Terry McAuliffe has worn many hats over the course of his long career in Democratic politics: prolific party fundraiser, White House confidante to former President Bill Clinton, chairman of the DNC and past — and possibly future — candidate for Virginia governor. He joins Kojo to discuss the national political landscape and his own future in the Commonwealth.


  • Terry McAuliffe Former Chairman, Democratic National Committee


  • 12:06:39

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIFrom WAMU 88.5 in Washington and from the studios of the Groundcrew in Charlotte, N.C., welcome to "The Kojo Nnamdi Show," connecting your neighborhood with the world. We're in Charlotte, where the Democratic National Convention is underway. Later in the broadcast, behind the brains of the modern progressive movement, we'll talk with Tom Perriello, a former congressman from Virginia, who's now helping to set the national tone in progressive politics.

  • 12:07:14

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIBut first, a man who's been part of the Democratic Party's central brain thrust for decades, who's now turned his focus on the business and politics of the Old Dominion State, Virginia. Few people are as popular among the delegates gathered at this week's convention as Terry McAuliffe. After all, he was the chairman of the party for years, a central figure in several high-profile presidential campaigns and a legendary fundraiser who once boasted that he had more than 18,000 names on his rolodex.

  • 12:07:46

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIBut McAuliffe's energy is now focused on the Old Dominion, where he recently started a company that makes electric cars and where he may soon be revving up a campaign to win the governor's mansion back for the Democratic Party. Terry McAuliffe joins us in studio. I mentioned he's a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He was a Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia in 2009.

  • 12:08:10

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIHe served as chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008 and co-chairman for former Bill Clinton's campaign for reelection in 1996. Terry McAuliffe, good to see you. Thank you for joining us.

  • 12:08:22

    MR. TERRY MCAULIFFEKojo, great to be with you.

  • 12:08:24

    NNAMDIPeople in the convention hall know you as a lot of things, and few people shake as many hands there as you do. One of the many official and unofficial titles you carry within the Democratic Party is, as The New York Times Magazine described you, professional best friend to Bill Clinton. You said earlier this summer that the former president became obsessed when he was preparing for his address to the convention. In what way did he express that obsession, and what did you make of the speech he ended up giving last night?

  • 12:08:55

    MCAULIFFEWell, first of all, Kojo, he was so honored that President Obama asked him to do the nominating speech. I mean, it's the first time a president has asked a former president to do it in the history of our great country. So he took it very seriously, the responsibility. I speak to President Clinton often. I actually was on vacation with he and Hillary a couple weeks ago. I like to say most people go on vacation to go to the beach.

  • 12:09:19

    MCAULIFFEThey may have a beer in the afternoon, enjoy it. You know, you go to the Clintons, it's like a policy seminar. And President Clinton spent the entire vacation poring over articles and magazines and books, preparing for his speech in Charlotte last night. You know, when President Obama asked him, he felt like he took on that burden. It was his job to make sure he could convey to the American public what President Obama has done and most importantly what he can do going forward.

  • 12:09:46

    MCAULIFFEI thought he knocked it out of the park last night. It was vintage Bill Clinton. I sat up in the box with Chelsea Clinton, and we watched down and watched her beam to see her father give that speech. But he -- nobody, nobody, Kojo, can take so many complicated, complex issues, distill them down and deliver them to the living rooms of America, to that average Joe there who's watching and say, ah, that makes sense.

  • 12:10:09

    NNAMDII remember the Democratic convention in 1988. I go back that far when he delivered the first of his really long convention speeches, and people said it's not going to work. People are not going to stay with this guy for this long, yet, as he became president and since he has been able to do that in addition to which he attached a level of specificity in last night's speech that you don't usually associate with conventions. What was he trying to do there?

  • 12:10:36

    MCAULIFFEWell, I think a lot of it came out of the Tampa convention. I think he was visibly upset and that the rhetoric that went on down in Tampa without any factual basis to it, I think, he took a shredder to Paul Ryan last night, and he talked about, you know, the Republican argument coming out of Tampa was, well, yeah, we left this gigantic mess for President Obama, but he's made progress, but he hasn't finished it, therefore, let's fire him.

