Ed Gillespie Pledges to Work with Trump

Virginia gubernatorial candidate says he supports the president's 'America First' agenda and will work with ICE

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 25 Oct 2017 at 9:05 PM

Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ed Gillespie said Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that he supports President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda and will “work closely” with the president to make life better for Virginians.

Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman and political adviser to President George W. Bush, told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham that he wouldn’t label himself a “Trump Republican” or a “Bush Republican.”

"I'm a Gillespie Republican. And I have a stance here because I am running for office myself to stand up and say this is who I am. This is what I'm for. These are the policies I will enact as governor of the commonwealth we love," Gillespie said.

Noting that his particular policies "don't fit neatly into any one category" when it comes to the differences between moderate, conservative and populist conservative Republicans, Gillespie thanked the president for endorsing his run for governor.

"The president's endorsed me, and I appreciate that. And look — I am running to be governor of the commonwealth of Virginia. I'm running on policies and principles … and what we need to do here in Virginia to address the needs of Virginians at the state level," Gillespie said. "And as governor, that's what I'm going to do. And that's what people want to hear from me."

"That's what this election is all about. I'm responding to what Virginians are looking for in the next governor. And what they're looking for is, 'What are you going to do to create jobs and raise take-home pay and help people lift themselves out of poverty and improve our public schools?'" Gillespie added. "That's what people want and what they're looking for in the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia is, 'What are you going to do to make life better for all Virginians?'"

Gillespie's spot as a guest on Ingraham's radio show came over a week after she told her listeners that he hadn't responded to her invitation to be on the show.

"He refuses to come on the radio show despite its popularity throughout the commonwealth. And that tells you everything you need to know," Ingraham had said.

On Wednesday's show, Ingraham asked Gillespie why Trump hadn't campaigned for him in Virginia, but Bush had.

"Well, just like President Trump doesn't, you know, tell the enemy what his military plans are, I'm not going to let Democrats know what my campaign strategy is. And the fact is, I'm very excited to have Vice President [Mike] Pence in again today to help me in my campaign. He was in earlier," Gillespie replied.

"To your point, we do have support from all across the party, and people know the stakes of this election," Gillespie added.

Noting that his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, has made a habit of "attacking President Trump in the most personal terms," Gillespie said Northam "wants to lead the resistance."

"I want to lead Virginia. And I'll work closely with President Trump to make sure that we're building more ships and submarines in Newport News," Gillespie said. "We need to … keep up with the largest naval base in the world. And so, you know, what my opponent is doing — Lt. Gov. Northam — in attacking the president — I'm not interested in leading a resistance. I'm interested in leading Virginia."

"And when you're a governor of Virginia, you'd better have a good working relationship with the president of the United States. And I will," Gillespie added.

When Ingraham asked Gillespie directly if he supports Trump's "America First" agenda, he replied, "Yeah, I support making sure that Americans have jobs and bringing manufacturing back, making sure that people have opportunities here."

"And that's what I'm doing in the commonwealth of Virginia. I put forward a plan that would create more than 53,000 new, full-time, private-sector, good-paying jobs — that's a 25 percent increase. Like the president's trying to do in Washington, D.C., cut taxes — I've got a plan to cut our tax rates 10 percent across the board," Gillespie added. "I'm putting forward specific, detailed policies to get Virginia growing again, to make sure we're improving our public schools, that we're addressing this awful opioid crisis."

In addition, Gillespie maintained that he is strongly on board with the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration and going after sanctuary cities.

"I will sign a bill to ban sanctuary cities in the commonwealth in Virginia," Gillespie pledged, noting that there are roughly 300,000 illegal immigrants in Virginia.

Pointing to reports indicating that there are roughly 1,400 MS-13 gang members in Virginia's Fairfax County alone, Gillespie said this means there are "more MS-13 gang members than Fairfax County police, and that is a real problem."

"And I am addressing that problem. That's a critical policy difference between me and the lieutenant governor," Gillespie said. "What we need in Virginia is to not allow for the establishment of sanctuary cities in the commonwealth of Virginia."

"And I believe someone who is here illegally who commits a crime — and we've seen many of these MS-13 gang members are here illegally obviously — we need to cooperate with federal law enforcement and enforce federal immigration law," Gillespie continued. "And these people need to be deported."

(photo credit, homepage images: Ed Gillespie, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore / Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore ; photo credit, article images: Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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