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The GOP gubernatorial candidate also offered a glimpse at his campaign platform.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, kicked off Thursday morning’s Conservative Political Action Conference with a speech that stirred activists in the audience and provided broad outlines of the campaign he will take to Virginia voters.
Cuccinelli offered some red meat for the conservative activists gathered at a Maryland hotel a few miles from Washington, D.C., telling them that “Democrats and their liberal allies” are out to get him because of his principled and sometimes controversial stands.
“They will stop at nothing to make sure that I’m not elected Virginia’s next governor because I have dared to defend our most sacred principles rather than bow to their vision of a new American future,” Cuccinelli said.
He took swipe at Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe, calling the former Democratic National Committee chairman an “unabashed liberal” who “worked with Bill Clinton to rent out the Lincoln bedroom in the White House.”
Democrats hit back, going after Cuccinelli both for speaking at the conservative gathering and for attending a “Muffins and Mimosas” reception where attendees could get a copy of his new book, “The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty.”
“Ken Cuccinelli has focused his career on an extreme and divisive ideological agenda, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that after trying to torpedo Governor McDonnell’s bipartisan transportation compromise he would continue to feel most comfortable surrounded by national Tea Party activists, not mainstream Virginians,” McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin wrote in an email.
Cuccinelli also offered a glimpse at his campaign platform, calling for tax reform that starts with “getting rid of special interest breaks that the well-connected have piled into the tax code.”
“It means lower rates for ordinary, middle-class, hard working Virginians and our businesses so they can decide what to do with their own money,” Cuccinelli said.
Cuccinelli also said he would pursue regulatory reform and maintain limits on eminent domain authority if he is elected. He indicated that he would try to expand school choice options. And he called for criminal justice reforms, saying conservatives should be leading efforts to rehabilitate incarcerated offenders.
“How many times have I seen my fellow tough-on-crime conservatives be not merely willing, but excited to lock up every convict and throw away the key,” Cuccinelli said.
“If we really believe that no one is beyond redemption, we need to stop throwing away that key. … Conservatives should lead the campaign to change the culture of corrections in America,” he said.
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