Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe discussed the importance of upcoming elections and the need for non-partisan politics in the wake of terrorist attacks on America Tuesday with GW students.
Three GW College Democrats made the trip to DNC headquarters for a political rally.
Junior Miriam Epstein, events director of the CDs, said the trip was planned to show students another side of the party outside the campus political climate.
McAuliffe began by stressing the importance of upcoming governor elections in New Jersey and Virginia. He urged support for two Democratic candidates in each election: Mark Warner in Virginia and Jim McGreevey in New Jersey. When asked about recent terrorist attacks, McAuliffe was quick to add that the two candidates would best serve their states because of the Democratic policy they would use in the rebuilding process.
Despite endorsing candidates, McAuliffe maintained a position of bi-partisanship regarding any action against terrorism.
“There is not one inch of space between the president and the Democratic Party when it comes to fighting terrorism,” he said.
He said Democrats support legislation in Congress to help the airline industry and others hurt by the attacks.
Later, McAuliffe was asked to comment on the party’s position on anti-immigration proposals by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Declining to offer a definitive stance, McAuliffe noted that with four Arab-Americans already killed in race-related violence, the need for unity is pertinent to the nation’s health.
“We are a party of tolerance, a party of inclusion,” he said. McAuliffe concluded his address by urging the Democrats to come together.
“We cannot let these acts of terrorism breathe fear into the United States,” he said. “Instead, with democracy, we can battle them.”
Freshman CD member Chelsea Frade said the speech gave her insight into the goals of the DNC.
“Being a freshman, it is interesting to see how the DNC can possibly influence my goals at GW,” she said.
Epstein said she agrees with the bi-partisan sentiments.
“A great thing about America is that you can question your leaders’ actions, but now is a time for unity,” she said