Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli met Thursday night in Blacksburg for the final debate of the campaign for Governor.
The confrontation highlighted sharp divisions on a wide range of issues, including gun control, Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act, but in the end it might be best remembered for the candidates' references to unicorns and puppies.
"His plan is like believing that he came here on a unicorn tonight," said McAuliffe. "The idea that you can do $1.4 billion in tax cuts a year without saying how you're going to pay for it. I'd like to stand here, and promise you billions in tax cuts, but it's fiscally irresponsible."
"I like puppies," Cuccinelli said later in the debate. "I like puppies, but I don't bring a puppy home if I don't have a plan for how I'm going to deal with that puppy, or guess what my house is gonna look like. And he's all puppy and no plan. That's the way this has gone."
Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Denton said there was no game changer during the debate. He said both men were winners, because "they did what they had to do." Neither committed a major gaffe, and both stayed on point as they spoke to their core constituencies.