RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) must plan better when closing lanes for road work. Over the weekend VDOT created miles-long back-ups when it closed the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and James River Bridge in Hampton Roads for maintenance.
“When I heard about what happened this weekend in Hampton Roads, it did not seem like VDOT did the planning the way they should. I’d certainly say we cannot have this traffic mess again. You’ve got to stagger the hours, you’ve got to plan a little bit better,” the governor said.
“The good news is we’ve got more traffic construction and maintenance projects going than anytime in Virginia history,” he said. “The bad news is to do that maintenance and construction is often an inconvenience to our citizens.”
The governor also addressed comments made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In a secretly-recorded video released this week, Romney is heard telling donors that nearly half of Americans will vote for President Barack Obama because they rely on government support.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said in one clip. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”
Adding to his argument about entitlement, Romney said his “job is not to worry about those people.”
“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he added. “What I have to do is convince the 5 percent to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful.”
Romney, in his press conference Monday night, said he could have stated his original comments “more clearly” but said he was trying to point out the differences between the two campaigns.
When asked about Romney’s comments, Governor McDonnell interpreted what he believed the candidate wanted to say.
“I think that what Governor Romney was trying to say, and he said he did not say it well, was that this economy, that has been generated by the lack of leadership of the president and Congress, has created a place where people can’t work, so they are depending more on government and therefore they’re not paying as much taxes which means we’re more in debt,” Gov. McDonnell said.
The governor addressed the weekend traffic and Romney situations while he volunteered Tuesday morning at FeedMore’s Distribution Center in Richmond. Governor McDonnell volunteered at FeedMore as part Hunger Action Month.
“We still have a lot of people who are unemployed,” Gov. McDonnell said. “We need to help our neighbors and we urge people that have been blessed to be able to give back to the community right now.”
The governor asked Virginians to donate or volunteer at their local food banks.
(Reporting from the CNN wire was used in this article)