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Hannity

Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell on 'Hannity'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And Election Day is this coming Tuesday and all eyes are turned towards key gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.

In Virginia, the DNC is throwing its weight behind Creigh Deeds, but an average of the latest poll shows GOP candidate, Bob McDonnell, with a comfortable lead of over 14 points.

Now, this race will have a big impact outside of Virginia because many are viewing this as a referendum on the president himself. And the White House seems agree. The Washington Post noted that the White House is worried about how a Democratic loss in Virginia will reflect on President Obama: "Sensing that victory in the race for Virginia governor is slipping away, Democrats at the national level are laying the groundwork to blame a loss in a key swing state on a weak candidate who ran a poor campaign."

Well, it looks like they're getting ready to throw Deeds under the bus. Joining me now is the man responsible for putting the Democrats on the defensive, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell.

All right, well, it's down the wire here. Are you ready for last-minute, dirty tricks by the Democrats or you're not suspecting any?

BOB MCDONNELL, VIRGINIA'S REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I can't tell you what they're going to do, but I feel really good about the direction of our campaign, Sean.

There's tremendous enthusiasm on the ground. We made seven, eight stops today around the state and the turnout's just been fantastic. People are encouraged about our common sense conservative vision, problem-solving, looking at the quality of life issues people care about and finding solutions based on our conservative principles.

So, I leave it up to them to decide what they're going to do, but I think we're heading in the right direction. And we're excited about the prospects of Tuesday. We've just got to get the people to turn out.

HANNITY: I cited The Washington Post article where the Democrats seem to be prepared for your victory come Tuesday. I know you're not taking it for granted.

Robert Gibbs, chief spokesman for the president, he came out and said, no, no, no, this is not a referendum on Barack Obama. But he did win by a pretty significant margin and it was only a year ago.

Do you think this, in part, a referendum on his policies?

MCDONNELL: The president did win in Virginia by seven points, the first time a Democrat's won in 44 years. We're, I think, doing well, because we're focusing on the issues like jobs and the economy, transportation, energy and government spending and taxes, Sean.

But I will say that some of the policies that this Congress has pursued and supported by the president, like cap-and-trade and card check and tax increases and intrusions in the free enterprise system, and deficit spending, I've made those issues in the race. And I think Virginians are not enamored with those policies because I don't think they're good for Virginia or good for our competitiveness. My opponent has either been for them or ambivalent about them. And I think that is making a difference in the race.

HANNITY: What do you think has changed in a year in Virginia? Because obviously, this is a pretty dramatic shift. What has changed, do you think, for the people of Virginia? As you go around the state, and you talk to people, why do they tell you has changed in a year?

MCDONNELL: I think they're very concerned about the economy. It's about jobs. It's about taxes. It's about the level of government spending. And they've looked at the last year about what they see happening in Congress and it's more spending, the prospect of taxes, more federal programs.

I mentioned cap-and-trade and card check, two of the ones that are very much a concern of families and businesses in Virginia. And they say that's really not the kind of programs we think are going to lead to more opportunity and prosperity.

And then we've got our conservative team on the ground talking about lowering taxes and promoting opportunity through private sector, entrepreneurship and job creation and promoting small business and energy independence. And I think the voters in Virginia say, boy, that's the kind of leadership that I think will make us more prosperous. And so, the independent voters, overwhelmingly, are coming back to support Republicans this time.

That's what's changed.

HANNITY: A lot of people are looking at your race and looking at the race of John Corzine — the Democrat in New Jersey is in trouble. Christie, the Republican now, is up only a couple of points. But it's a very blue state. If you were to win and Christie were to win, why do I think that this would almost be like a equivalent of a political earthquake in Washington, D.C., especially in light of the health care debate?

I've got 1,990 pages sitting right next to me. Why do I think that if both of you win on Tuesday, it might have a big impact on that health care debate? Do you think that's possible?

MCDONNELL: I'm going to leave that up to experts, Sean, like you to make that determination.

I will say though that there's a lot of national interest in this race obviously. Both Congressman Cantor and Congressman Boehner, the Senate Minority Leader McConnell have all been here to campaign for us.

They understand that what happened in 1993 where New Jersey and Virginia, with Governor Allen and Governor Whitman went to the Republican side and Speaker Gingrich came in with tremendous reforms, Contract With America. And the House went Republican for the first time in 40 years.

So I do think that folks look at that and say, you know if McDonnell and Christie win, there are some opportunities to use that as momentum for 2010. And you know, I'd be tickled to be a part of that.

HANNITY: It seems, I guess the president is trying to help pull Corzine out in the last minute. He's making a couple of more stops in New Jersey over the weekend. Have you heard of any plans of the president — he has been out there campaigning for your opponent. Any plans that he might come back before Tuesday to the great Commonwealth of Virginia?

MCDONNELL: Not that I heard. You're right, he was here a couple of days ago. But you know what we're finding, Sean? And we brought in some great surrogates as well this week. We've had Michael Steele, Governor Huckabee, Governor Romney, Mayor Giuliani, Lou Holtz — all kinds of folks have come this week. And they've helped light up the crowds a little bit.

But you know, this is an issue-based election. People are concerned about the economy and about what's going on in Congress. And they want to see, I think, conservative reforms in Virginia. And so, they're looking at ideas. And we're fortunate that they think the ideas that our conservative ticket has are the best ones for creating more jobs and opportunity in Virginia.

So if the president comes back in, you know, we'd certainly be glad to have him in Virginia. But I don't think it's going to affect the outcome of the race. It didn't make a difference, I don't think, when he was here a couple days ago.

HANNITY: All right, now Governor, we'll be anchoring coverage 9:00 p.m. Tuesday night when we come on. I expect to be able to call that you are the next governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia, so thanks for being with us.

MCDONNELL: Hey, Sean, thanks so much for the honor. I look forward to coming back on in the future. But we appreciate the opportunity tonight.

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