(Host) Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Douglas is accusing his Democratic opponent, Doug Racine, of political opportunism. Douglas says Racine has changed his position on the need to build the circumferential highway in Chittenden County purely for political reasons.
Douglas, who spoke to VPR on his cell phone, says Racine has been a critic of the highway in past years and is now changing his mind because of the recent job cuts at IBM. IBM is one of the "circ" highway’s biggest boosters.
(Douglas) "Vermont’s been fortunate to have two Olympic gold medalists, but I think perhaps we have a third. Doug has just won the Olympic gold medal for the double flip-flop. It’s very important for people of our state to understand where their political leaders stand."
(Host) Racine says Douglas is misrepresenting his position on this issue. Racine says he initially had concerns about the circ highway but he says he’s been a strong supporter of the highway for more than a year:
(Racine) "I was skeptical about the circ, but I am convinced that it is a priority for the state of Vermont. IBM is going through a down cycle right now. Very clearly, Vermonters are concerned as we all should be. But I want to make sure that IBM feels that they have a future in Vermont."
(Host) Racine says building the circ highway is one of the steps that needs to be taken to improve the business climate of northwestern Vermont.