  • 12:11:02

    MCAULIFFEWell, that -- who's -- what kind of America do we want to live in? And I think the president wanted to do last night is to convey to the American public these are big issues. Here's what President Obama has actually done. Forget all the rhetoric. Forget these super PAC ads. Here's what he has actually done. And he gave, I thought, the American public last night a real choice. This is a choice election, and he talked about Medicare and Medicaid, not, Kojo, not a lot of people going -- you're in front of national audiences and deal with these very complex issues.

  • 12:11:31

    NNAMDIIt goes into the weeds.

  • 12:11:32

    MCAULIFFEInto the weeds. But he did it, and everybody paid attention. And the crowd loved it, and I think on -- if you watched it on television, even the Republican commentators, as you know, said, oh, the election is over. I mean, you know, even they said I wished we had a guy like Bill Clinton we could put out on television.

  • 12:11:46

    NNAMDI800-433-8850 is the number to call if you'd like to join this conversation with Terry McAuliffe. You can also send us a tweet, @kojoshow, or email to kojo@wamu.org, or simply go to our website, kojoshow.org, and ask a question or make a comment there. President Clinton admitted last night to watching the Republican convention last week. Is that something you do?

  • 12:12:08

    MCAULIFFEI saw a good part of it. I should also in fairness say, Kojo, I have a son at the United States Naval Academy, and he plays rugby. And we were actually in Ireland for four days. They went over there as part of -- the Navy brought over the boxing, football and rugby teams. So I missed a good bit of it, but I had it TiVo-ed. I had to see the Clint Eastwood thing. I didn't see it live. I came home, and my wife pulled it up on her iPad, the most bizarre thing. Listen, I've ran a couple of national conventions.

  • 12:12:33

    NNAMDII was about to ask about that. When you run a national convention, I guess, you want the focus to be when people walk away from that convention on the bounce that the candidate was supposed to get from that convention. Did the Clint Eastwood distraction in your view affect that bounce?

  • 12:12:48

    MCAULIFFEI think it affected it negatively. As they say, when you run these things, you want to have a thematic for the convention. You want to have a thematic every single night, so that when people turn off, they know the message that you have left them. And I think that was the problem. There was no coherent message in the Republican debate. And the whole thing with -- listen, what is Mitt Romney -- he's really got to close the gap.

  • 12:13:10

    MCAULIFFEThere's a huge gender gap with women. He's got to appeal to those independents and to have Clint Eastwood sort of, you know, I love his movies. But to be rambling up there and insinuating some very offensive, distasteful, disgraceful things, I thought referring to the president of the United States of America, there was just no place for it, I think, in American discourse today. And I don't think he helped reach out.

  • 12:13:32

    MCAULIFFEAnd I think if you watched it, as I say, I watched it with my wife on her iPad. She -- I think Ann Romney was visibly, and I think, the folks in the audience -- it didn't convey independence and how do we grow this great nation, how do we get out of this economic mess. I just thought it was inappropriate. Either side should not have that kind of discourse.

  • 12:13:50

    NNAMDIOur guest is Terry McAuliffe. He's former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He served as chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008, co-chairman for former President Bill Clinton's campaign, and he was a Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia in 2009. Al Gore once called you, quoting here, the greatest fundraiser in the history of the universe. But at the moment, you seemed more eager to be known as the man behind a new electric car business in Virginia. What are you aiming to do at Greentech Automotive?

  • 12:14:21

    MCAULIFFEWell, as -- when I ran for governor in 2009, Dorothy and I have five children in Virginia. We've lived there for over 20 years in the same house, and I think it's important -- and I want to make sure that my five children when they all get through school that there's a job for them, a quality job. So when I ran for governor, I talked about the big new things we need to do. We need to diversify our economy.

