Pipeline protestor interrupts Virginia gubernatorial debate

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HOT SPRINGS, Va. — The candidates vying to be Virginia’s next governor squared off at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs on Saturday.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam sparred for 90 minutes on issues that will define the campaign.

While the candidates' opening remarks were briefly interrupted by a pipeline protester, the debate did not include a lot of fireworks, but did highlight clear differences between the candidates.

The first topic addressed was how each man would interact with President Donald Trump if they become governor.

“As we say on the Eastern Shore, he lies like a rug. So yes we do need to stand up to what's going on in Washington,” Northam said.

“What are you going to do as our governor?” Gillespie fired back. “Call the White House and say, ‘Please put me through to the narcissistic maniac?' We've got to get more of our ships and submarines built here in Virginia.”

The candidates also weighed in on the Affordable Care Act, tax policy, abortion, immigration and gun rights.

The debate was moderated by PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff. It was sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association.

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