Home 2019 Elections Memo: After Tea Party Shutdown, Virginia Voters Looking for Bipartisan Problem Solver

Memo: After Tea Party Shutdown, Virginia Voters Looking for Bipartisan Problem Solver


From the McAuliffe campaign:

To: Interested Parties
From: Brennan Bilberry, McAuliffe Communications Director
Memo: After Tea Party Shutdown, Virginia Voters Looking for Bipartisan Problem Solver 

The economic impact of the government shutdown in Virginia cannot be overstated. As home to hundreds of thousands of federal workers, contractors and facilities, Virginia’s economy is uniquely affected by lapses in federal operations. Unlike some other parts of the country, a shutdown in Virginia is deeply personal – many Virginians are either furloughed themselves or know someone who is. 

Over the past two weeks, the news coverage in Virginia has focused on Ken Cuccinelli’s refusal to speak out to protect Virginia jobs and his campaign appearance with Ted Cruz, the architect of the shutdown. 

For voters, the shutdown also highlights the very different approach of the two candidates for governor and illustrates in a very real way the kind of dysfunctional government Virginia would face if Cuccinelli were elected.

Now more than ever, voters are looking for a mainstream problem-solver who will work with both parties as Gov. Mark Warner did.

And, in this race, Virginia voters have already determined by large margins that they trust Terry McAuliffe on the issue of bringing people together and breaking through gridlock.

The wide gap on which candidate will work in a bipartisan manner has been driven by a number of events: 

  • Virginians have seen literally hundreds of television and print stories about the support McAuliffe has earned from prominent Republicans.
  • Earlier in the year, voters saw bipartisan consensus – including McDonnell, Bolling, McAuliffe and both parties in the legislature – on a comprehensive transportation plan. At the same time, there were 33 broadcast television stories that specifically mentioned Cuccinelli’s opposition to the bipartisan plan and attempts to derail it.
  • During the campaign and his time as Attorney General, Cuccinelli has spent a significant amount of time emphasizing the fights he has started. Voters know and have been reminded of how Cuccinelli tried to drive mainstream Republicans out of the party and how his policy agenda has been the source of many of the most divisive battles in Virginia over the past several years. 

A Tea Party government shutdown – and Ken Cuccinelli's decision to campaign with its architect – highlights everything that voters know and dislike about Cuccinelli: He puts his personal ideology ahead of what is best for Virginia, he divides Republicans and demonizes Democrats, and he’s willing to use any means necessary to advance his extreme policy agenda.


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