  • 12:14:40

    MCAULIFFEThis was long before, Kojo, the sequestration, which could cost us a couple of hundred thousand jobs in Virginia. We've got to diversify. So I've been an entrepreneur. I started my first business when I was 14, wanted to go to college, folks couldn't afford it...

  • 12:14:52

    NNAMDIWhat was that business?

  • 12:14:53

    MCAULIFFEIt was McAuliffe driveway maintenance, sealing -- I started off sealing driveways. I then got into doing parking lots. I had trucks, and it was a great experience as a young kid. But, you know, listen, my folks weren't going to be able to send me to college, so I knew I had to do it at a young age. And I was our youngest bank chairman at the age -- I've been an entrepreneur. I love it. I love politics.

  • 12:15:12

    MCAULIFFEI do all the politics for free. I'm committed to it. But my latest venture is we cannot continue to keep importing oil from nations, the Middle East countries or Venezuela, nations who don't particularly like us. It's a national security issue. It contributes half of the debt of our nation, this oil we're buying. So as an entrepreneur, we're building electric cars. I did something very unique, Kojo. I actually went to China and bought one of their biggest and most advanced electric car companies...

  • 12:15:38

    NNAMDII was going to get to that.

  • 12:15:38

    MCAULIFFE...and brought the entire company back to the United States of America. So I'm tired of our manufacturing jobs and going to China. I said, well, we're going to do it differently. So I went there, brought it back. Those jobs are now -- all now here in the United States of America, making electric vehicles. We've rolled it out. Our corporate headquarters are in Tysons Corner, Va. We have...

  • 12:15:58

    NNAMDIYou're working on two plants in Mississippi.

  • 12:16:00

    MCAULIFFEWe have one plant which we -- President Clinton came down with Gov. Haley Barbour and cut the ribbon recently, and we're building a second plant. I wanted to put the plant in Virginia, but Virginia, unfortunately, didn't bid on it. This is one the things, I think, we need to go after, is manufacturing. We've got to go back to creating jobs. Mississippi, very aggressive, as you know, on manufacturing.

  • 12:16:18

    MCAULIFFESo they put a very big financial package, and I have a new shared duty to my shareholders. But it's exciting. It's a new venture. I'm also in Virginia. I just announced that we've just leased a huge spot at the port. We'll begin to make wood pellets here in Virginia, which we will ship to Europe and sell them. If you burn coal in Europe, you have to have a mixture with a renewable. Wood pellets is the choice, so it's a whole new industry we're starting in Virginia to save jobs and create jobs in Virginia.

  • 12:16:44

    NNAMDILet me tell you what I was doing when I was 14 years old. I was having my first experience in why I wasn't going to be playing rugby in the future. So good luck to your son playing football without pads is essentially what rugby is all about.

  • 12:16:55

    MCAULIFFEWhat a tough sport, huh?

  • 12:16:57

    NNAMDIHave you heard what you wanted to hear from your fellow Democrats this week about the role of manufacturing in the American economy?

  • 12:17:04

    MCAULIFFEListen, I always think we can do more. I mean, I'm just -- and I apologize, but I'm been obsessed on this because I was traveling on south side, southwest Virginia, all the factory that are closed, these empty plants. We've got to get back to making products here in America. We can't, Kojo, just become a service economy. We've got to go back to making things and selling them. I'm trying to prove in my little way -- I'm doing it with this -- that we can make it better than China.

  • 12:17:29

    MCAULIFFEAnd I think more people need to do it. These manufacturing plants will create jobs. And don't forget, for every job I create, our first plant, total operation should be about 940 people, but the indirect and induced jobs is about 7,000 people, from the person who makes the sunroof to the rearview mirrors to the bumpers to the lights. We need to get that back in America. And President Obama has been a leader on that.

  • 12:17:52

    MCAULIFFEAs you know, manufacturing has been up since the most since 1992, since he's been president. But I think I'm just tired of all this partisan rhetoric that's doing nothing to advance the cause and create jobs here in America, and China and Brazil and Argentina and other nations are moving ahead at warp speed. We can't allow it.

