Clinton Rallies Voters for McAuliffe, Paints Cuccinelli as Conservative Ideologue
DALE CITY, Va. — With nine days left until the statewide gubernatorial election, President Bill Clinton came to Dale City on Sunday to campaign for Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe, who has been running a vigorous campaign to become Virginia’s next governor, has a seven-point lead over his opponent Attorney General Ken Cucineilli. The event at VFW Post 1503 on Minnieville Road was used to keep campaign workers and canvassers energized.
“The big reason for the big political division in this country is that during the non-presidential years a whole different America shows up than in the presidential years. And those of who want the country to come together and move forward, and those of us who want Virginia to come together and move forward, have got to care as much about this election as you did about the election in 2012,” said Clinton.
Last November President Barack Obama handily won reelection with the help of Virginia voters who swept him back into office with 51% of the vote. In Prince William County, where today’s campaign rally was held, Obama beat Republican rival Mitt Romney with 57% of the vote.
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McAuliffe once again painted his opponent as a conservative ideologue who out of touch with mainstream voters. He touted more funding for the state’s community colleges, expanding Medicaid, more equal rights for gays, and he repeatedly tied Cuccinelli to the recent 16-day Federal Government shutdown brought on by GOP members of congress.
“The idea that a mom or dad should have to tell their children that they can’t work because of congressional dysfunction is a national disgrace,” said McAuliffe.
But McAuliffe may be having a tough time tying Cucineelli to the shutdown, as the latest Quinnipiac University Poll however states the shutdown “apparently has no impact on the governor’s race.”
Also appearing at the rally was Democrat Attorney General candidate Mark Herring who faces Republican Mark Obenshain. Also on the ballot will be Democrat Ralph Northam who is challenging Republican E.W. Jackson for the Lt. Govenor’s job.
All candidates will be voted upon separately as they are not running on party tickets.
Libertarian Robert Sarvis is also seeking the governorship and is polling at 10% among likely voters, according to the poll.
Cuccinelli will appear with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is scheduled to appear in Bristow at a campaign rally at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Jindal shared the stage with Cuccinelli in May during Virginia Republican’s nominating convention in Richmond.
Rep. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly (D-Fairfax, Prince William) said Prince William County will remain a “blue” county and will serve as a bellwether for the election.
“This is a democratic county, and we are going to Virginia the same thing we showed them last November,” said Connolly as he warmed up the crowd.
Carlos Castro, owner of Todos Supermarkets in Dumfries and Woodbridge, touted McAuliffe’s entrepreneurial roots as a salesman and venture capitalist. An immigrant from El Salvador to the U.S. in 1980, Castro said it was people like McAuliffe who helped him grow his business.
“It is exciting to know we will have an entrepreneur as a governor,” he said.
A total of 533 people came to Sunday’s rally, according to Prince William County Fire Marshal Paul Smiljanich. The meeting hall has a capacity of 750 people.
Voters will head to the polls Nov. 5.