Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen spoke to 150 residents of the Greenspring Retirement Community on Tuesday. Allen, who is running neck-and-neck against Democratic challenger Tim Kaine, defended Medicare, chastised Democrats for the weak economy, and, if elected, pledged to seek transportation funding for the Commonwealth.
Greenspring, home to nearly 2,000 senior residents, has the highest turnout of all voting precincts in Fairfax County.
Allen focused on healthcare, job creation and opening up Virginia's energy resources.
“It’s our responsibility to seniors to provide the Medicare and Social Security benefits they have paid into their entire working lives. I want to be the deciding vote to repeal the health care tax law that cuts $716 billion from Medicare,” Allen said.
Allen, 60, spent three years in the General Assembly before he was elected governor of Virginia in 1994. From 2000-2006 he served a single term in the U.S. Senate and lost reelection to Democrat Jim Webb, who is retiring from the Senate. Allen now faces a fellow former governor, Democrat Tim Kaine in November, and according to a new poll, both candidates have 46 percent of the vote.
Kaine, who delivered a speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, recently said that Allen's approach would not work. "George Allen has promised to extend the Bush tax cuts permanently for the wealthiest Americans, blowing the deficit wide open, and he'd pursue an all-cuts approach that would devastate resources for education, workforce development, and other key priorities," Kaine says on his website.
Allen drew a sharp contrast with Kaine over President Obama's health-care reform law. "My opponent says this health-care tax law will be great for Democrats," said Allen. "I want to be the deciding vote to repeal the health care tax law, and we need to replace it with personalized plans."
On transportation, Allen vowed that, if elected, he would sponsor a bill to allow for drilling for oil and natural gas off Virginia's coastline, and to use the royalties for roads and transportation improvements.
"We have resources under our land and under our water," he said. I've spoken to people all over Virginia who are ready, willing and able to provide America with the energy to power our economy."
Some of Allen's comments resembled a famous quote from his political idol, former President Ronald Reagan. "How many of you are leading a better life than your parents?" Allen asked the audience. "And how many of you all truly believe your grandchildren will lead a better life than you have? Very few."