  • 12:18:10

    NNAMDIWhat do you think it will take for the innovative corners of the American economy to start producing jobs for more blue-collar workers? It's not like some of the hot Silicon Valley companies, like Facebook, are in the business of actually building anything.

  • 12:18:23

    MCAULIFFENo. And I wish we can get those back. Actually, Kojo, the Kindle was designed in Silicon Valley. They tried to make it. They bought a little operation up in New Hampshire. Taiwan came in and bought the whole thing. They moved every job over to Taiwan. Now, all the Kindles that are purchased here in the United States, an invention made here and designed in the United States of America.

  • 12:18:44

    MCAULIFFEFirst of all, if we make it here, we need to build it here. I promote -- listen, I think we ought to buy America as much as we can. We've got to help our folks. We talk about family values. You know, Kojo, the most important family value right now is to make sure that you have a job, and you can provide for your family. And we've got to go back, and we can do it with the greatest nation on Earth.

  • 12:19:04

    MCAULIFFEAnd I do this, the electric car company and all that. I don't take any government money. I don't take subsidies. I do it, you know, with investor capital, my money. I think that's the important way to do it. But we've got to come together, the Democrats and Republicans. People were very astounded in a New York Times story that Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the DNC, and Haley Barbour, the former chairman of the RNC, came together, negotiated a deal and have now created jobs here in America.

  • 12:19:28

    MCAULIFFEIt wasn't a hard thing to do. Jobs are not a partisan issue. We can come together. Gov. Bob McDonnell just had to sign this deal that I did down at the port to cite new opportunity. It's not -- we've got to come together as Americans and stop this political rhetoric, which, unfortunately as you know, the president has put a lot of initiatives before the Congress that just stopped dead. Meanwhile, China is moving ahead at warp speed.

  • 12:19:51

    NNAMDII'm glad you said that your company is not getting any government money because after Solyndra's bankruptcy, a lot of Democrats seemed cooler to the idea that green jobs have potential for the working class. How do you think that particular episode has complicated the political argument for what you're trying to do, and, well, frankly, whether the government should be supporting efforts like yours?

  • 12:20:12

    MCAULIFFEYeah. It didn't help any of us that are in the space even though I don't take any money but the idea that all this money went out, and I can't speak the specifics. But it wasn't right, and it was taxpayer money, and I don't like that the way the deal somehow got negotiated that, you know, the rights of the taxpayers, you know, were put behind others or whatever. But, you know, we can't let one or two bad investments stop what as you know in the world today.

  • 12:20:36

    MCAULIFFEWe're talking hundred of billions of dollars are being spent in the space, whether it be wind turbines, wave technology, solar panels, electric cars, whatever that may be, it's happening. China has just announced a massive new -- they want to have 10 million electric cars on the road, I think in the next 10 years, billions of dollars of investment. Kojo, we can't let one more industry in America be shipped overseas to China or anyone else.

  • 12:21:02

    MCAULIFFEWe developed all the technology for the lithium battery which powers electric vehicles. Now, China has a lot of the lithium, but we have the technology. We got to keep that here in America. So, you know, we all have bumps in the road. This is not an easy business. I'll be the first to tell you. It's not easy starting a car company. It's not easy to start one in recession. It's not easy to start an electric car company. And it's not easy going to China and bringing it back. But, you know what, you got to have big, bold moves if you're going to move forward and get things done. You got to shake it up.

  • 12:21:30

    NNAMDILet's talk regional. We had a caller who couldn't stay on the line, who said, "Why did you locate your factory in Mississippi and not Virginia?"

  • 12:21:38

    MCAULIFFEAnd I addressed that earlier. I have shareholders, and I wanted to put it in Virginia. In fact, I've started a lot of businesses. I would love to be able to leave my corporate headquarters and drive to see the design and development of the car. I think it's important to be able to get and drive and touch it and feel it and see it. But Virginia did not bid on it. That was their decision. The total economic package that Mississippi put in counting the free land and the incentives for every job was, you know, somewhere 15 to $18 million.

