Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, in an exclusive interview conducted for the cover story of the current edition of Newsmax Magazine, charges that Terry McAuliffe, his opponent in the Commonwealth’s closely watched gubernatorial election, is a “Virginia outsider.”
Cuccinelli is positioning himself as a lifelong Virginian who is intimately familiar with the issues facing the Old Dominion. In his exclusive Newsmax interview he cites a Washington Post story indicating he is not the only one who holds that opinion of the Clinton-era insider who once ran the Democratic National Committee.
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“Of all things, The Washington Post has identified him: ‘…Terry McAuliffe is a Washington insider.’ But the Post went further and called him a Virginia outsider. And he is,” Cuccinelli told Newsmax.
“By contrast, I went to school here, grew up here, my wife did, we’re raising our family here. Those roots matter. My 10 years of time in state government, as a state senator, as attorney general, where I’m counsel to every part of the state government, [gives] you an extraordinary window into what works — we have plenty of people here who do a great job — and what doesn’t work.”
The state attorney general has been a conservative standard-bearer in fights against Obamacare, EPA regulations, and federal deficit-spending. When it comes to improving Virginia’s economy and transportation infrastructure, he says McAuliffe “wouldn’t know where to start unless somebody told him.”
The interview was conducted as part of the exclusive Newsmax Magazine cover story in the February edition, “The Passion of Ken Cuccinelli.” It is an up-close, personal look at the fast-rising leader being hailed by many as the gold standard of the conservative movement. It details Cuccinelli’s climb to power in Virginia and offers an extensive biography of the forces that shaped him into the leader he is today.
Despite his association with high-profile battles against the Obama administration, Cuccinelli left little doubt that his battle with McAuliffe, which is already drawing national attention in an off-year election, will revolve around which candidate would be the best steward of the Commonwealth’s economy.
Noting that fellow Republican and current Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell ran on the campaign slogan “Bob’s for jobs,” Cuccinelli quipped: “Yeah, unfortunately Ken doesn’t rhyme with anything economic.”
He added: “But the focus is still the same, the priority is still the same. Voters’ concern in 2013 is the same top priority as it was in ’12, as it was in ’09. It’s still the economy and jobs.
“And even for people who have jobs, there is concern about their ability to hold them, about their ability to keep up with inflation, about the costs rising all around us that they’re not keeping up with,” he said. “And then of course for those who have struggled to either keep or get a job, the economy is their desperate top priority. And I’m absolutely committed to taking a great state, Virginia, in terms of its competitiveness, and taking it to the next level.”
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