Following his first TV ad which backfired, today, The Washington Times reports that even Democrats agree that McAuliffe played little role in passing the Transportation bill he’s taking credit for in his new campaign ad.
The 30-second ad describes the General Assembly’s push to pass a $6 billion transportation package backed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, singling out “tea party Republicans” who “refuse to support the plan.”
“But Terry McAuliffe thinks this is too important a time for partisan politics,” the ad’s narrator says. “McAuliffe reaches out to Democrats and urges them to support the bill, and the bill passes.”
One Democratic aide acknowledged that Mr. McAuliffe attended a private caucus meeting but that she wasn’t aware of any direct lobbying efforts from Mr. McAuliffe on the bill.
J. Chapman Petersen, Fairfax Democrat and one of two Northern Virginia senators to vote against the plan, said he never spoke with Mr. McAuliffe.
"I don’t know if he tried to reach me," he said.
Mr. Peterson said he was unlikely to be swayed anyway.
"I was pretty much going to be a ‘no.’ As far as who was for it or who was against it, it wasn’t going to matter to me," he said.
Several other Democratic aides in the General Assembly also said their offices were never contacted, though they acknowledged that lobbying on the bill was possible.
"There was no contact between Terry McAuliffe and our office and nobody thought he had any impact on the outcome," one Senate aide said.
Such disconnect could feed a perception of Mr. McAuliffe as a self-described “hustler” - the former moneyman for Bill Clinton who once loaned Mr. Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, more than $1 million to buy a home and drank shots of rum on national television as Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign came to a close.