Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, greeted a rowdy crowd of conservatives in Sterling Tuesday – Constitution Day – where he and right-wing radio host and author Mark Levin touted the principles of “the greatest nation in the history of the world.”
“If I'm governor, every day is going to be Constitution Day,” Cuccinelli quickly said to a pack of more than 100 supporters.
Cuccinelli's appearance in Loudoun, a critical swing county, came one day after he received a major endorsement from TechPAC, the political arm of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), a prominent regional business group.
The NVTC endorsement helped the Republican camp turn attention away from polls that show Cuccinelli trailing his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
With several high-profile Loudoun Republicans by his side, Cuccinelli attacked McAuliffe for remarks the Democrat made about Medicaid expansion in Virginia.
McAuliffe has voiced that, if elected, he won't sign a state budget if it doesn't include the Medicaid expansion.
The Cuccinelli campaign claimed the Democrat is practicing “Washington D.C. brinkmanship” and will shut down the government if he doesn't get the budget he wants.
“I don't think we need to import that into Richmond,” Cuccinelli said. The Republican opined that McAuliffe has “a complete lack of respect for the notion that limited government is the right way to go.”
“We don't promise outcomes in this country. Some people haven't gotten the memo on that in government,” Cuccinelli said. “We don't promise outcomes. We promise opportunity.”
In his 12-minute speech, Cuccinelli highlighted his support for traditional energy and coal county in southwest Virginia, his push for more educational choices for parents and his intentions to reduce business and personal income taxes.
Levin, who Cuccinelli called “the leading voice for constitutional principles,” spent a good portion of his speech railing against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Levin's public interest law firm is based in Leesburg, according to his Wikipedia page.
“This is my county. This is my state. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna watch Terry McAuliffe be governor of Virginia,” Levin said.
Advertised as a Constitution Day Rally with Levin and emceed by conservative firebrand John Whitbeck, chairman of the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee Chairman, Tuesday's rally could easily be read as a play by Cuccinelli to shore up his staunch Republican base.
Democratic state Sen. David Marsden, who succeeded Cuccinelli in the Fairfax County-dominated 37th District, attended the rally and provided a response to the conservatives' comments.
Marsden said he “actually got invited to this event” because he inherited Cuccinelli's past email address from the senate.
“I get all these emails from the tea party groups, and it's a back-and forth of fear, paranoia, misinformation,” Marsden said in a brief interview. “It's just really chilling. It's all about liberty, it's all about freedom, but not if you're a woman wanting to exercise her constitutional rights, or not if you're a gay or lesbian citizen who wants equal rights or not if you're a scientist at a state university wanting to find out the truth about climate science … it's kind of a contradiction ... and Ken listens to these groups.”
According to RealClearPolitics.com
, which averaged several gubernatorial polls over the past month, McAuliffe holds a seven point lead in governor's race.