There’s so much idiocy from former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in this interview, where does one even begin?
1. He claims that hard-right Republicans like Mitch McConnell aren’t conservative enough, is “vehement about not believing anything.” Riiiight.
2. He claims that the Democratic Party’s “establishment…is the liberals.” Uh, what? That’s certainly news to most of us who consider ourselves progressives, liberals, etc.
3. He claims you can only win as a Republican if you’re a hard-right true believer. Yeah, like Ken Cuccinelli, for instance, who ran as a hard-right true believer and…LOST to Terry McAuliffe. Uhhhh.
4. He states, “at the presidential level, 100% of Republican nominees who ran as conservatives won, and 100% of Republican nominees for president who ran NOT as conservative…have all lost.” OK, so let’s unpack that whopper with a few facts – yeah, those pesky, liberal things, I know! LOL
OK, so I’m not sure how far back Cooch wants to go with this, but it’s hard to argue that Herbert Hoover didn’t run as a true conservative. As we will recall, Hoover lost the 1932 election in one of the greatest landslides in U.S. history to FDR. In stark contrast, moderate Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected easily for two terms. Richard Nixon – other than Watergate and Vietnam, of course – governed in many ways as a liberal (negotiated “detente” with the Soviets, announced the formation of the EPA in June 1970, supported the Clean Air Act of 1970, supported the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, proposed a private health insurance employer mandate, imposed wage and price controls, enforced desegregation of Southern schools, etc.). And yes, Nixon the moderate/progressive Republican was reelected in a landslide in 1972.
As for Cooch’s hero Ronald Reagan, he “raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office,” “nearly tripled the federal budget deficit,” “grew the size of the federal government tremendously,” “did little to fight a woman’s right to choose,” “signed into law a bill that made any immigrant who had entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty,” etc, etc. And Reagan won reelection in a landslide in 1984.
As for George HW Bush, he ran as a more liberal, “kinder gentler” version of Reagan in 1988, and…yes, won! (note: Bush lost in 1992 more because of the economy and possibly the Ross Perot independent candidacy than because he didn’t run as a hard-core conservative)
Then, George W. Bush ran in 2000 as as “compassionate conservative…implying he was more centrist than other Republicans.” And although Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore, somehow he did manage to get elected president. Bush also ballooned the national debt and massively increased federal spending, and was reelected in 2004.
John McCain ran in 2008 not as the “maverick” he’d supposedly been back in 2000, but as so hard right that he even picked Sarah Palin as his freakin’ running mate. And he lost. Then in 2012, Mitt Romney “etch a sketched” his moderate, even progressive, record as governor of Massachusetts and moved hard right, yet…that’s correct, lost.
Bottom line: as far as I can tell, Cooch isn’t even close to being correct when he claims that 100% of Republican presidential nominees who ran as conservatives won, while 100% of Republican presidential nominees who did NOT run as conservatives lost. If anything, it’s more like the exact opposite. Damn facts!
5. Cooch believes 2016 will have the best Republican field for president “since Reagan was in the field.” Seriously, he actually thinks Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio are going to be great candidates. Personally, I just hope Republicans nominate one of those extremists, as they will lose in a landslide and make a Democratic sweep of Congress more likely.
6. Last but not least, Cooch claims that Democrats are outraising Republicans because…wait for it…yep, the evil Obama! LOL Seriously, Cooch claims that “the Obama administration, Harry Reid, Schumer, a whole slew of them, have actively used the levers of power to tyrannically scare off donors…I mean, there’s just no question about it.” Yes, he really said that. And yes, he’s as completely bonkers as he sounds.