Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who will most likely be the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in 2013, spoke at the Virginia GOP Advance on December 1. His message: Virginia had an opportunity to show the nation that “conservatism isn’t dead” and warned conservatives not to fall into the trap of thinking they had to adopt liberal policies to win elections.
Cuccinelli said pundits and the media, after President Barack Obama’s reelection, are saying Republicans, and more specifically conservatives, are “endangered, “on the way out,” “old,” and “out of touch” and demanding conservatives and Republicans “change,” “remake” themselves, and “retreat.”
“Well, one thing I know Virginians don’t want, don’t need, and sure as heck can’t afford, and that’s two Democrat parties,” Cuccinelli said. Virginia has an opportunity to “show the country that conservatism isn’t dead,” is not “old or worn out,” and “it’s still alive and thriving.”
After Democrats won the presidency in 1992, Virginians elected George Allen as Governor and he reformed Virginia’s education and welfare system. After Democrats won in 1996, Cuccinelli noted Virginians elected Jim Gilmore and the result was lower taxes. After Obama first won the presidency in 2008, the mainstream media and Democrats called the Republican statewide ticket that swept the 2009 elections for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general “the most conservative ticket in Virginia history.”
Cuccinelli said he has won statewide and elections to the state senate from liberal Northern Virginia as a principled conservative because he is not a phony and voters respect and like that they know where he stands on issues. He went on to say that since Doug Wilder’s historic governorship, Virginia has had five governors (three Republicans and two Democrats) and only the two Democrats have broken their campaign promises.
In reference to presumptive Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, Cuccinelli said Virginia Democrats are trying to turn Virginia into a “mini-Washington” and mentioned a Washington Post article that referred to McAuliffe as a “Washington insider, and a Virginia outsider” who was “parachuting” into Virginia.
“They see Virginia as part of Washington, and would love nothing more than to bring Washington values and Washington policies, to the state capital,” Cuccinelli said. ” That’s their vision, that’s their goal.”
Cuccinelli said he has never “wavered” from defending his first principles his record backs it up. He highlighted his defense of property rights (Virginia passed a Constitutional Amendment, which Cuccinelli had championed for nearly a decade, last month that made it more difficult for the government to take private property) and his being the first attorney general to challenge Obamacare in the courts. Cuccinelli said his efforts changed the way other attorneys general viewed their roles in protecting people’s liberties.
“Liberty in the economy is opportunity,” Cuccinelli said. “We can’t have economic opportunity, without liberty.” As governor, he would “decrease the burdens of government,” “increase individual liberty,” and “focus on continuing the efforts of Governor McDonnell on economic development. “
Last week, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling announced he would not be seeking the Republican nomination for governor, giving Cuccinelli a clear path to the nomination.
Cuccinelli also said instead of simply relying on “micro-targeting” and metrics, his campaign would aggressively reach out to all of Virginia’s voters and make the case for conservatism to them.
“Together we’re not going to do micro-targeting, we’re going to do targeting,” Cuccinelli said. “That means we’re going to talk to one voter at a time, all across Virginia, in every community and neighborhood. And we’re going to do it in person, not via TV or mail, but in person, as much as humanly possible.”