March 11, 2012 - 11:22 am


Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, squared off with his Democratic counterpart, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, this morning over the 2012 election and state of the economy.

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, both men agreed jobs and the economy would be top issues for voters going into November’s presidential election.

(Watch the video here.)

“I think that there is no more important issue than the good news that we’re seeing in our economy,” said O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. “President Obama, under his leadership, we’ve had 24 months in a row of positive job creation.”

McDonnell said “Job creation, economic development is the issue in this campaign and all of us as Americans ought to celebrate the progress that’s been made, and I give the private sector the credit for doing that.”

McDonnell, a Mitt Romney supporter and vice presidential prospect, was asked about legislation that he recently signed mandating a woman undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion.

“What I think this is, is more of people trying to get the focus off the abysmal record of this administration on jobs and the economy, taxes and spending,” he said. “I’m worried about the war of the administration and some Democratic governors on the American taxpayer.”

O’Malley said the central issue for the contest is jobs. “I think these cultural, divisive wedge issues, the sort of roll back of women’s rights, roll back of women’s access to contraception…roll back of voting rights, roll back of worker’s rights, all these things that take us back are not strengthening our economy and creating jobs.”

The program’s moderator, David Gregory, asked McDonnell if he would like to be president, to which McDonnell replied “No.”

McDonnell said “I love being governor of Virginia but what I do want is a Republican president who can get us out of this malaise.”