Ask Gov. Bob McDonnell
Sept. 28, 2010 - Gov. McDonnell talked about budget cuts, gun laws and privatizing Virginia's state-owned liquor stores.
10:05 a.m., speaking about the Pentagon closing the Joint Forces Command in Hampton Roads: "We're concerned about the gross absence of transparency over the last month."
McDonnell said he was supposed to meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to discuss the closings on Tuesday. But despite being promised a meeting with Gates, McDonnell met with the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James E. Cartwright and Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn.
He said they made progress in the meeting, but added "I wouldn't say there's any good news."
McDonnell said Gates agreed to a meeting with him in the near future.
10:12 a.m., speaking about privatizing Virginia's state-owned liquor stores: The business is going to Maryland and D.C. "We'd like to have that business back in Virginia. We think it's an outdated monopoly."
10:17 a.m., speaking about budgets: "We cut $4.2 billion in the state budget last year. If we can do it in Virginia, I'm sure the federal government can do it, too.... I'm not planning on any gas tax increase."
10:25 a.m., speaking about VDOT and the audit that showed $500 million went unspent: "The previous administration of VDOT made some management errors that compounded the problems."
McDonnell said they've fired one employee and reassigned others. "We don't think there was any fraud, or any corruption. It was decision-making at the management level that put money into reserves that should have been out on the street."
McDonnell dismissed the idea of putting toll roads on Intersate 66. "No, that won't work," he said.
10:34 a.m., speaking about the Dulles Rail Project: McDonnell said he's very disappointed with the rising costs. He said contracts should be written with a little more of a ceiling to prevent increases in costs.
10:37 a.m., McDonnell said they are looking into allowing military members to access HOT lanes to get to the Navy Base in Norfolk.
10:44 a.m., speaking about a recent study that said Virginia is among the top three state suppliers of guns used in crimes elsewhere in the country: "Virginia is a low-crime state. [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg really should be concerned with his own city." "I think we now have very good laws for prosecuting people who illegally buy guns...."
10:53 a.m., on political redistricting in Virginia: "If the legislature would adhere to the law, a lot of the gerrymandering you hear from both sides would be taken care of."
10:56 a.m., on his political future: "I don't have national ambitions."
10:58 a.m., on campaigning for Tea Party candidates like Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell from Delaware: "She's a Republican, I think our party has to embrace people of all different ideas."
He added that he supports her efforts to cut spending and make government more fiscally responsible.
"Given my time restraints, I'm going to help Republicans win."
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