News-Press Declares Deeds ‘Clear Winner’ in Fairfax Chamber Debate with McDonnell

The Falls Church News-Press declared Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds the “clear winner” in a head-to-head debate with his GOP rival Bob McDonnell sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce this morning.

The News-Press, according to a statement issued today by its owner-editor Nicholas F. Benton, a witness to the debate, proclaimed Deeds the winner because “Sen. Deeds exhibited passion and empathy and articulated a clear record of achievement in promoting the creation of jobs and support for education in Virginia.”

“By contrast,” according to Benton’s statement, “Former Attorney General McDonnell came across as a cookie-cutter Republican with a well-articulated, but disappointingly passionless agenda for addressing all issues by limiting taxes.”

“Deeds won the debate when he stated emphatically that he’d find almost any means to fund transportation needs, except, he said emphatically, for measures that would cut education,” Benton said. “That ‘is one thing I won’t do,’ he said forcefully. He also excelled in his handling of the issue of illegal immigration.”

“Deeds conveyed a genuine compassion and concern that was lacking in any of McDonnell’s responses,” Benton said. “He denounced the hysteria surrounding the issue, and affirmed that America needs to be a welcoming society. He said that racial and ethnic diversity is rich in Northern Virginia, and that culture needs to be promoted. He also had the courage in response to a question from Meet the Press’ David Gregory to affirm his view that ‘it is crystal clear’ that ‘there are hints of racism’ in some of the opposition to President Obama.”

“McDonnell, on the other hand, said he supports efforts in Prince William and some other counties in the state to receive federal training for local law enforcement to step up the tracking down of illegal immigrants,” Benton added.

“In tough economic and social times, Virginia needs a leader who is capable of exhibiting the empathy and passion for working through problems from a pragmatic, people-centered and not an ideological point of view,” Benton concluded. “Deeds exhibited a clearly superior capacity for that and to perpetuate the positive governing tradition in the governor’s office established by Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.”

The award-winning Falls Church News-Press is the only locally-owned newspaper of record in the heavily-populated area between Manassas and Alexandria.