  • 12:22:05

    MCAULIFFEWell, I can't take and start a plant where I'm getting no money versus in other states, says for X number of new jobs, Terry will give you a tax incentive. I have, you know, I -- number one, I'm not going to be sued. I owe a fiduciary duty to my shareholders. And I think everyone in business understands. First and foremost, I'd love to do it here. But, you know, Kojo, when I ran for governor in 2009, I talked about this issue.

  • 12:22:27

    MCAULIFFEWe have it in years in Virginia aggressively going after a big manufacturing. In fairness, probably didn't have to 'cause we have the Department of Defense money. But guess what, that's getting cut. That's why we got to start thinking of these types of things. Why didn't we go after the Boeing plant? Alabama announced the other day that they just won the gigantic airbus deal. Now, as governor, I'd go after everyone else.

  • 12:22:51

    MCAULIFFENow, they may not make sense, you know, may not make economic sense. But I'm going to at least be at that table negotiating. You know, you talk about -- they're called the little nine. There are all the subtitle to all these gigantic car companies. They have gone to eight Southern states and have created hundreds of thousands of jobs. They haven't come to Virginia at all 'cause we haven't bid on them.

  • 12:23:11

    MCAULIFFESo my only point is not negative on anybody. All I'm telling you is, with the defense cuts that are coming, we have to focus on manufacturing. You can't go to places like Martinsville, Va., and look at their unemployment rate, and these people have been out of work forever, and tell me that an airbus facility or the Boeing new thing that we couldn't put a facility like that down there. We got the best state in the country. We got an ocean. We got mountains. We got a little tax rate. We got a great workforce. We got a great education system. We ought to be winning them all.

  • 12:23:39

    NNAMDITerry McAuliffe, he is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and was a Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia in 2009. If you've got questions or comments for Terry McAuliffe, call us at 800-433-8850. You've been pounding the pavement in Virginia for the president's reelection effort.

  • 12:23:57

    NNAMDIYou said at the opening of a new campaign office in Manassas a few weeks ago that if the president wins Virginia, he wins the race. Where are the votes in Virginia that would allow him to do that? What's his path to repeating the victory he pulled off in Virginia four years ago?

  • 12:24:11

    MCAULIFFEWell, as you remember, first one -- first Democrat in 44 years, I think if you see the tremendous growth that we've seen, if you look at Prince William, if you look at Loudoun County, which are two truly swing districts in Virginia and the rapid growth of Fairfax, obviously mining for votes there. But if you look at the Electoral College map, we're -- Kojo, we're down to -- let's be honest and look where their -- both campaigns are buying their media.

  • 12:24:35

    MCAULIFFEWe're down to Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado -- that's it. And in that basket of states, if President Obama wins Ohio and Virginia, election's over. I get to those 270 electoral votes. We're consistently ahead in Virginia. We're consistent in Ohio because Mitt Romney was against the auto bailout. President Obama was for it, saved over a million direct jobs.

  • 12:25:03

    MCAULIFFEAnd my point is all the indirect jobs, millions more were saved, clear choice, part of this election. Nobody likes bailouts. You know, I've started businesses. I don't take government money. No one's ever bailed me out. But you know what, we can't afford to let a million jobs in the auto industry, a key industry, go bankrupt in the United States of America and all those jobs, you know, be gone. We can't allow that. So as much as we don't like them, it was the right thing to do.

  • 12:25:28

    MCAULIFFEAnd in Ohio, it's the second biggest jobs involved in the auto industry with all the auto supply stores and all that. So it was a very important thing to do. But Virginia equally is important, and we have every Virginian who has listened to me. We have some very big issues to deal with. And number one is the sequestration beginning the January -- Jan. 2 -- Jan. 3, the sequestration. If that hits, 200,000 jobs will be lost in Virginia.

  • 12:25:56

    NNAMDIDuring the past several weeks, we spoke with several of Republicans who are gunning for the nomination in next year's gubernatorial election in Virginia, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli. A lot of Democrats are expecting that you will be jumping into the fray again to be the Democratic nominee. What is your timeline, and what are your immediate plans on the political front?

