The ad, which tries to drive a wedge between Cuccinelli and independent female voters, features Norfolk-based Dr. Holly Puritz, an OB/GYN who says she is “offended” by Cuccinelli’s pro-life position:
“My job is to protect the health of women, so I’m particularly offended by Ken Cuccinelli,” Puritz states in the ad. “Cuccinelli wants to make all abortion illegal--even in cases of rape and incest, even to protect a woman’s health. I want a governor who’s focused on schools and creating jobs, not someone who wants to do my job. Who is Ken Cuccinelli to interfere in the lives of women across Virginia?”
However, in attempting to paint Cuccinelli as an “extremist,” McAuliffe has invited scrutiny of his own “extreme pro-abortion policies.”
According to the report, McAuliffe was initially scheduled to speak to fellow alumni at the school in February of that year and follow with a signing event for his book, What A Party! My Life Among Democrats, Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals.
Though his appearance at Ludden was approved in January, several days prior to the event the diocese withdrew its permission due to comments McAuliffe made in an interview with radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt. During the interview Hewitt (HH) asked McAuliffe (TM) about his Catholic background and his views on abortion:
TM: I say that I’m a Catholic, sure. Irish Catholic.
HH: You know, it says here on Page…
TM: Which I am.
HH: Page 165, “It might not quit with the lessons of my Catholic faith, but I don’t mind admitting that I couldn’t have been happier when the news broke on July 30th, 1999, that Linda Tripp had been indicted by a Maryland grand jury.” So you know it’s wrong to glory in the sufferings of others, because of your Catholic faith, your Catholic teachings.
TM: Yeah, but I say I have faults, like many people have faults. I wish I could follow 100% the teachings of the Catholic Church, but believe it or not, much to your chagrin, I am not Jesus Christ.
HH: No, but I mean, the whole abortion controversy, that’s just… you compartmentalize that and put that aside?
TM: I can, as can many Catholics.
HH: But I know many Catholics do, but do you think it’s right… Do you go to Mass and all that stuff, Terry?
TM: I go… yeah, I do.
HH: You do?
TM: In fact, I’m up to be on the Knights of Malta right now. They’ve just asked me to join the Knights of Malta.
HH: Oh, we’d better put out a word.
TM: Are you one of those?
HH: I’ve got friends in the Knights of Malta, yeah. You might not come back from your first trip to Rome.
TM: You need to go into the Knights of Malta.
TM: And as you know, the Holy Father himself, John Paul II, blessed my wife’s engagement ring when I wound up being at a private Mass for us in his private chapel.
HH: Nice picture. I know. Did he know about your supporting late term abortions?
TM: Sure, he knew he was.
HH: Is that teaching optional, Terry McAuliffe?
TM: Is what teaching optional?
HH: The Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life?
TM: Hey, listen, I have my views on my religious beliefs, Hugh, you’ve got yours.
HH: But I’m asking, do you think it’s…
TM: And you know, if you want to do a show on religious teaching, that’s fine. I’m talking about my book.
HH: Well, it’s in the book all the time.
TM: I make my statements, you write your book.
HH: No, but it’s in the book all the time about how Catholic you are.
TM: It’s not how Catholic I am. I’m an Irish Catholic kid from Syracuse. It’s probably mentioned five times, Hugh, so please don’t incorrectly characterize my book to your listeners.
HH: Well, it’s in here a lot…
TM: If you want to talk about the book, talk about the facts as they exist. I know you’re a right wing whacko, but don’t make things up.