Tom Perriello is a man well known for personal and public hypocrisy.

He claims to be “Catholic,” yet he supports abortion “rights.”

He claims to be fiscally frugal, yet he votes in favor of ObamaCare and for the massive energy tax known as Cap and Trade.

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
Jessica Barba <>, Jeffrey Clark <>
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 <>
Date: June 30, 2010 11:43:29 PM EDT
To: Rob Schilling
Subject: Re: FW: Congressional Issue Radio Debate on The Schilling Show

Hello Rob,

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 <>
Subject: Re: Congressional Issue Radio Debate on The Schilling Show

Hi Jessica,

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:

Perriello’s campaign manager, Lise Clavel, said Friday that it is “pitiful” Hurt is unwilling to face Clark in a debate.

Pot calling the kettle black?

Throwing stones from a glass house?

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.”


  1. So Rob, Perriello ignores you as you deserve to be ignored for calling him names and casting aspersions on his integrity, but he does let himself be questioned in another forum. And unlike on your show, where you ask questions from a distinct ideological perspective, Coy Barefoot, the “radical leftist” or whatever it was you called him in an effort to discredit that forum, asks not a single question of his own but merely reads the audience’s questions. And the conservative candidate with the best chance of defeating Perriello ducks the forum. And you accuse who of being chicken?

    Really now, Rod.

  2. Kem,

    Hurt stated he would not appear at this event, and he did not appear. Perriello, on previous occasions agreed to appear on my show and then backed out. That’s why he’s appropriately referred to as “Chicken Tom.”

    Team Perriello could have said, “no” to my invitation. But, they engaged and then refused further response. That is the chicken’s way.

  3. A chicken isn’t someone who engages then disengages, it’s someone who acts out of fear. As I noted, there is no reason to presume Perriello was afraid to come on your show, and good reason to think he just chose a more worthy forum, where anyone, not just liberal Senior Statesman members, could ask him a question, and where people don’t say their politics are Christian and then call their opponents lackeys and the like. (Aren’t Christians supposed to love their enemies?)

    Hurt, as you said, never agreed to appear, and we know that’s because instead of being confident in his ability to show Clark up, he was afraid of giving Clark legitimacy. That’s a time-honored political strategy, but still, if anyone was chicken, it was Hurt. Don’t be too chicken to admit it.

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