HOT SPRINGS, VA (NBC12) - The two major party candidates for Governor mapped out their strategies Saturday in their first debate of the campaign.
NBC12 was the only Richmond television station that sent a crew to Hot Springs where we learned that while they come from the different sides of the political isle, it appears Bob McDonnell and Criegh Deeds have same plan.
Present themselves as the moderate choice and do everything they can to make the other guy seem extreme.
They used the same language:
"He is very much outside of the mainstream when it comes to finding common ground," said McDonnell.
"I think that is out of the mainstream," said Deeds
They worked hard to strike a chord that sounded remarkably similar.
"I will continue to work with everybody to bring people together to create consensus and bi-partisan solutions," said Deeds
"But I'd say that I found ways to try and bring people together," said McDonnell.
Even though McDonnell and Deeds each did his best to carve out his place in the middle of the political spectrum, both spent most of the day dodging charges about their connections to the extreme elements of their respective parties.
Such as McDonnell's support for George W. Bush.
"You said your economic model was George W. Bush and his economic policies, you said worked well for this country," said Sen. Deeds. "I would just ask, where have you been over the last eight years?"
And Deed's past penchant for raising taxes.
"You believe that higher taxes is the way to prosperity and I think that is absolutely wrong," said McDonnell. "You voted for $3.5 billion in new tax increases."
The first blows delivered in a long contest, that will take many months to decide.
Saturday voters received their first glimpse of the tactics both sides plan to employ.
To read more about what happened and see extended clips from the event click here.
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