Goode's Comments Draw National Attention

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

December 22, 2006

Congressman Virgil Goode's comments about Muslims and immigration drew national attention over the past two days, but one political pundit says it probably won't hurt him come future elections.

"Some of it will hang on until the 2008 campaign. When you are in the House of Representatives your next election is only a few months away," said UVa Professor and political analyst Larry Sabato.

That next election for Fifth District Congressman Virgil Goode is just two years away. Sabato says the Congressman couldn't have asked for this to come out at a better time.

"I think Virgil is very lucky that he said these things, or these things came out right before Christmas because this is really the deadest news time of the year," said Sabato.

During a news conference yesterday, Goode stood by comments he made in a letter proclaiming that he was scared of, "many more Muslims being elected to office."

"I do not apologize and I do not retract my letter. The letter stands for itself and I support the letter," Goode said yesterday.

With those statements, Goode attracted a lot of criticism nationwide. However, because of the demographics of this district, Sabato doesn't think that it will hurt him come election time. In fact, he thinks not apologizing will actually be beneficial to his stance on the immigration issue.

"If you don't apologize, you maintain your position. You are actually stronger in running for reelection. As in so many other things, the rules of politics are the opposite to that of common courtesy in regular life," Sabato said.

Sabato also believes Goode's reactions will not adversely affect the views people across the country have on Virginia politics. Virgil Goode was just reelected this November to his 6th term in the House. He is not up for another election until November 2008.

What do you think of the Congressman's comments? You can take our online poll on our homepage.

We have received dozens of emails from people both agreeing and disagreeing with the Congressman's comments. Here is a sampling of those emails.

"Goode's comments/views are deplorable but I'm glad to see them exposed . . . it's worrisome that Goode hails from the same neck of the woods as Thomas Jefferson," Ann Kammerer wrote.

"Thanks to Virgil Goode, who apparently stands alone in a spineless government, for speaking the truth about Islam," wrote Ron Mabra.

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