Bob Grebe’s One-on-One with gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 4:01 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - WHSV’s Bob Grebe spoke with Democrat Terry McAuliffe about how he plans to fix the biggest issues facing Virginia. The full written version of the interview can be found below:

BOB GREBE:

There is a staffing and labor shortage seemingly in every industry right now, across Virginia. What do you think is causing that and how do we fill these open positions?

Terry McAuliffe:

Yeah, it’s a great question. It’s not only here in Virginia, it’s the whole country. Your labor participation rate has gone from 64.2 down to 62. It’s an aging workforce, so we have fewer workers today. The other issue, I think what you’ve now seen with COVID is that people didn’t maybe like the job they were in before, maybe they want more flexibility with the job that they’re in.

Terry McAuliffe:

So we’ve got to do things more like we have going on here to make sure we’re doing the training, we’re getting the skills, so that we can merge the skill sets with the jobs that are available today. Got to do more in education, that’s why Bob, I’m calling for a $2 billion investment in education. We got to pay our teachers more. We got to get all our at risk three and four year olds, we got to get them pre-K, got to get everybody access to broadband. But change our education system so we’re teaching skills to match the jobs that exist.

BOB GREBE:

Speaking of education, you pledge to raise the teacher salary?

Terry McAuliffe:

Yeah.

BOB GREBE:

Do you make that same pledge for law enforcement?

Terry McAuliffe:

Yeah, and I did that as governor. I did it every year as governor that’s why I was named the only governor to be named an honorary sheriff. I got thousand sheriffs off of food stamps, so I did it every year as governor and I’ll continue to do it. I was very proud, we had the lowest crime rate of any major state in America when I was governor.

BOB GREBE:

Again with education, how much say should parents have in their child’s education?

Terry McAuliffe:

I mean, I’m a parent of five children, so I’ve raised five children here going through the Virginia schools. They’re very active in it. We’ve got to do a whole approach where we bring everybody together. We’ve got to raise the teacher pay. 50% of our schools, Bob, are 50 years old. I have a plan for this. The reason I got into this campaign was education. We’re the number one state for higher ed, number four in the country for K through 12. But we got aging schools, aging infrastructure, we’re down 1,100 teachers. We’re 50th out of 50 states on average teacher pay as it compares to the average pay. So if you look at my plan, I’ll lift her up, I’ll build the best education system in the country.

Terry McAuliffe:

There’s a real difference. I mean, don’t take my word for it. Glenn Youngkin’s plan, as the Washington Post and the [inaudible 00:02:14] said would cut 43,000 teachers under his economic plan. I’m not going to cut teachers. I’m going to raise teacher pay.

BOB GREBE:

Okay. On the matter of health, you do support personal choice in the matter of abortion.

Terry McAuliffe:

You bet.

BOB GREBE:

Why shouldn’t an individual have that same right of choice when it comes to the vaccine? Especially considering they’ve worked the past 18 months without the vaccine and were seen as crucial, needed people in the workforce, but now all of a sudden they have to choose between their livelihood and their personal beliefs.

Terry McAuliffe:

Well, let me make this simple for you. 700,000 people have died that would not have died had we had the vaccination. Now we have the vaccination. I mean, are you kidding me? 700,000 people died in this country. So, now we have a vaccination, we can keep people alive. Today in Virginia, we have 1,142 children in emergency rooms in ICU beds. We lost two 11 year olds the other day, we got to get people vaccinated. It’s the only way we’re going to keep ourselves safe. Here in Virginia, 10% of our population has been infected. We’ve lost 13,000 Virginians. Now we have a vaccination these folks won’t die, most likely won’t get sick. So we need to get people vaccinated.

Terry McAuliffe:

I want every nurse, every doctor, I want everybody who works in schools, to be vaccinated. Do really want your child going to a school in first grade where the teacher’s not vaccinated, not wearing a mask? Of course you don’t.

BOB GREBE:

I know we’re running out of time.

Terry McAuliffe:

Sure.

BOB GREBE:

I believe the inauguration is on January 12th. If you are voted into the office, once again-

Terry McAuliffe:

Yes, sir.

BOB GREBE:

... what will your message be to Virginia in regards to the pandemic considering it’s about two weeks off of the holidays, where a lot of folks will be getting together.

Terry McAuliffe:

Listen, I’m going to do like I did as governor. I just want to keep everybody safe. I built a booming economy. I remind you, when I took office, I inherited a $2.4 billion deficit, left a half a billion dollar surplus, created 200,000 new jobs, personal income went up 14%. I was a jobs governor, I was an education governor. I’ll do that again, but we got to keep every ... I want my schools open and I want my economy cranking. That’s what we’ll do here with Terry McAuliffe being sworn in, I promise you we’ll keep your schools open and we’ll keep a booming economy.

Terry McAuliffe:

I got us out of a crisis before, but let’s be clear. There is a real difference in this race. I’m running against a Trump wannabe who says he will ban abortions, he is against gay marriage and let me be very clear, is the person who recruited 1,100 companies to come to Virginia. Not one of those companies is going to come to a state that discriminates.

Terry McAuliffe:

It’s dangerous for women. I don’t want to see doctors put in jail, but I can tell you, it’s the guy who wrote the bid for Amazon. Amazon’s not going to come. You’re going to have skills here in this beautiful facility behind me, but if you don’t have companies moving here, there’s not going to be jobs for these folks. If Glenn Youngkin’s elected governor with his extreme view on abortion and gay rights and others, we’re not going to get the Googles, the Facebooks, the Microsofts, the Nestle, the CoStar, the companies that I brought to Virginia. We got to be open and welcoming, focus on education, and I’m telling you, the state’s going to take off like a booster rocket. I did it before and I’ll do it again.

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