Earlier today, Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA02) and Democratic nominee Elaine Luria debated at a forum sponsored by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. For the most part, not a lot jumped out at me, certainly nothing unexpected, with the possible exception of the following exchange on Taylor’s “Petitiongate” fraud scandal. Check out the video clip, below, as Taylor whines about being called out for what a judge called “‘out-and-out fraud’ in signatures Taylor’s campaign staff gathered to help get an independent spoiler candidate on the ballot.” Instead of taking responsibility, Taylor claimed “you can only be attacked so much before you got to hit back,” when of course it’s not an “attack” to state the TRUTH, in this case about his own campaign’s “Petitiongate” scandal. Taylor then threatened, absurdly, that he would sue following the campaign for what he claims are “defamatory” ads, that they “have rose” (yeah, English isn’t Taylor’s strong suit – try “have risen,” dude) “above the level of being knowingly false with malicious intent.” Taylor then segued into the standard Republican, knee-jerk instinct to mention the name of Nancy Pelosi. And Taylor blustered that “you better turn me in and get a reward, I’m right here,” if you think hes guilty. In other words, Taylor has ZERO substantive response to his own campaign’s scandal.
As for Elaine, Luria, she responded to Taylor’s whining, bluster and threats by stating a few facts: 1) that Taylor’s campaign absolutely did forge people’s signatures to get a third-party candidate on the ballot and that Taylor “has not taken that seriously”; 2) that Taylor did NOT remove staffers “immediately” as he promised, but kept paying them for “an entire quarter”; 3) that Taylor’s campaign has been very negative, for instance depicting Luria “dancing around in a tiara as a puppet…I am not a puppet and I never will be a puppet”; 4) that Taylor referred to the Petitiongate scandal as a “nothingburger,” which is not the kind of language she’d expect her elected representative to use, but maybe the type of language she’d expect from a 9-year-old fourth grader; 5) that, in fact, “by expert testimony before a judge in Richmond, the four staffers were found to be engaged in ‘out-and-out fraud.'”
To watch the full debate, click here. And go Elaine Luria!