Cuccinelli, McAuliffe discuss taxes, business initiatives

Seeing the Virginia gubernatorial race from a wide angle, the candidates seem to be speaking the same language.

But look closer and you'll find big differences, differences Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli are happy to point out.

Like the transportation bill recently passed by the general assembly, which McAuliffe says, “I publicly supported the plan while my opponent tried to stop it every step of the way."

And the money it will generate for future construction projects, Cuccinelli says: "Do you want union Terry spending that money or frugal Ken? And that's a huge difference.

In their second joint appearance in three weeks, Cuccinelli and McAuliffe - both of Fairfax County - were questioned separately for nearly two hours in their own backyard, mostly about tax and business initiatives, by members of the regionally influential Northern Virginia Technology Council, a voice for suburban Washington, D.C.'s burgeoning Internet and information technology industry.

But Thursday’s Tech Town Hall at times moved from economic issues to social ones, with McAuliffe taking swipes at Cuccinelli for his conservative stances on issues like abortion and gay rights.

"You cannot refer to gay Virginians as people who have lost their souls. You can't do it," McAuliffe says.

But Cuccinelli countered, "Because he hasn't put forward a solid economic case, he wants to worry about negatives."

And with that a likely preview of the race to come, McAuliffe arguing conservative social stances hurt economic growth and Cuccinelli replying, don't buy it.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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