Bob McDonnell on VA Governorship: 'It's a Ministry'

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The winds of political change are blowing in states like Virginia and New Jersey where Republican governors are taking over from the Democrats.

Republican Bob McDonnell was sworn in Saturday as Virginia's 71st governor. On the steps of the capitol building in Richmond designed by Thomas Jefferson, the 55-year-old became governor of the Old Dominion after an eight-year rein by Democrats.

"The Founders recognized that the government closest to the people governs best," Gov. McDonnell said at Saturday's inauguration.

He began his first day in office in prayer.

"All of our blessings, all the authority that we're going to be vested with is really from Almighty God," McDonnell prayed.

Click play to watch Jennifer Wishon's report.  Also, watch a CBN News exclusive interview with McDonnell here about the impact his Christian background will have on his term.

The Notre Dame and Regent University graduate is a Catholic who relies heavily on his faith and looks at his office as a ministry.

"I think we need more public servants who recognize the founding of your country that we depend on God," CBN founder and chairman Pat Robertson said. "The rights and liberties that we have come from God Almighty."

McDonnell assumes the state's highest office during a critical time for Virginia. As the need for state services goes up, state revenues have fallen.

"The creation of new job opportunities for all our citizens is the obligation of our time," the new governor said.

His first two executive orders are designed to do just that. He mentioned the word "jobs" 12 times in his speech.

McDonnell asked citizens to bring canned goods and food to his inauguration for the less fortunate. He'll likely be asking them to do much more in the coming year as he works to close a $4 billion budget shortfall -- all while keeping his campaign promise of not raising taxes.

"I'm not interested in rhetoric or making lofty speeches," he said. "I want to actually get results based on our conservative limited government principles."

McDonnell has four years to turn his words into action.

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Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.