He claims to be “Catholic,” yet he supports abortion “rights.”
He claims to “represent” the people of Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, yet he freely disregards their overwhelming sentiment.
And when it comes to debates, he’s chicken.
In 2008, after agreeing to appear on The Schilling Show with then incumbent Congressman Virgil Goode, Chicken Tom reneged and flew the coop.
This year, the Perriello camp created a flap while chastising Republican challenger Robert Hurt for refusing to participate in a three-way debate, which was to include independent Jeff Clark. In a June 19, 2010 story on the subject, Chicken Tom issued the following statement to fellow Marxist, Daily Progress reporter, Brian “Lefty” McNeill:
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my first 18 months in Congress, it’s that there are a whole lot of opinions across our district,” Perriello said in a statement. “Some of these viewpoints are represented by Sen. Hurt and some by Mr. Clark, and I look forward to a substantive, honest campaign that brings these discussions more clearly into the public arena. I strongly agree with Sen. Hurt that Mr. Clark should be included in public debates and I look forward to a spirited discussion with both of them.”
Sensing that Tom was eager to clip the wings of either or both challengers in debate, on June 23, The Schilling Show issued a concurrent invitation for the Congressman and Jeff Clark to appear jointly on the radio program:
From: Rob Schilling
Date: June 23, 2010 10:57:03 AM EDT
To: Jessica Barba <email@example.com>, Jeffrey Clark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Congressional Issue Radio Debate on The Schilling Show
Hi Jessica and Jeff,
Since Robert Hurt has stated that he is unwilling to engage in a debate with Jeff Clark participating, I’d like to invite Tom and Jeff to a 45-minute debate of Congressional issues on The Schilling Show, at a time of Tom’s convenience.
I’m looking to schedule this for August, but of course, I will be happy accommodate Tom’s schedule.
I look forward to establishing a date for this important discussion.
Clark accepted immediately, but Perriello’s camp chickened out.
On June 28, the email was re-sent to Perriello spokesman, Jessica Barba, who finally replied two days later:
From: Jessica Barba <email@example.com>
Date: June 30, 2010 11:43:29 PM EDT
To: Rob Schilling
Subject: Re: FW: Congressional Issue Radio Debate on The Schilling Show
Sorry for the delay in responding. Please direct all campaign inquiries to my campaign email account. I can only reply on my free time and from my personal computer, so it may take me a little longer to respond. Sorry bout that.
As for the debate, can you fill me in on more details, i.e. what issues will be covered, how the questions will be chosen, time limits, rebuttals, moderators, etc. Or is it more informal than that, like you’re just interviewing Mr. Clark and Tom on your show? Also, have you received an affirmative response from Mr. Clark yet? Was Sen. Hurt not invited at all to participate?
Thanks for all the info,
Barba’s questions were answered completely in the final correspondence, delivered via this July 3 email:
From: Rob Schilling
Date: July 3, 2010 10:39:24 AM EDT
To: Jessica Barba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Congressional Issue Radio Debate on The Schilling Show
Thanks for getting back to me.
The discussion would be more informal; very similar to the interview I had with Tom in 2008, except with two participants.
Jeff Clark has accepted, and Robert Hurt’s campaign has declined.
I look forward to scheduling a date of Tom’s convenience.
Barba never replied. As a courtesy, the same email was re-sent to her on July 20, just in case it had been lost in transmission.
To date, the Perriello spokesman has not responded.
What to make of Chicken Tom’s hiding under Jessica Barba’s skirt?
The answer comes from Perriello’s own campaign manager, as who laid this egg in the previously referenced June 19 McNeill story:
Pot calling the kettle black?
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, Chicken Tom. So, why won’t you debate Jeff Clark?
Come November, Congressman Perriello, your goose is cooked. You talk like the “cock of the walk,” but in reality, you’re just plain “pitiful.”