RICHMOND, Virginia – In the weeks leading up to Election Day, Virginia’s top-ranking candidates will answer questions about their qualifications on CBS 6 News at 7 p.m. ET.
Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic Party candidate running for governor. Scroll down for a transcript of his interview with Bill Fitzgerald.
BILL FITZGERALD: Tell us what this election consists of?
TERRY MCAULIFFE: Look, I think this election is about the future of Virginia, I have 20 big, bold plans on how to take Virginia to the next level. I have already got us out of a crisis. If you remember the sequestration, the Great Recession, I created 200,000 high paying jobs, personal income rose 14%, and unemployment fell in every city and county.
I want to have the biggest investment ever in education. We have to pay our teachers above the national average.
I want a minimum wage of $ 15, paid sick leave, paid family medical leave.
So COVID has been tough, Bill, on everyone. How to rebuild and how to come back stronger? And that’s why everyone asked me to come back and run again, I have the experience. And I have the big ideas and I’m ready to take it to the next level.
BILL FITZGERALD: Speaking of education, a recent comment you made about parents and schools sparked a bit of fury. What exactly do you mean by saying that parents, how should they be able to tell schools what they are teaching their children? What’s the relationship there?
First of all, this is all created by Glenn Youngkin. Parents are always involved in schools. I am the parent of five children. I mean, I was very involved in it.
You have school boards, that’s how you get active, that’s what you do, what you want to do. But, I mean, if you look at me last time, I was governor, Bill, put a billion dollars in education, got rid of five SOL, redesigned our high schools, j Have a cheeky $ 2 billion a year plan going on.
But you know, it’s Youngkin who’s trying to stir up this critical race theory, which I’ll be honest with you, Bill, I find very offensive.
Critical breed theory is not taught in Virginia. It has never been taught. It’s a racist dog whistle and I’m really sick of it. All it does is pit parents against parents, parents against teachers. We’ve had a great education here in Virginia, we’re number one in the country in higher education, we’re number four in the country on K-12.
But we are 50th out of 50 for the average teacher salary when it comes to our average salary. Increase teachers’ salaries, offer each child broadband access. So if you look at my plans on education, I will take us to the next level. All of Glenn Youngkin and his plan, please don’t take my word for it. Washington Post, Roanoke Times, three independent studies have indicated that 43,000 teachers will be cut. And he wants to take money out of public schools and put them in the private sector. I will never do that.
So he tries to create corners where corners do not exist. The parents are very involved, as are Dorothy and I with our five children. But we have some inequalities that we’ve seen through COVID and that’s what I want to fix.
BILL FITZGERALD: Gun violence. Richmond and Henrico have recently witnessed an increase in gun violence. Homicides well ahead of last year. Are Democratic Gun Laws Working Or Do You Need New Laws? Or what’s the story over there with regards to stopping gun violence?
Well, first of all, I’m glad we have the background checks, and so on. I think you saw a peak all over the country. When I was governor, I had the lowest major crime rate of any state in the United States of America. I put the strongest national gun law in our country, as you know I operated in a bipartisan fashion.
But, you know, I like to see us ban ghost guns, they’re very dangerous. I like to get rid of assault weapons, I like to get rid of high capacity magazines. For the first time, I will have a firearms prevention office in the Patrick Henry building and the governor’s office.
We need to bring a holistic approach. It cannot be just public safety. It must be education, it must be health care. But we need to invest the resources as I did before to keep our communities safe. Community policing, accountability, transparency, I had this before and I’ll bring it back. And that’s why people understand that I have had the experience as governor before and that I will have the experience to really get us out of some very difficult situations.
And with regard to actions, especially economic and employment, get equity to communities that have suffered from a lack of equity in the past. In terms of jobs and the economy, what does it mean for small business regulation if you’re able to bring in these other communities that have traditionally been left behind?
Listen, as you know, before I recruited 1,100 economic development projects. I made a record investment. As you know I have traveled killing myself, traveling the world, 35 trade missions to five continents, as you know, brought 1,100 businesses and activities back to the Commonwealth of Virginia and built a great economy.
But you are right COVID has been really tough. Forty-four percent of small black businesses have closed. Five point four million women, more than half of the jobs made redundant were women.
If you look at what I’m proposing: $ 15 minimum wage by 2024, paid sick leave, paid family medical leave.
Glenn Youngkin is against all three.
We need to make more money and babysit. I want to keep the schools open. It’s an anti-vaccine. I think teachers should be vaccinated. I think doctors and nurses should be vaccinated.
I have everything to rebuild the economy for small businesses, invest, we will do grant programs. We have done this before. But COVID has really made the inequalities shine and we need to help women. They’ve been hit the hardest here and you know they have to support their kids at home, they want to go back to work. But if schools are not open or if they cannot afford to look after their children, they cannot return to work. And that will be a top priority for me.
Go in-depth with more Virginia candidates in our Virginia Voter’s Guide for the 2021 Election.
ð³ï¸2021 in-depth coverage election: interviews with candidates
Virginia Governor’s Race
Terry McAuliffe (Democrat)
Glenn Youngkin (Republican)
Princess Blanding (Liberation Party)
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Race
Hala Ayala (D)
Seductive Sears (R)
Virginia Attorney General’s Race
Mark Herring (D)
Jason Miyares (D)
To learn more about major local elections, click here for the CBS 6 Voter Guide.
Watch CBS 6 News at 7 p.m. with Bill Fitzgerald on TV, WTVR.com/LIVE or now streaming on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV. Simply search for “WTVR Richmond” in your app store.
Key dates and deadlines in Virginia
Friday September 17th: Early in-person voting begins
Thursday October 12: Deadline for voter registration
Friday October 22: Request the deadline for postal voting / absent
Saturday October 30: Early end of in-person voting
Tuesday, November 2 is election day: Voting in person from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday November 2: Stamp of absentee / post by date
Friday November 5: Absent / Sent by post by date