From NBC's Mark Murray
Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder will NOT be endorsing Creigh Deeds (D) in Virginia's gubernatorial contest.
The reason: Wilder doesn't like Deeds' position on guns.
"The present law [in Virginia] permits anyone of sufficient age, who is not a felon, to be able to buy one gun a month; twelve a year, twenty four a year for couples, etc.," Wilder said in a statement (hat tip: NBC-29's Adam Rhew). "Mr. Deeds thinks that's not enough and signed a pledge to repeal that law. This action would allow the truck loads of guns to come back in exchange for drugs from those Northeastern states where gun laws are more stringent."
Wilder also seems to take a swipe at Deeds' willingness to raise taxes to pay for more transportation in the state. "This is not the time in our Commonwealth to talk about any kind of tax increase, especially those that are fundamentally regressive and will hit hardest those who are struggling."
Wilder concludes, "The requests, made of me, have been to endorse Mr. Deeds, the Democratic Candidate, for Governor. I refrain from doing so and will leave that choice to the voters. This in no wise is intended to detract from Mr. Deeds in terms of character or commitment to the task of being Governor. I find that he, as well as Mr. McDonnell are fine and honorable men and well suited to that task. The question before me is whether I support the Democratic candidate's position in addressing these issues. I have not thus far in the progress of the campaign, and as aforesaid refrain from so doing."
As Politico writes, "Wilder's announcement is a significant blow to the Deeds campaign, which had been aggressively courting his support in recent weeks. Even President Obama got involved in the lobbying campaign, making a personal call to Wilder earlier this month asking him to endorse Deeds."