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Va. Gubernatorial Candidates were Asked About Redskins’ Name in Live Debate

by Chris Lingebach
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Ken Cuccinelli (left) and Terry McAuliffe (right). (Photo credits: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images and Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ken Cuccinelli (left) and Terry McAuliffe (right). (Photo credits: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images and Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) -The Redskins name debate has officially crossed the political threshold in Virginia, after two candidates in the state’s gubernatorial race were asked to weigh-in on the issue during their actual debate in McLean Wednesday evening.

The candidates – Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli (Rep.) and Terry McAuliffe (Dem.) – were asked by moderator Chuck Todd if the team should change its name, and if ‘Redskins’ is offensive to a lot of Native Americans.

While both offered comments in favor of private businesses, Cuccinelli elected to tack on a sports-related zinger at the end of his response.

“I think that is up to them entirely,” Cuccinelli said. “I think that eighty years of history with that team is kind of hard to leave behind. I understand that. I also don’t think RGIII should have been played in the second quarter in the playoffs last years.”

“I don’t think the governor ought to be telling private businesses what they should do about their business,” McAuliffe responded.

“Even if it’s offensive to people?” Todd interjected.

“I don’t think the governor should be telling private businesses … ” McAuliffe insisted, before Todd interjected again, prodding further for McAuliffe’s personal opinion on the matter. “As governor, I’m not going to tell Dan Snyder or anybody else what they should with their business, and I want to congratulate the Redskins, because I went down to the training practice here in Richmond and it is spectacular.”

Follow WNEW on Twitter for coverage of the event. Read more about the Redskins name debate here.

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