Creigh Deeds came out of nowhere to win the Democratic nomination for governor in Virginia — and he’s heading back to nowhere if he continues to give answers like this. Deeds starts off by saying, “I have no plans to raise taxes,” but then says the opposite when it comes to raising money for transportation. When reporters try to square that statement with his claim in the debate that he would not raise taxes, Deeds then says that pledge only applied to general fund taxes, which led to the next question as to whether Deeds realized that gas taxes go into the general fund and are not earmarked for transportation. That’s when Deeds snaps at the reporter, referring to her as “young lady” when scolding her — and realizes his mistake a moment too late:
DEEDS: I think I’ve made myself clear, young lady.
REPORTER: I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be mean — I’m just trying to understand.
So are Virginia taxpayers, for that matter. Deeds made a pretty categorical statement in the debate against raising taxes, and then reversed himself on transportation. It’s easy to understand; Deeds flip-flopped, and got caught.
Jim Geraghty calls it “Kerryesque,” which may be a bit unfair … to John Kerry. After all, his convoluted statement actually did reflect Congressional reality; it was Kerry’s inability to understand how it sounded outside the Beltway that sunk him. Jim also notes that Deeds’ harping on his opponent’s 20-year-old college thesis has worn out its welcome, too:
Deeds, however, came back to the thesis several times. When he did so near the end of the debate, groans came from some in the crowd of about 500 northern Virginia business leaders.
Even the reporters are groaning in this clip. By the time November rolls around, no one will be listening.