On the eve of Ken Cuccinelli’s big moment under the bright Tea Party lights of the Conservative Political Action Conference tomorrow in Maryland, the Democratic Party of Virginia today released an advance look at the prepared text for Cuccinelli’s speech tomorrow morning.
Okay maybe not the actual prepared text, but the speech included below is a survey of Cuccinelli’s agenda, time in office and campaign for Governor:
Hello CPAC! It’s great to be with you here in Maryland! It’s so impressive that so many of us were able to gather like this on what, for many people, is a regular workday.
I cannot express enough my gratitude for you inviting me here to speak in front of a national conservative and Tea Party audience – this is probably the most consequential thing I’ve done during my time in public office. This is a good looking crowd if I’ve ever seen one, particularly those of you joining us from the great states of Iowa and New Hampshire; don’t let me forget to swing by and shake your hands before the day is over.
Before I begin, I want to express my disappointment that Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell was not invited to join us here. It’s unfortunate that he forgot the most important rule of keeping the faith with the conservative movement: Refusing to compromise on your ideological agenda is much more important than actually getting things done.
I have seen some wonderful friends here already. Sarah Palin is a true rock star of our movement and rightfully so, she’s living proof of the power a statewide office holder can have if they don’t confine themselves to the mundane details of the everyday lives of people they serve.
Rick Santorum, one of my closest friends and supporters and a true champion in the fight to make sure no woman in our country is burdened by the difficulty of making her own choices about her health care.
And of course Paul Ryan, whose leadership in putting together budgets that reflect the values we all is an example to us all, even if he and I disagree on why we should cut Medicare and Social Security (he wants to trim the budget like the moderate he is, I think the programs are fundamentally wrong for our country because they make people dependent on government).
As some of you may know, that was the guiding principle of a little book I wrote recently called The Last Line of Defense, for which I have been doing signings and media appearances around the country. A lot of people have questioned why I would write a book full of ideas that are not in-line with what Virginia voters want from their governors, but those critics are missing the point.
Of course I know that most Virginians don’t think Medicare, Social Security and other programs were designed by “bad politicians” to “grow government” and make people “dependent on government” “goodies.” But they were, and I know the people in this room get that.
Of course I know Virginia that families whose adult children are able to stay on their health insurance or who will no longer face losing their coverage due to a preexisting condition think they are safer and more economically secure. But those people don’t understand that keeping them healthy “is the fastest way to put insurance companies out of business.” Fortunately, the patriots here at CPAC do.
I know that Virginians won’t understand how public pools crowd out private competition and make our “liberty pie” smaller, but you do and that’s why I wrote my book and why I’m so happy to be here in Maryland today.
This campaign isn’t about what Virginians want from their Governor. If my primary focus were jobs, education, transportation, or another issue that mattered to Virginians’ lives, you’d hear me talk more about them. But that’s not the kind of campaign I’m running.
I’m running on issues that are more important to me than those, and I’d bet they’re more important to you patriots as well.
I’m running to restore our country to what I call “First Principles.” Those foundational values that I believe are the underpinning of our nation. That is not the approach that gubernatorial candidates usually take, nor is it the approach that attorneys general typically take, but I stand by my record.
Sure, I could have done what past attorneys general have done and focused more of my time on public safety, protecting consumers and offering sound legal representation to the people of Virginia, but that would have prevented me from picking fights on controversial issues that aren’t particularly related to my core duties. Yes, I lost most of those fights, but I believe they sent a critical message to the rest of the nation. Nothing is more important to me than these symbolic battles for the cause of liberty.
I’ve spent my time as Attorney General proving that jobs, education, health care, the environment, all of it takes a backseat to our fight for the ideological principles that bring us here together today. And that’s an agenda I plan to bring to the Governor’s mansion.
As I conclude, I want to remind all of you to first, of course, buy my book. Second, I want to share with you the latest example of how I’ve been putting those principles into action in Virginia. Some of you may have heard about the transportation package that came out of the Virginia General Assembly last month. That package was the result of a compromise between Governor McDonnell (it’s also the reason he’s not here today), Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, and Democrats and Republicans in the legislature.
For decades, Governors of both parties have struggled to come up with a transportation-funding package that is sufficient enough to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s economy and also pass the political gauntlet of a diverse legislature. This year McDonnell and the rest of the coalition came together to hammer out a deal that actually did offer a substantial chunk of the funding it would take to build and maintain the roads our economy needs, and amazingly it actually had the votes to pass.
If I were running to put what Virginia needs ahead of my own ideological agenda, I would have jumped all over this once-in-a-generation chance to help solve the largest problem facing everyday Virginians. But I’m not.
I saw the package not as a landmark bipartisan victory on a key issue, but as a frontal assault on the principles that you and I hold so dear. So I became the only statewide political figure in Virginia to oppose it, and when I saw my opportunity to try and kill it by issuing a formal opinion of my office, I didn’t wait to actually read the legislation, I took swift action in defense of liberty.
As it turns out, like so many of my other defenses of liberty, I fell a little bit short and the plan passed despite my opposition. But I didn’t run for office to make friends, and I am proud of the message I sent to Virginians that day: Don’t expect me to be a Governor who will put his ideological agenda aside just to get results on issues that matter to you. That’s not how I approached my time as Attorney General and it’s certainly not how I will approach my time as Governor.
I know the folks in this room understand how important this campaign is for the cause of liberty, not only in Virginia, but also across the nation and maybe even the world. I hope if you live in Virginia you’ll head to the polls and cast your vote in November, and if you don’t, who knows, maybe you’ll have a chance to vote for me before you know it.
Thank you CPAC for having me, and thanks for continuing to fight the liberals who want to take our liberty pie and shrink it! Live Free or Die!