At a recent town hall at Hampton University, which I viewed on television, students posed questions to senatorial candidates Tim Kaine and Corey Stewart. Mr. Kaine responded with informed and thoughtful answers, while Mr. Stewart failed to answer any of the questions posed to him, spouting irrelevant campaign rhetoric instead.
One student mentioned the importance of coastal military bases to Virginia’s economic welfare, and asked how officials should address the threat of sea-level rise. Mr. Stewart’s response: “Only 6 percent of scientists believe that human activity is contributing to the acceleration of climate change ... The problem is not sea-level rise, but land subsidence.” He explained that withdrawal of huge amounts of water from the aquifer under eastern Virginia is causing the land to subside — not a word about military assets or the people (military, government and civilian) who study sea-level rise to try to formulate plans for the future.
Another student asked Mr. Stewart what he thought civilians and military officials should do to address sexual assault in the military. He apparently has no thoughts about this issue, which faces young Virginians planning to serve. Instead, he rambled on about innocent people’s lives being ruined by false sexual assault accusations.
I was appalled that Mr. Stewart, who aspires to represent Virginia in the Senate, appeared unprepared to address any of the concerns raised by these potential constituents and voters. I hope that from this abysmal performance, the students recognize how unsuitable he is to serve as Virginia’s senator.