The moment that Rick Perry’s turn as the Republican Party presidential frontrunner came to an end was excruciating to watch. The Texas governor had just repeated a line from his stump speech about the three agencies of federal government that he would eliminate with the stroke of a pen on his first day in the Oval Office.
“Commerce, Education, and the… what’s the third one there? Let’s see.”
Ed Gillespie might have just had his own rick perry moment. In an interview with the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner, the Republican Senate nominee said “there are a number of functions that the federal government performs that would better be performed by individuals in the private sector and by the states. I think the federal government over the past five years, in particular, has encroached on state prerogatives.”
He was then asked to name three federal programs that he would like to see eliminated. The Examiner reported that he could name only one, the Export-Import Bank, which is due to be reauthorized in September.
“One that I have said already that I believe should not be reauthorized and doesn’t deserve to be continued in funding is the ExIm Bank,” Gillespie said, “but we’ll roll out more details later as we go along.”
This is the same Gillespie that has made “I’ll be ready on Day 1” a key part of his stump speech. The campaign of Democratic Senate incumbent Mark Warner has seized on his readiness, or lack thereof, demonstrated in the epic fail in the interview with a friendly news publication.
“Ed Gillespie’s rick perry moment demonstrates yet again that he offers soundbites instead of substance. He is unable to name even three federal programs he would be willing to cut, and the only one that came to mind — the Export-Import Bank — actually makes money for the taxpayers and is a key export tool for dozens of Virginia businesses,” said David Turner, a spokesman for the Warner campaign, noting that the Export-Import Bank issued $112 million in loans and guaranteed to help 34 Virginia businesses export more than $220 million in goods in 2013.
“Rather than offering sensible policy solutions for Virginia, Ed Gillespie yet again has shown that all he offers are gimmicks, not solutions.”