  • 12:26:17

    MCAULIFFEWell, I just spoke to our Virginia delegation here this morning. It was four years ago when I first indicated my interest, speaking at the breakfast that I actually spoke at today. So they're hoping I'd say something else today. Since that time, Kojo, I think I've done over 2,400 events in the commonwealth for myself, President Obama, for Democrats, for everybody or anyone who listen to me, Chamber of Commerce or whatever that may be. And I've said consistently, our focus this year needs to be on President Obama and Tim Kaine. Those are two big elections that we have in Virginia.

  • 12:26:50

    MCAULIFFEAs soon as that election's over, I'll make a decision within very close, a week or two after that. I've worked hard. I'm prepared. I think it's important that people in politics do what they say they're going to 'cause a lot of times, they don't. I talked about jobs, new technology jobs. I went out and did it as a private sector. Wood pallets, electric cars, I mean that's I've been doing. But I think as soon as we get done with this election, let's keep the focus here. And then we've got plenty of time after that.

  • 12:27:15

    MCAULIFFEI don't think anyone else is running for the nomination. You don't know. And we'll see--they obviously are going to have a very competitive spirit. They're not going to have primary. As you know, they just changed it to a convention, which will make it different. But, you know, we'll have a year to talk about big issues. And if I decide to do it, Kojo, I'm going to talk all about how we'd diversify our economy and bring in new jobs, work on education. And we're going to deal with transportation.

  • 12:27:36

    NNAMDIGot a few people who want to talk about the speech last night. Here is Bob in Germantown, Md. Bob, you're on the air. Go ahead, please. Bob, are you there?

  • 12:27:47

    BOBYes. I'm here. Can you hear me?

  • 12:27:48

    NNAMDIGo right ahead, please, Bob. We can.

  • 12:27:50

    BOBOh, OK, very good. Yes, I just want to make a comment. I was so glad to hear President Clinton, you know, kind of, as it were, distill it down, a very complicated subject matter and, you know, put it into layman's term so people could understand.

  • 12:28:07

    BOBAnd I think that President Obama has to do the same in his acceptance speech tonight because I've been sitting, you know, as a long-time Democrat and, you know, seeing the Democrats on their heels, so to speak, on the defense when they really need to be going on the offense and telling people what they've done. And what they've done is a lot. I mean, we were headed for the unemployment rate to the great depression. And, you know, the unemployment rates were...

  • 12:28:35

    NNAMDISounds like you're getting ready to make the speech yourself, Bob. Allow me to have Terry McAuliffe talk about what he thinks about the need for Democrats to go on the offense as Bob seems to feel.

  • 12:28:46

    MCAULIFFEI think Bob makes a great point. We got a lot to be proud of. Got to remember, when President Obama came in, 750,000 jobs we were losing a month. The economy is about ready to go off the cliff. We all know the issues. Listen, are we where we need to be? No, we're not anywhere close. But we've made progress. We have 4.6 million new jobs created. We talk in Virginia, you know, they always tout that we have our balance budget.

  • 12:29:08

    MCAULIFFEBut don't forget, you know, we got close to a couple billion of dollars of that came from the stimulus funds. Whether you like it or not, it saved teachers' jobs, firefighters. Let's just deal with the facts. And we ought to be very proud now that they're talking about, you know, what we have done. I agree with Bob. I think we have now laid the predicate here with, you know, bracketed -- you had Michelle Obama and obviously President Clinton.

  • 12:29:27

    MCAULIFFEWe have bracketed the last four years. I think President Obama has one mission tonight and to spend his time talking about what he wants to do the next four years. I wouldn't spend a lot of time on the past. That's been done. We've done that. Let's go forward. People are hurting. We got a lot of people out of work. Let's get this -- let's put the cards on the table. Here's what we need to do.

