November 3, 2013

Rallying for McAuliffe, Obama tears into tea party

The White House is throwing its support behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the bitter race for governor in Virginia against Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

By Philip Elliott And Josh Lederman
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

President Barack Obama is greeted by the crowd before speaking at a campaign event for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

The Associated Press

That’s especially true when it comes to the recent fiscal crisis, in which House Republicans refused to approve government funding unless Obama agreed to debilitating changes to “Obamacare.” Democrats emerged politically strengthened from the debacle and are looking to Virginia to see whether that advantage will translate into real gains in elections.

Turning to his tea party base, Cuccinelli kept up an intense focus on the health care law, knocking McAuliffe for wanting to use the law to expand Medicaid and add 400,000 Virginians to the program. McAuliffe says the program keeps Virginia tax dollars at home, but Cuccinelli says it will be a drag on the state budget and tie future governors’ hands.

“Once you get in, there’s no getting out,” Cuccinelli said. “It’s like Hotel California.”

Cuccinelli said it underscored McAuliffe’s overall approach to the campaign.

“I think my opponent is running as head lobbyist to lobby for goodies from Washington,” he said. “Let’s keep Terry McAuliffe’s D.C. politics on the other side of the Potomac.”

Obama has been aggressively fundraising for Democrats, but has sought to limit the chance for blowback by minimizing risk. He and Biden didn’t announce events for McAuliffe until after it was clear the Democrat was far ahead in the polls; the same was true with New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. In New Jersey, this year’s only other gubernatorial race, the Democrat is far down in the polls and Obama isn’t offering any assistance.

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