At a sometimes contentious debate with Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe, Cuccinelli tried to portray himself as a compassionate kind of guy who volunteers at homeless shelters and coaches kids sports. McAuliffe, however, kept insisting that Cuccinelli greatest interest is social issues, not economic ones. “He can stand up here and talk about jobs, transportation,” McAuliffe said. “He’s done nothing but hurt jobs, try to stop transportation and led a very social ideological agenda against women’s health and gay Virginians.”
Given a chance to talk about how much he respects all Virginians, Cuccinelli then showed his real stripes. “My personal beliefs about the personal challenges of homosexuality haven’t changed,” he said.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, Cuccinelli’s personal beliefs include wanting to bring back sodomy laws, saying that gay people “don’t comport with natural law,” and demanding that state colleges rescind protections for LGBT employees.
Still, Cuccinelli believes he’s in the mainstream. “The notion that because I believe marriage ought to be protected, because I believe life begins at conception — just like hundreds of thousands of independents and Democrats — this isn’t just me, it isn’t just Repulicans,” he said. “There are lots of Virginians, millions, perhaps, of Virginians, who share my sincerely held beliefs.”
Not if his fundraising is any indication. Cuccinelli has raised half the cash that McAuliffe has. More to the point, some potential donors have made a point of saying that his stand on social issues, including gay rights, precludes their contributing to him. It also doesn’t help that Cuccinelli has been tangled up in an ongoing investigation involving the current governor, Bob Mc Donnell, who is accused of receiving tens of thousands of dollars in payments from a Virginia company in which Cuccinelli happened to be an investor. All in all, Cuccinelli is running the quintessential GOP modern campaign: out of touch with voters and out of step with reality.