WOODBRIDGE — Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli got a boost from two midwestern Republican heavyweights Saturday as he tried to spur his voters to the polls by casting Tuesday’s gubernatorial election as a referendum on President Obama’s health care overhaul.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who grew up in Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stumped for Mr. Cuccinelli Saturday afternoon after the state’s attorney general started his day in the Richmond area.
“I’m here today, along with the support from other governors across the country, to testify that Ken Cuccinelli has what it takes to be a great leader for this state,” Mr. Walker said at a get-out-the-vote rally in Prince William County. “This is someone who throughout his entire adult career has fought for the hardworking taxpayers in the commonwealth…this guy was the first guy in America to stand up and point out the problems with Obamacare - the problems that not only Virginia now knows, the entire country now knows, is the problems with Obamacare.”
Indeed, Mr. Cuccinelli was the first attorney general in the country to sue over the law after it was passed in March 2010, and has gone all in recently on highlighting the botched roll-out and issues with healthcare.gov as a key difference between he and Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
“This is a referendum on Obamacare, and to help us clarify that point, the president is coming tomorrow,” he told a crowd outside of a GOP office in Prince William, drawing scattered boos.
“No, no - no, no; I’m very glad to have him here,” he continued. “I wish he was here today, too. Let’s not let there be any lack of clarity as we close this out for three more days, [four] hours, and three minutes until the polls close. But who’s counting?”
Indeed, Mr. Obama will be appearing with Mr. McAuliffe Sunday afternoon in Arlington County. On Saturday, Mr. McAuliffe was hop-scotching from Fairfax to Richmond to Norfolk with state Sen. Mark Herring of Loudoun, the Democrats’ candidate for attorney general, and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine.
Mr. McAuliffe has dominated Mr. Cuccinelli in fundraising and advertising throughout the race, and has most recently tried to link Mr. Cuccinelli to the partial shutdown of the federal government that affected many employees in the voter-rich Northern Virginia suburbs.
Mr. Cuccinelli cited the health care law as one reason for signs of tightening in the contest, though Mr. McAuliffe still maintains a lead in the mid-to-high single digits in averages of recent polls.
“Polls that come out now are almost useless, because they’re lagging indicators, except Election Day,” Mr. Cuccinelli told reporters in Woodbridge after the event. “So we’re really close enough to Election Day that that’s the one that counts and we’re focused on turning people out.”