Here are 10 questions the candidates would just as soon not have to answer at the 60-minute showdown hosted by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.
1. Why won’t you just admit that you’re with Obama on coal?
McAuliffe has refused to take a position on the just-proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules for new coal-fired power plants. Even though the contours of President Barack Obama’s effort to cut carbon emissions have been public for weeks, McAuliffe continues to say he needs time to study them.
The Democrat is in a bind: Embrace the push, and alienate a big bloc of voters in rural Southwest Virginia. Criticize the rules as overreach, and alienate interests spending millions on his behalf.
Most coal-state Democrats came out strongly against the rules, but McAuliffe received $1.4 million in itemized and in-kind contributions from environmental groups through the end of last month. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters, a champion of new rules, cut McAuliffe a $900,000 check in July.