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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli On The Sprint For Governor 70 Days Out

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HH: I begin this hour with the next governor of Virginia, the attorney general of the great Commonwealth of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, joins me now. General Cuccinelli, great to have you back, give us an update on the campaign.

KC: Well, as we approach Labor Day, the pace quickens. Post-Labor Day, it’ll be a dead sprint. We’re at 70 days out, one hour and 13 minutes, but who’s counting?

HH: (laughing)

KC: And we’re doing very good work on the ground. On every substantive issue that arises, we’ve got more depth and more positive plans for Virginia that limit government, that create opportunity in the private sector, whether that’s cutting taxes or whether it’s expanding educational choice. It’s across the board. And our opponent really doesn’t have the ability to go toe to toe on these issues, because he really doesn’t know Virginia government or how it works. So they’re raising a ton of money. Unions are in for him, Planned Parenthood is in for him. They’ve got this radical environmentalist billionaire from California who’s spending, and I kid you not, over $400,000 dollars a week on negative television on me.

HH: Wow.

KC: We don’t have any limits in Virginia, so they can do that. So we’ve been outspent during the summer. I think it’s pretty close to even with the electorate that’s going to show up, and we’re going to keep working it here all the way through to November 5th at 7:00.

HH: Now Ken Cucinnelli, I lived in Virginia for a number of years, and I married a Virginian, and two of my children are Virginians. And it’s just always struck me that Virginians would not react well to a California billionaire trying to buy their statehouse for his rich, left-wing friend, who’s mired in scandal. Am I right?

KC: Well, certainly for some people. There are a lot of folks in the electorate who do react that way. Whether, how that affects final voting is a little hard to determine. I mean, this is a guy, his name is Tom Steyer, who wants to make global warming an election issue. The problem is the way that happens, typically, is with policy proposals that are job killers. They’re just job killers. Now my opponent is, has been in on the war on coal in the past, and he’s tried to start a couple of unsuccessful green companies, one of them with taxpayer subsidies, so I mean, he’s all in on this sort of thing. But it’s job killing. And right now, people across Virginia care about getting government out of the way of the creation of opportunities so we can grow jobs in Virginia. And those just aren’t policies that achieve job growth. They kill jobs.

HH: I’m talking with Ken Cuccinelli. If you want to support the key race of the next year, go to www.cuccinelli.com. I Tweeted it out, and I will do so again, www.cuccinelli.com. I have to assume, General Cuccinelli, that between now and 70 days from now, you’ve got to raise some more money.

KC: Oh, we’ve got to raise a good bit of money, Hugh. And you know, we don’t have to match our opponent. I have won four elections – attorney general, and three state senate races, and our state, the state senate district, is about a third the size of a Congressional district. I’ve been outspent in all four of those elections, and I’ve won with good grassroots support, whether it’s from the Republican grassroots, conservatives, libertarians, Tea Party folks who have come out and helped us deliver our message, one person at a time. And for folks in Virginia, we need that kind of help. And for folks outside Virginia, we really need your donations. And you can donate on the website, and you can sign up to volunteer on the website. We’ve won, so we don’t need to match his money, but we do need to stay competitive. We do need enough donations to get our message out.

HH: Now I want to talk about two issues in particular – Obamacare and the sequester. You were right before anyone else was right about Obamacare, and the week’s news, UPS dropping 15,000 spouses, the New Jersey plan dropping 106,000 people.

KC: UVA, right in Virginia, the University of Virginia’s doing it, after they lobbied for the passage of this health care bill.

HH: So how important is the complete colossal train wreck that is Obamacare to this campaign?

KC: It is a very important element in this raise. My opponent, Terry McAuliffe, the old Clinton bag man, didn’t think it went far enough. He wanted a full-blown single payer. So if people take a look at, as you said, the train wreck that is this unfolding health care bill, and they don’t think that it goes far enough, there aren’t many of those people left, by the way, my opponent is one of them. If people in Virginia want to see that kind of direction for Virginia health care, there’s a candidate in this race. It’s Terry McAuliffe. If they want someone who fought it, and who believes it’s a wreck for our health care system, and a wrecking ball for our health care system, they’ve got a candidate in this race, too, and it’s me. It’s Ken Cuccinelli, and I’m determined to keep Virginia as unintegrated with this unrolling train wreck as I possibly can.

