013 tax increase went.
If you are on I-95 and see that being extended all over, that is where the money is going.
Well where do you think this money came from? Do you just like…where do you think this came from? The general fund? There wasn’t any money.
Look, I know — nobody wants tax increases, but you got to pay for roads. They don’t just come from pennies from heaven. You have to pay for it. Tax. Tolls. Or something. Gas tax. Some tax.
So now the Gillespie campaign, blasting what I thought was one of the best things Bob McDonnell did.
And this is the centerpiece of his campaign.
I don’t get it. I don’t get where they are going with this. Maybe somebody can help me. Maybe it will work. I don’t know. Who knows? I really don’t know.
I want roads. To blast that 2013 compromise is….. It was the best thing we ever did. You are getting roads.
Just open your eyes. Barrels and shovels and cranes on interstates. This state is in a road crisis. You can’t get anywhere. You have to widen these arteries. And you can’t do it without generating the money to pay for it. Otherwise they’re going to toll the bejesus out of you.