- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz is scheduled to speak Saturday night in Richmond at the Family Foundation’s annual gala as Democrats continue to try to link the Texas Republican to Virginia gubernatorial candidate Kenneth T. Cuccinelli.

Mr. Cuccinelli, who is running against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, is also scheduled to be at the dinner. The Republican attorney general said during a debate last week that he doesn’t want to see a government shutdown and kept a Mr. Cruz’s strategy of ‘defund Obamacare or bust’ at arm’s length.

“Well, I’d like to see Obamacare pulled out of federal law, but, you know, we’ve gotta keep moving forward and make compromises to get the budget going,” Mr. Cuccinelli said.

That’s not good enough, Democrats say.

“Ken Cuccinelli’s refusal to condemn his Tea Party allies for shutting down the federal government to drive their shared extreme ideological agenda shows that he’s willing to put Virginia’s economy and communities at risk,” said McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin.

Mr. Cuccinelli, though, has tried to turn the tables on McAuliffe by re-upping the characterization that the longtime Democratic moneyman is a creature of a dysfunctional Washington.

It’s “not surprising that Terry McAuliffe, who has redefined what it means to be a Washington insider, is trying to score political points over a government shutdown that is going to affect hundreds of thousands of Virginians,” he said.

Mr. Cuccinelli’s camp also clarified the dinner to The Washington Post.

“It’s not a campaign event,” said Richard T. Cullen, a spokesman for the campaign. “We work with Ted Cruz. We work with a lot of conservatives who are coming to the state and campaigning for Ken.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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