HH: Second issue, I’m sure the folks down in Newport News and the surrounding area, Norfolk, where I have a great affiliate, were stunned when they heard the Secretary of Defense say we might have to go down to eight or nine carrier groups. And Terry McAuliffe is part of that network that is destroying our Defense system. Is there anyone, in uniform or out of uniform, or associated with a uniform, that doesn’t realize this is a referendum on that proposal?

KC: Well, certainly in Southeastern Virginia, where we’re so focused on supporting the Navy and its mission, especially, now we’ve got military all over Virginia, but in Southeast Virginia, we’ve got those carriers coming and going, we’re caring for them like crazy. There is a great concern for what this is doing to hollow out our national defense. So if you, depending on how far you go, the worse it gets, of course.

HH: Now let’s talk a little bit about Northern Virginia. I have a great affiliate, 1260 up there in the northern suburbs. And when I lived there, in Oakton and Great Falls, every election was about traffic. And I’m pretty sure that this election at least has a component about traffic. Now it’s a national radio show, so people don’t understand how big the problem is. But how, you actually know how to get some stuff done there. I’m not sure Terry could even find a map, much less figure out how to make one work better, if it doesn’t involve raising money.

KC: No, one of the front page stories in one of the liberal newspapers in Virginia was about how he didn’t understand Virginia government. So that hasn’t really changed. And he used to proudly proclaim not knowing how a bill becomes law. We should send him a copy of Schoolhouse Rock, I guess. But it is important when you’re talking about something like transportation. And equally important there is all of his union affiliations. I mean, this is not a guy who’s ever shown any affection for our right to work law. These unions are in big time for him. They helped him get rich, partnering up with him over various deals over the years. He has got a real allegiance to them, and we’re a right to work state for now. And the way a governor undermines that is with appointments to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. They decide how money gets spent. The Airports Authority, the Ports Authority, well, he’ll appoint a bunch of union folks to that. And we’ll see union contracts for our transportation projects that are going to eat away at the dollars that should be paving our roads, and they’re going to go into union pockets. And that’s a huge difference between old Union Terry in this race and frugal Ken.

HH: Well, let me ask, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is my guest. We are 70 days out from the Virginia governor’s race, the most important race in the United States. It’s dead heat time. And every four years, the Washington Post tries to pick Virginia’s governor. And every four years, they fail at that. But are they trying again? And has social media helped you overcome the quadrennial attempt of the Post to be a kingmaker?

KC: We’ve certainly had the Post beating the bejeebers out of us. There are some things they’ve just had to report on McAuliffe like the two federal investigations of his company, one by the SEC, Securities Exchange Commission, and the failure of these companies that he was trying to ride to victory. So they’ve had to report some of that, but boy oh boy, do they spent, they warm up their clubs for me, and they’ve been doing it for years and years. And no affection lost on their part for me. Ironically, when I was in 7th grade, I started out, one of the first jobs I had was delivering the Washington Post. Little did I know, my goodness, but the world has funny circles.

HH: Last question, soon-to-be governor, Attorney General Cuccinelli. November last, Republicans were out-technologied. There was a geek gap.

KC: Yes.

HH: There was an inability to turn out. Do you think you’ve solved that in Virginia? And can people help you by going to www.cuccinelli.com, to make sure that you’ve solved that?

KC: Well, they can help by joining us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where we’re very active. And I wouldn’t say we’ve solved it, but we’re closing the gap. We’re doing, we’re making connections online the Romney people just weren’t even bothering to try to do. And by that, I mean of course their campaign apparatus. And we do need to close that gap. We have a long way to go on our side of the aisle to match, frankly, what the President’s folks did in Virginia. They did an incredible job on the ground and online last year. And part of what we have to contend with in our race is all that data that they’ve accumulated that’s presumably available to Terry McAuliffe. And we’ve got to play catch up, and there’s a lot of work to that.

HH: I hope people help you do that both with a contribution and with identifying voters and volunteers. Do that, America, right now. www.cuccinelli.com. Attorney General Cuccinelli, thanks for you joining me, good luck in the sprint.

End of interview.

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