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McAuliffe: Economy trumps Redskins name

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe said it’s not up to him to tell the Washington Redskins what to do about their name. But it is his job to boost the economy and the Redskins help him accomplish that goal.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, spoke to reporters at Redskins training camp, as practice was underway with a steady rain falling.

“It’s not up to a governor to tell a private business what to do with their business,” McAuliffe said. “I’m about growing our economy. I’m about diversifying our economy. They are creating economic activity. That’s what I focus on and I am not in the business of telling private businesses what to do. I want businesses here. We need to grow and diversify the economy. Voters elected me to get jobs and this team is helping me get jobs.”

The Redskins received money from the state in exchange for moving camp to Richmond in 2013. The money was used to renovate Redskins Park, preventing a possible move to either Maryland or Washington, D.C.

The name, of course, has generated much controversy, especially in the last 18 months. Last week, Hillary Clinton was the latest politician to come out against the name.

McAuliffe said he understands why some people would be offended by the name.

“Sure, people will do the decisions they’re going to do,” McAuliffe said. “I come at this as the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I am the chief jobs creation officer. My job is to grow the economy and I have a team here that is growing the economy. All the players live in Virginia. Most of the season tickets I’m told are Virginians. Everyone comes at it from a different perspective. My perspective as governor is I love the economic activity.”