Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Cuccinelli rallies with Walker, Priebus in Spotsylvania
Making his final weekend push before Tuesday’s election, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli brought his party’s national chairman and a popular Republican governor to Spotsylvania County Saturday to help rally supporters.
Cuccinelli was joined at the rally in Spotsylvania Courthouse, which drew about 150 people, by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Walker – who gained national attention and a recall election for changing collective bargaining rights for state employees – pointed out Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s union donations, saying the Democrat is beholden to “union bosses” who “want to own the table.”
McAuliffe has received close to $3 million in donations from labor groups as defined by the Virginia Public Access Project, a non-profit that tracks campaign money.
Walker also raised the issue of the federal Affordable Care Act, saying that voting for Cuccinelli would “send a message around the country.”
That’s the message Cuccinelli has been pushing in these last days of the campaign – that this election is a referendum on the ACA, and that a vote for him is a vote against Washington Democrats who have pushed for the controversial health care law.
He sounded that theme again in Spotsylvania.
“Virginia is the next battlefield in Obamacare, and it’s next Tuesday,” Cuccinelli said. “If we win this race … it will send one heck of a message across the Potomac.”
He noted that McAuliffe is holding a rally Sunday with President Barack Obama in Northern Virginia.
“Come on in, Mr. President,” Cuccinelli said. “Bring everybody in Virginia’s focus to Obamacare. … Tuesday is our turn, and the president is helping us.”
He said voters are upset about the law and the changes it’s bringing to health insurance — particularly the cancellation notices some have received from their existing health plans.
“They were lied to by the president of the United States,” Cuccinelli said.
He reminded supporters of his lawsuit against the ACA soon after it was passed, and his work against overreach by “the biggest opponent in the world, the federal government of the United States.”
Cuccinelli beseeched supporters to work on get-out-the-vote efforts over the next three days, telling them that the polls – which show McAuliffe ahead, by varying amounts – are also showing that the race is tightening.
“This is more in your hands than it is in mine now,” he said, urging them to talk to people in church Sunday morning about voting. “We’ve got to find our voters and turn them out. … The truth is our friend.”
The Spotsylvania stop was just one in a long day of rallies Cuccinelli had scheduled, from Richmond to Northern Virginia. He also is planning events with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and a final rally late Monday evening in Richmond with Congressman Ron Paul.
McAuliffe scheduled rallies Saturday with Sen. Tim Kaine in Fairfax, Charlottesville and Norfolk, while his wife was holding events in Southwest Virginia with Sen. Mark Warner.
Obama is expected at a McAuliffe rally in Northern Virginia Sunday evening, and Vice President Joe Biden is due at a McAuliffe event Monday.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.