Home 2013 races New Cuccinelli Ad: Dishonesty, Disinformation, Distortion, Distraction

New Cuccinelli Ad: Dishonesty, Disinformation, Distortion, Distraction


I know, I know, what else is new? But still: this new ad by the Cuccinelli folks and the Republican Governors’ Association is a bunch of lies, disinformation and distortion. Let’s deconstruct this…thing.

1. “The Washington Post reports that Terry McAuliffe is the Democrats’ attack dog.”

FALSE! Actually, the Washington Post article doesn’t “report” anything of the sort. What it does is provide a quote from College of William & Mary poli sci Professor Ron Rappaport, saying the following: “Even though McAuliffe was the Democrats’ attack dog, he wasn’t an ideologue. You don’t identify him with the left wing of the Democratic Party. He’s making a stylistic claim more than an ideological claim.” Notice how the quote pulled out of context, as done in the Cuccinelli ad, drastically changes the point Rappaport was making (which was that Terry was NOT an ideologue, was NOT identified with the “left wing of the Democratic Party,” and that any “attack dog” stance was more “stylistic” than anything else.) Also note that this was in the past, so Cuccinelli’s ad is purposefully putting it in the present tense to imply that Terry is STILL the “Democrats’ attack dog” – the opinion of a William & Mary professor. But even if it’s true that Terry WAS an “attack dog” for the Democrats when he headed up the DNC, what does that prove? I mean, wasn’t Bob McDonnell the same thing when he headed up the Republican Governors’ Association? Wasn’t Jim Gilmore when he was RNC Chair? Isn’t Cuccinelli’s cuckoo-bird friend Bobby Jindal now that he’s head of the RGA (note that Jindal is now a big-time “attack dog” for Cuccinelli and McDonnell)? So this ad is presumably attacking all those people too, I guess? Who knows.

2. “He’s been in politics his adult life; that’s why he just can’t tell the truth.”

Uh, alrighty, so Terry’s been involved in politics during much of his adult life (note: he’s also been a businessman during that time as well). You know who else fits the description of being in politics his adult life? How about Ken Cuccinelli, who has been heavily involved in politics pretty much nonstop since his early 30s? By the weird logic of this ad, that means that Cuccinelli also “just can’t tell the truth.” Nor can anyone, apparently, who’s been involved in politics during their adult life (like Cooch’s and Gov. Rolex’s pal Bobby Jindal, who fits that description to a “t”). Obviously, this is utter idiocy, not to mention a logical non sequitur.

3. “Now he’s falsely attacking Ken Cuccinelli on energy.”

The ad cites PolitiFact as claiming “false” attacks by Terry McAuliffe on (Koch brothers/fossil fuel tool) Ken Cuccinelli related to energy on the following dates: 1/24/13, 5/17/13, 6/21/13. I search PolitiFact Virginia’s ratings on McAuliffe, and found nothing of the sort. On 6/21, for instance, there was a rating by PolitiFact Virginia of a statement made by McAuliffe regarding abortion – nothing whatsoever to do with energy. Also, not a single McAuliffe statement labeled “false” by PolitiFact Virginia (which, by the way, is severely flawed, to such a degree that I often refer to it as “PolitiFiction,” but that’s a topic for another discussion) has anything whatsoever to do with energy. Hmmmm. As for Terry McAuliffe’s “attacks” on Cuccinelli over Consol Energy, I’d love to hear what about them is inaccurate, given that Cuccinelli’s corruption on this front has been widely reported in the press. Presumably, that’s what Cuccinelli’s trying to distract our attention from in this ad. Apparently, he thinks Virginia voters are idiots with the memory spans of dead gnats.

4. Finally, they make the audacious claim that any “attacks” on Cuccinelli, apparently just related to energy (and not to his extreme stances on social issues, government, etc, etc.) are all some sort of “desperate” attempt by McAuliffe to shift attention to an investigation of his former company Greentech Automotive. A couple problems here: a) there’s no evidence of any wrongdoing by McAuliffe; and b) the “attacks” on Cuccinelli’s extremism and corruption started looooooong before this latest news about Greentech, have been reported extensively in the media, and have also been made by many many other Democrats besides Terry McAuliffe. That’s quite a conspiracy the Cuccinelli folks are alleging here. But then again, Cooch is the same guy who believes in the false “climategate” conspiracy, who has toyed around with false “birther” lunacy, who has claimed that the government “tracks” us via our Social Security numbers, etc, etc. In short, wearing tinfoil hat is nothing new for Ken Kookinelli…hence his nickname.

Bottom line: this new ad is a hodgepodge of garbage – lies, disinformation, distortion, distraction, you name it. What it is NOT is a positive, constructive vision for Virginia, which is something Ken Cuccinelli doesn’t have. Hence, the bogus attack ads.

  • From the McAuliffe campaign:

    While just this week Ken Cuccinelli refused to follow Governor McDonnell’s lead by returning $18,000 in gifts to Star Scientific and its CEO Jonnie Williams, his conservative allies, rather than defending Cuccinelli’s decision not to return the gifts, launched their own extreme attacks against Terry McAuliffe in hopes to change the subject. However, the new RGA/Cuccinelli ad shows that Cuccinelli and his allies instead need to defend Cuccinelli’s role backing out-of-state natural gas companies hoping to avoid paying Southwest Virginia landowners royalties that are rightfully theirs.

    “You know its bad for Ken Cuccinelli when his Washington backers refuse to defend his decision to keep $18,000 in gifts from Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams, and start panicking about the ongoing scandal over Cuccinelli siding with out-of-state energy companies in their lawsuit against Southwest Virginians,” stated McAuliffe spokesperson Josh Schwerin in response to the new RGA/Cuccinelli ad.

    Just yesterday, the Bristol Herald Courier reported that Ken Cuccinelli was asked about the scandal at a town hall in Tazewell, and earlier this week the Richmond Times Dispatch suggested that Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign stops in Southwest Virginia may be a sign that he’s worried about losing support there.

  • MimiStratton

    The campaign needs to come up with a better response, though, than just a counter-attack. McAuliffe made his decisions, I assume, for whatever reasons he made them. Business decisions. But they do not appear to be in line with appear to serve American worker interests. So find an answer to that.

  • DJRippert

    The arrogance of Cuccinelli is on full display.  He and his RPV sidekicks were sure that they could win the governorship by portraying McAuliffe as sleazy.  In fact, they were so sure of this that they didn’t bother to develop any proposed policies beyond, “He’s not McAuliffe.”.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the governor’s mansion – Corruptinelli and McDonnell turned out to be the sleazeballs.

    Now, Cooch’s campaign has no policy points and (apparently) lacks the capability of developing any such points.  So, he falls back on attack ads – which was the only strategy he ever developed.

    Wow.  Utter incompetence.