  • 12:29:45

    NNAMDIAnd Dan wants to talk about bringing green back to Virginia, Dan in Stafford, Va. You're on the air, Dan. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:29:52

    DANGood afternoon, Kojo. Terry, great to talk to you, my friend. How are you?

  • 12:29:57

    MCAULIFFEGood, Dan. Great to be with you. We miss down here.

  • 12:29:59

    DANWell, you know, yeah, I miss you too. I'll see you next week. I wanted to compliment you on a couple of things, Terry. And I'll be brief. I know I'm on the radio. Number one is thank you, thank you, thank you for making green business a pre-eminent frame right now because it seems to be lacking in our discussions right now. Green is good for business. It's good for the economy, and it's good for careers. As you know, that's my thing. I'm the green-suits guy. I'm about helping people...

  • 12:30:30

    NNAMDIAnd your second point, Dan?

  • 12:30:33

    DANThat the second point is this, the skill gap. We've got to talk about how we can help executives and people in blue-collar positions get the skills they need to gain employment in this economy. I know Terry is going to talk about that, and I'm hoping you can elaborate a little bit.

  • 12:30:52

    NNAMDIHere he goes. Dan, thank you for your call.

  • 12:30:54

    MCAULIFFEI think Dan makes a big, important point. You know, when some people hear green, they just, you know, they think its whatever. The bottom line for me, it's about jobs in the future. We cannot continue to import oil from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela. We've seen what's happened with the uprisings over the Middle East. We cannot be reliant upon other nations. We can't keep spending all those money to bring oil in here in the United States and release all these carbons into the air. And, as I say, it's national security.

  • 12:31:20

    MCAULIFFEWe spend a hundred billion dollars, RAND Corporation, they said, to protect the straits, like the Strait of Hormuz where the oil comes through if you start adding all the incremental costs. Let's just move away from that. Let's try and get ourselves self-sufficient on energy. We're moving in the right direction with natural gas. We've got these huge finds. But we've got to make sure that we are teaching our folks in the education courses today of how to deal with these high-tech jobs in the future because these jobs are being created.

  • 12:31:47

    MCAULIFFEWe ought to have wind turbines. I'm all for that. I'm for the energy mix that includes it all, Kojo. Let's have everything on the table. I want wind. I want solar. We've got our traditional forms. We're not going to change that. But let's keep building upon that. If you want Gamesa, the huge turbine maker, if you want them -- they want to come over and build them, let's do it. Let's do a renewable energy standard over here in Virginia.

  • 12:32:09

    NNAMDIWe're the only state in mid-Atlantic, you know, that doesn't have a renewable energy standard. That's hard to bring business in. I'll go to Maryland. I'll go to Ohio. I'll go to the District of Columbia. I'll go to North Carolina. We got to get in that game because these are the jobs of the future.

  • 12:32:24

    NNAMDIYou say you don't take money from the government. But how about 15 million in tax incentives that you get from the government? Isn't that the same thing as getting money from the government?

  • 12:32:33

    MCAULIFFEThat's only if we create jobs. So if you create X number of jobs, then those tax incentives kick in. So, you know, let's be honest. We'll have 942 new employees making electric vehicles in the most economically depressed county in the United States of America, down in Horn Lake in Tunica, Miss. We have people down there. And I visit my plant down there. Terry, I've been out of work for three years. I got a job. Thank you. And you walk down this factory line and talk to these folks.

  • 12:33:02

    MCAULIFFESo when you talk about tax incentives, I mean, we got to get in the game. Everybody, every state tries to bring new business in. So the only way we get taxes is if I'm creating jobs and creating economic activity. That's the tradeoff.

  • 12:33:13

    NNAMDITerry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He was a Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia in 2009. Terry McAuliffe, thank you so much for joining us.

  • 12:33:24

    MCAULIFFEKojo, thank you. I'll be back to you soon.

  • 12:33:26

    NNAMDIWe're going to take a short break. When we come back, Tom Perriello joins us. He's a former congressman from Virginia who's now helping to set the national agenda in progressive politics. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.

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