In final Virginia governor debate, Ken Cuccinelli hits Terry McAuliffe hard

Calls Democrat a liar and empty suit

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Down in the polls, Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli on Thursday launched his sharpest attacks of Virginia’s gubernatorial campaign, accusing Terry McAuliffe of being a liar and of lacking substance while the Democrat said the attorney general’s economic plan would wreck the state’s economy.

The candidates’ third and final debate covered little new ground but was marked by increasingly sharp exchanges, with Mr. Cuccinelli saying that being in favor of jobs and education is all well and good, but that talking is different from laying out a plan.


SEE ALSO: Terry McAuliffe silent on union-connected loan


“They’re not plans. I like those, too. I like education — I like puppies. But I don’t bring a puppy home if I don’t have a plan for how I’m going to deal with that puppy,” he said to laughter from the crowd at the Squires Student Center at Virginia Tech. “He’s all puppy and no plan.”

Breaking from normal debate protocol, Mr. Cuccinelli at one point tried to put Mr. McAuliffe on the spot, yielding 30 seconds of his time and daring his opponent to name just one “government efficiency” he would use to pay for his priorities.

The question was a reference to Mr. McAuliffe’s oft-stated proposal to pay for new spending in part by saving money in areas that government could operate more efficiently. The Democrat has yet to identify an area or to put a price tag on his spending proposals, saying repeatedly that it would be irresponsible to undergo such a task before knowing how much money is available for him to spend.

“I’m not going to have a fictitious budget like Ken Cuccinelli,” he said.

Talking later about jobs, Mr. McAuliffe proposed two specific spending items — doubling the state’s research-and-development tax credit and expanding a tax credit for angel investors.

Mr. Cuccinelli said he can pay for his $1.4 billion tax plan by getting rid of about one-sixth of tax exemptions and credits in the state code and has proposed moving Medicaid funds not being used specifically on health care to boost mental health care spending.

“I’ve explained how I’m going to pay for my proposals,” Mr. Cuccinelli said.

A large part of the Democrat’s economic plan depends on Virginia’s approving the expansion of Medicaid — part of President Obama’s health care overhaul that could deliver coverage to up to 400,000 additional low-income Virginians and which Mr. McAuliffe says would save the state $500 million.

Mr. Cuccinelli said Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the elderly, poor and disabled should not be viewed as an opportunity to boost the state’s economy.

“Folks, it’s welfare. It’s not a jobs program,” he said. “You can’t make magic money out of the federal government that he’d like to.”

The botched rollout of major parts of the Affordable Care Act also presented the Republican with an opportunity to hammer Mr. McAuliffe for the Democrat’s supporting the law, and he tried to take advantage of it throughout the debate.

“I’ve spent my life fighting for Virginians,” Mr. Cuccinelli said in his closing statement. “Terry’s fought for Terry and his partisan pals. Like supporting Obamacare. Terry not only supported Obamacare, he didn’t think it went far enough. Can you imagine? Now he actually wants to expand the Obamacare failure in Virginia.”

Still, Mr. McAuliffe repeatedly derided Mr. Cuccinelli’s tax-cut proposal, likening it to riding into the debate on a unicorn — a line he recycled from last month’s debate hosted by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • The District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    D.C. police quietly prepping for change in law on marijuana

  • D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate David Catania, at large independent, said that although he had some concerns with the city's fiscal 2015 budget, namely the 'yoga tax,' he said issues could be addressed in next year's budget discussions. (Associated Press)

    Council overrides mayor’s veto of fiscal 2015 budget

  • 3 killed, 4 wounded Sunday in three D.C. shootings

  • D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser, one of seven Democrats trying to unseat the incumbent District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray in next week's primary, campaigns on Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, Thursday, March 27, 2014. Loyalists are rallying around the mayor, and few are writing him off. But his troubles have provided an opening for one of his challengers, and D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser appears to be taking advantage. Two polls released a week before the primary showed Bowser in a statistical tie with Gray.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    Crime hits close to home for D.C. mayoral candidate

  • Gray

    D.C. Council to vote on Gray’s budget veto