Governor McAuliffe reflects on his term- will he run for President next?
RICHMOND, Va (WSET) Governor Terry McAuliffe says he still has work to do for Virginia before he leaves office next month, but says he's proud of what he's accomplished so far.
"We've now diversified the economy, unemployment has gone from 5.4% all the way to 3.6%, the lowest of any major state in America, and we brought in nearly 20 billion dollars in new capital investment. The most any governor had ever done was 13 (billion)," he says.
Among the things he says he's most proud of- restoring more rights than any governor has, transforming the way transportation dollars are spent, and bringing in craft brewers like Deschutes and Ballast Point, to name a few. He says those breweries in turn boost agriculture and local farmers, as well as tourism.
But McAuliffe says the most difficult point in his term, came just this August, in Charlottesville. "To see these people marching down the street, saying the most vile things I have ever heard about the African American community, about the Jewish Community. The hatred. The bigotry," McAuliffe reflected.
He says the hardest thing he had to do in office.. was the speech he gave that day. "I had such anguish about what I had seen but it was really tough on me because 5 minutes before I walked out to give that speech, I was just informed that the helicopter I fly in,Trooper One, had gone down, and my pilot and former member of my security detail were killed that day. "
We asked the Governor about the Jens Soering case. Soering first confessed to killing his girlfriend's parents, Nancy and Derek Haysom in Bedford County back in 1985. He then recanted, saying he had only confessed to save his girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom's life. As the son of a German diplomat, he says he thought he'd be sent back to Germany to serve out his time there. He is now requesting an absolute pardon from the Governor, insisting he's innocent.
"I take this very seriously, but it has to go through the process and the time it is done it will be done and no politics or no letters to the editor or phone calls to me is going to sway that." McAuliffe says the investigation will not be done before he leaves office, so it will be Governor-elect Ralph Northam's decision.
So what's next for the Governor? We tried to get him to commit to an answer either way on whether he's considering a run for the presidency.
"I mean I never take anything off the table. I don't. I'd like to be the pope. I'd like to be Tom Brady's backup quarterback, " he laughs. "I love life! And I go for it. and I just don't take anything off the table." He says he has loved every minute of his time in office because of his ability to help people, and agrees a president has the same type of ability.
McAuliffe says he'll spend the next year traveling the country on speaking engagements, campaigning for other governors, and doing charitable work, but he says he'll continue working on Virginia's affairs right up until Ralph Northam is sworn in on January 13, 2018.
October 31, 2018