The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus raised more than $1 million Friday with an appearance by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Clinton spoke to more than 300 Virginia Democrats for about 20 minutes at the home of former Democratic National Committee chair and in McLean, Va.
"I got a pretty good idea how the 21st century works, and there's not a single successful country on the planet that operates on the theory that the government is the problem. Not one," Clinton said. "Every successful country has both a strong private economy and a smart strong government that work together to try to create economic opportunity, educational opportunity, provide decent health care and get a good future."
The Virginia Senate Democrats hold a slim majority—22 seats to the Republicans' 18 seats.
"We're in a tight race. Everybody knows that. We've got five or six races that we are watching, we are helping, we are working," said Virginia Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35). "We have not been outspent or outraised, even in the race for Governor, in one single race… and that's what's put us where we are today, and damn it, we're gonna stay there."
Guests paid between $1,000 and $10,000 to attend the fundraiser, and McAuliffe said Virginia can't afford Republicans.
"Ronald Reagan raised taxes 13 times. I know it was his 100th birthday and everybody's all jacked up, but that's what you get when you get them," he said, adding that the fundraiser is the biggest moneymaking event in the history of Virginia General Assembly races. "Folks, we need money to fight, because we know we're right on the issues. And if you don't fight, you don't win."
Clinton decried the Tea Party and its influence on Washington. "The last thing you want to do is to stick this violent part of America with an anti-government strategy in every level of government," he said. "Every state senator here will find a way to survive [if they lose], but you will pay a price, and the children of the Commonwealth of Virginia will pay a price."