msnbc | August 28, 2012
>> a nonbarn burner of a speech. not a bad speech, but not as emotional or as engaging as the man who spoke before him, john kasich . and i'm guessing not as emotional or engaging as the guy who's about to come after him, scott walker . i want to bring in melissa harris perry. governor bob mcdonnell , better known for his policies on women's health and on forced ultra sounds than he is on the economic issues that he was discussing in that speech tonight. when you saw him speak there, did you see a vice president who might have been?
>> no. only in the sense that i think ultimately, mcdonnell would have done very, very little for this ticket, especially after the fight around women's reproductive rights . what we saw in virginia is despite the relatively robust economy, back in may of this year, after the long fight, his approval ratings dropped by almost ten percentage points. folks started saying that virginia was moving in the wrong direction, even though his ratings have been far more robust than that of the president, just given that the virginia economy has been doing better. we saw an immediate impact among the very folks who are swing voters . when i look at that i think not there was a vp who could have been, but rather that's exactly the problem that this current presidential and vice presidential ticket for the republicans has.
>> in terms of mcdonnell as somebody who campaigned openly for the vice presidential spot, he was an early endorser of mitt romney . he did a lot of appearances with romney on the trail. he started running positive ads for himself in virginia , even though he's not running for re-election, which was kind of a giveaway. is having him here in this way, and having him with the very visible role since the paul ryan process in this campaign, is that sort of a make nice amid the various republican factions? does it have that effect in republican politics to have him so prominent?
>> virginia is a swing state , there's no way around that. it's a battleground. both the president and governor romney are going to be down there batting it out. as you saw from the sort of we built that discourse here, remember that the president said the you didn't build that statement while in roanoke, virginia . so they're wanting that sort of particular governor to respond. it feels more like that to me than coalition building. i think folks have got to be a little bit nervous about standing next to a governor who represents a vision of small government that is small enough to put on the end of a transvaginal probe. it's exactly that complex position where they say oh, we don't want any government, but on the other hand, we would like government to come in and intrude on the most personal decisions of your life. and every time the republican party finds themselves standing at that sort of ridiculous intersection between not wanting to provide government assistance, but wanting to have government intrusion, and mcdonnell is just the embodiment of that, and that is exactly where swing voters sort of catch on to what the story is.
>> and melissa, the other part of this, continuing with the "you didn't build that" theme, is bob mcdonnell presides over a state that has benefited dramatically from the amount of money that has come out of washington, d.c. during this period of time. the short-run deficits that have been run have gone out the door and they have written checks to contractors who are located in the commonwealth of virginia , and they have seen their economy do quite well. the metro d.c. region has done quite well. bob mcdonnell , it's very easy to complain about big government . but actually, big government is what is employing a huge number of his constituents in the state of virginia . it is what has made virginia essentially recession-proof.
>> we should also point out that norfolk naval air station is the largest station in the word. their economy is always pretty good as long as the pentagon is sendi ining checks.
>> that's also true about tampa.