Schweitzer, McDonnell Give Outside-the-Beltway Perspective
By Pamela M. Prah, Staff Writer
Two term-limited governors prominent in their own parties held largely opposing views during a Sunday talk show but they did something unusual in Washington, D.C., these days: they kept the discussion civil.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, weighed in on the economy, energy issues and the 2012 presidential race during their remarks on CNN’s State of the Union.
McDonnell fended off answering whether he thought signing a controversial bill that requires women have an ultrasound before getting an abortion hurt his chances of being Mitt Romney’s running mate. “That’s completely up to Mitt Romney. I’m not worried about that,” he said.
Schweitzer, who in 2006 said he would consider supporting Romney as president, said Obama has his vote now. Schweitzer said he got to know Romney when both traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the troops. “I think he’s a good man. I think he has some good ideas but I’m supporting Barack Obama.” Schweitzer said the Republican Party is “far right of where Reagan was.”
Both governors also saw the economy going in different directions. “We’re on the mend,” said Schweitzer who stressed that the country has had 25 consecutive months of job growth in the private sector. McDonnell pointed to other statistics: the unemployment has been above 8.2 percent for 38 consecutive months and the national debt is more than $15.5 trillion. “The hope and change message we saw four years ago is now recession and division,” McDonnell said.