Gubernatorial Candidates on the Attack in First Prime Time Debat - WSET.com - ABC13

Gubernatorial Candidates on the Attack in First Prime Time Debate

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McLean, VA - It was round two in Northern Virginia, Wednesday night.

Gubernatorial Candidates Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe both looked to seal the deal with voters during their second debate.

It was a forum for the men to have at it in person, but let's not forget the slew of attack ads that have aired over the last few months. Well Wednesday night, the mudslinging was taken from the attack ads to the podium.

As the election looms closer, it was an obvious attempt by both men to paint a clear picture of their opponent.

"While he was taking contributions the folks, thousands and thousands of Virginia land owners were denied their money" said McAuliffe.

"He seems to think he gets to decide which laws and parts of the Virginia Constitution that you're obligated to defend as the Virginia Governor" said Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli and McAuliffe were quick to attack one another in their first prime time debate Wednesday night. Cuccinelli in response to a question about gifts he was given by the former CEO of Star Scientific called to question his opponent's track record with honesty.

"And it's pretty rich to have the guy who rented out the Lincoln bedroom, sold seats on Air Force One, was an unindicted co-conspirator in a teamsters election money laundering case be talking about ethics now" he said.

McAuliffe called out his opponent's conservative and occasionally controversial record.

"His experience has been in dividing people by pursuing his own ideological agenda, introducing legislation that would outlaw most common forms of birth control" he said.

The issues were far reaching. Both men addressed the expansion of Medicaid, marriage equality, and allowing state schools to start before Labor Day.

"There are changes we can make to take the pressure off the pre Labor Day start, like appropriate reforms to the standards of learning" said Cuccinelli.

"There's many things that we can do, but we cannot with these economic headwinds give up $369 million worth of tourism money" said McAuliffe.

The questions were so sweeping, the last one managed to cut the tension just by a bit, "I've got one weird sports question, the Red Skins, should they change their name, Mr. McAuliffe?" asked debate moderator, Chuck Todd.

Both candidates responded to that by saying they don't think the Governor should get involved with decisions made by private businesses.

The third and final debate is scheduled for next month on the campus of Virginia Tech.

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