The press picked up on Moran's unprecedented negativity at this week's candidate's debate in Blacksburg.
I’ve covered a lot of debates. Rarely are there real fireworks or knock out punches. Usually, candidates are coached to be reserved, to show little personality, take few chances, and do no harm. Generally, it’s the easiest way to survive the debate. Apparently, Brian Moran didn’t get this memo.
Now, let’s be clear… all three candidates threw some punches. But, none as hard or as often as Moran. At one point he and McAuliffe were in a shouting match over, of all things, negative campaigning. Then Moran took it to an entirely new level when he used his ENTIRE closing statement to attack McAuliffe. He closed with two sentenc[es] saying he’s the strongest in the race. That’s it. Nothing else about him or his record. Just an all out attack on a fellow Democrat. And, the attack wasn’t on the issues. Instead his criticisms focused almost exclusively on more personal issues of McAuliffe’s business dealings, leadership style, and campaign tactics. It was the most negative closing statement I have ever seen.
Jeff Shapiro ridicules Moran's leftward fakes and radical attacks:
Then there's Brian Moran. When he's not trashing McAuliffe, Moran is moving further and further to the left. This suggests a couple of things: that McAuliffe really is ahead, or that Moran is really desperate. Either way, it's clear Moran is gambling the primary will attract only hard-core Democrats; you know, "liberals." So to attract the greens, Moran is against the coal-powered electric generator in Surry County. And to attract gays, Moran is promising to overturn the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. These positions won't help Moran in a general election against Republican Bob McDonnell. Maybe Moran is making it up as he goes along. Not a sign of a seasoned candidate.
Meanwhile, WaPo picks up on Moran's hypocritical attacks on Creigh Deeds marriage equality record.
In 2004, Moran cast a vote in favor of a resolution sponsored by now Republican nominee Bob McDonnell that encouraged the U.S. Congress to adopt an amendment to the federal constitution banning both gay marriages and civil unions. The voting history on the resolution, a companion to a senate resolution sponsored by now attorney general candidate Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, is complex.
Moran had three opportunities to vote on the issue during the 2004 legislative session. Once, the General Assembly's records showed that he did not vote. Next, he voted against the resolution. But on the last vote, on March 10, 2004, he voted for the idea.
Laughably, Moran's Spokesman Jesse Ferguson claims that Moran's vote was wrongly recorded, despite this quote from Moran at the time:
Those of us that are uncomfortable with the state recognizing a gay marriage would have difficulty not supporting the resolution.
Virginia Democrat sums up Moran's campaign implosion:
What was Brian Moran thinking when he attacked Creigh on this issue?
In fact, that is the wrong question to ask at this point. There are many things like this in the Moran record, such as: Moran's vote for an unconstitutional restriction on abortion in 2003, even though his website claims he has never supported an unconstitutional restriction on choice; His advocacy of clean coal technology during an interview in Southwest Virginia; His vote in favor of the Wise coal plant even as he asserted a moral superiority ground in his opposition to the Surry one; his early criticism of Terry McAuliffe's out-of-state fundraisisng, even though Moran had done the same thing; and now, a checkered record on gay marriage (not to mention the bullshit excuse tossed by his communications director to try to bamboozle a reporter) even as he has the gall to tell another candidate he will be "held accountable" for his record.
In each of these cases, Moran supporters have either attacked the messenger seeking to bring his record to light or sought to minimize the damage through excuse-making -- it was only one vote, it was a long time ago, nobody cares anymore, blah, blah, blah.
At what point are there enough of these incidents that a pattern emerges, one that tells us that Brian Moran is simply not ready and not qualified to be the Democratic Party nominee for Governor?
Despite the fact that I was the target of a campaign of political retribution when I endorsed his opponent, it's still just sad to see a great Virginia Democrat like Brian Moran led so pitifully astray by a failed campaign. The man may not deserve to fail, but the campaign most certainly does. Still, in the immortal words of our Senator Jim Webb, "the fish rots from the head down". So it goes.