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McAuliffe Defends Business Credentials

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some Virginia republicans accuse democrat Terry McAuliffe of exaggerating his business record during his run for governor. Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey asked McAuliffe about the criticism Thursday in Arlington. (Published Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014)

    "I'm an entrepreneur."

    It's something Democrat Terry McAuliffe mentions frequently as he campaigns to convince voters that his business credentials could make him a Virginia chief executive in the mold of popular former Gov. Mark Warner, now a U.S. senator, but Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli and his campaign have called McAuliffe's business dealings into question, accusing him of overstating his experience and success.

    They point to GreenTech Automotive, a start-up electric car maker in Horn Lake, Miss. McAuliffe was its chairman last July at a flashy ribbon-cutting complete with projections for 1,500 jobs and the ability to build a car a day.

    But McAuliffe stepped down as chairman late last year.

    Right now, the company has just 100 workers and a site for a second plant remains empty.

    But McAuliffe rejects the suggestion that he made promises he couldn't deliver and he says GreenTech is not a drag on his campaign.

    "I'm sorry, I don't view it as a drag, " said McAuliffe. "I'm an entrepreneur. Very few people have ever started a car company in the middle of a recession."

    McAuliffe said he's proud of the company so far and believes it will be a success. McAuliffe also said his ups and downs in business only bolster his skills to become governor.

    “That's what you want in a governor, someone who is out there every day. As Teddy Roosevelt said, 'You've got to be in the arena,’"

    But in a statement, the Cuccinelli campaign challenges that, writing, "Time after time, Terry McAuliffe has not lived up to his promises and taken credit when no credit was due."

    Follow Julie Carey on Twitter at @JulieCareyNBC