The Campaign Spot

Black-and-Blue in Blacksburg: ‘You don’t have to read your talking points . . . my friend!’

It appears some of the candidates got a little snippy during last night’s Democratic gubernatorial debate:

Brian Moran: What I have to say about Terry — this is our fourth debate now, and Terry each time starts, ‘oh, I’m being positive, I’ll never say anything bad about another Democrat.’ It was Terry’s campaign that ran the 3 a.m. ad  questioning whether or not Barack Obama could be our commander-in-chief. And then it was, you know, Terry–

Terry McAuliffe: Yeah, I was designing the ads, too, okay. That’s good.

Moran: You take credit for running her campaign, Terry. Take some responsibilty.
(hoots from audience)
McAuliffe: I didn’t do that ad.
Moran: (looking down at notepad) You’re running, you know–
McAuliffe: You don’t have to look at your notes, why don’t you just answer the question? You don’t have to read it off your stand, as prepared.
Moran: I’ll do what I want to do, my friend.
McAuliffe: You don’t have to read your talking points . . . my friend!
Moran: You have taken polls against me, testing negative attacks against me. You have sent out e-mails to the press, and e-mail communications attacking me. I’m a big boy and I can take that, and I will take that . . . Whatever you’re facing from me is child’s play compared to what [Republican Bob] McDonnell is going to do. I can take your attacks, what I can’t take is your sanctimonious rhetoric and saying, ‘I’m Mr. Positive.’

I think McAuliffe most effectively deploys the weapons-grade sarcasm on the last “my friend.”