Below, please find the full audio and transcript for 2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie’s radio interview with Rob Schilling this afternoon:
SCHILLING: All right, we want to get to your observations, I think you were here in town at church yesterday and certainly have a sense of what’s happening here and I wanted to get your take on it.
ED GILLESPIE: I did. Cathy and I were able to make it to Mass at the Church of the Incarnation in Charlottesville yesterday. I just felt the need to be there in the beautiful city and to be amongst – I was with fellow Virginians in Southwest Virginia, but I was able to make my way back and just to worship there, to pray for the city, and our commonwealth, and our country, and obviously for Heather Heyer and Trooper Berke Bates and Lieutenant Jay Cullen and for the repose of their souls and for those injured and to reflect on this awful, tragic few days that we’ve had. It was interesting to me, Rob, and I heard with your previous caller you talked about the importance of God in our lives, the first reading at church yesterday was from 1 Kings – where do we find the Lord, not in the fire and not in the wind, but in a whisper. And I just found myself thinking, we saw evil in the torches of the KKK and white supremacist torches and the howling rhetoric of neo-Nazism, and we see evil in that, and we do see God and the Lord in the quiet sacrifice of troopers like Lieutenant Cullen and Trooper Bates. So, I was glad to be able to be there, but obviously we have healing that remains to be done in the commonwealth. And I know my fellow Virginians and it’s important to note that many if not most, I think, of those white supremacists and neo-Nazis and KKK at that rally were from other parts of the country who descended on Charlottesville, but Virginians reject that evil. And we are proud to be the birthplace of the very American ideal that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights and I know we’re going to emerge from this stronger as a commonwealth and in our love for one another and in our service to one another.
SCHILLING: So Ed, where do we go from here? I mean there are certainly gaping wounds – I know there is still a lot of trouble here in Charlottesville, I’m getting back channelled from the police scanners and so forth, they’re dealing with ongoing issues. Where do we head, in what direction and how? And we’ve got just about three minutes left.
ED GILLESPIE: That we need to come together and make clear that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, to continue to reject this kind of hate and white supremacy, and Virginians will continue to do that and there is no room for it in our commonwealth and it is not welcome here. I agree with Governor McAuliffe, these people need to take their hate, their racism, their white supremacism back to where they came from and never come back to the Commonwealth of Virginia again and allow for us to heal and address racial divisions and issues like people all across the country are addressing. But the Virginians I see every single day all across this commonwealth are good, loving, compassionate, caring people who do respect one another, and I truly believe we’re going to come through this stronger.
SCHILLING: We had a lot of violence downtown that was not directly that was not directly related to the groups you referenced, but this is a problem that’s beyond people coming from out of town to espouse these abhorrent views but we’ve got a lot of other people who look to violence as a solution to a problem. How do we deal with that?
ED GILLESPIE: By arresting them and putting them in jail and punishing them.Violence is not an acceptable expression, form of expression, and those who incite violence are committing an even more serious offense, and we need to make sure they are arrested and prosecuted and put behind bars.I was glad to see the Attorney General today come out and say that the DOJ is going to investigate the murder of Heather Heyer as a terrorist act. It clearly seems to be, and I’m glad they are investigating it as such, and we need to prosecute people to the fullest. You know, I think that’s partly where this is going now is to the legal system, which does protect us. We are a nation of laws. We are a commonwealth of laws. Those who violated our laws need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of those laws.