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Huh, well that's one way to answer a question about abortion:

Ken Cuccinelli’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign has been scrambling to stave off accusations that his previous support for “personhood” legislation in the state means he is in favor of restricting birth control. He was confronted with this argument in a town hall meeting on Tuesday, and responded that he does not support any kinds of restrictions on contraception. Practically speaking, even if he doesn’t support contraception control, the personhood bill he co-sponsored in the Virginia Senate in 2007 would likely have had that effect, according to people who know these things.

This latest focus on Cuccinelli’s aggressive social conservatism comes on the heels of a pro-choice protest against the attorney general on Monday. The response from the Cuccinelli campaign to local TV affiliates when asked about protestors' claims that he would set back abortion and birth control rights as governor was a master class in sad attempts to change the subject:

"Terry McAuliffe has stood silently by as his Democratic friends degrade and harass women. Terry has been given numerous opportunities to denounce the despicable behavior of Anthony Weiner and other Democrat politicians, yet he refuses to take a principled stand for what's right."

That’s right, if you are worried about the abortion restrictions a Cuccinelli administration might pass, then Anthony Weiner. Not only is this some mighty ridiculous guilt-by-sort-of-association, it’s also a painful non sequitur. It takes the “reverse war on women” strategy to a level not seen since the National Republican Senatorial Committee tried to use Slate’s Carlos Danger name generator to condemn Democrats writ-large. - Slate, 8/28/13

Wow, sounds like Kenny boy is losing it or someone on his campaign told him that his social conservative platform is really hurting him in the polls.  That might explain this:

At the Ashby Ponds retirement community in Ashburn on Tuesday, Cuccinelli was asked by a woman in the audience whether, as governor, he would "support and sign personhood legislation that contains restrictions on birth control medication and birth control devices."

"I don't think government should be doing anything about birth control ... so no I would not," Cuccinelli responded. "Government legislation shouldn't address contraception."

When the woman suggested that meant he would not support personhood legislation, "because that's automatic with a personhood bill," Cuccinelli said: "If you say so, but what I'm telling you is I'm not going to touch contraception as governor, so I think you and I might disagree." - Washington Post, 8/27/13

Huh, this must be a whole new Ken Cuccinelli, because his record on reproductive rights speaks differently:

In 2007, when he was a member of the Virginia Senate, Cuccinelli was co-sponsor of House Bill 2797, which would have added this line to the Virginia constitution: "That life begins at the moment of fertilization and the right to enjoyment of life guaranteed by Article 1, § 1 of the Constitution of Virginia is vested in each born and preborn human being from the moment of fertilization."

The main sponsor of this bill was Robert G. Marshall, a member of the House of Delegates from Prince William County, and in 2012, the House of Delegates approved a version of it. This bill stated that "unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth."

At the time the House of Delegate took this action, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists denounced such "personhood" laws, warning that they could "deny women access to the full spectrum of preventive health care including contraception." In talking points that accompanied the announcement, ACOG said that "some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception -- oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, and other forms of FDA-approved contraceptives -- could be banned in states that adopt 'personhood' measures." - The Washington Post, 7/23/13

You have to wonder when the GOP is going to learn that "star candidates" like Cuccinelli are the reasons they keep losing competitive elections:

Down in the polls and out-raised by his opponent, Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is increasingly relying on the national party to come to his rescue.

In the past two months, the Republican Governors Association has spent $3.6 million on television ads in the state, on top of the $2 million doled out to the campaign earlier this year. Three of the GOP's biggest stars, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, are all expected to campaign for Cuccinelli this fall, with Rubio scheduled to come to Virginia next month.

It's a mutually beneficial but awkward relationship between the nominee and the national political establishment. Republicans--including the three potential 2016 contenders--want to keep their grip on the highest office in a major battleground state. Not to mention that the GOP is gunning to repudiate Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, a former national party chairman closely tied to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"If you care about conservative values and getting our country back on track, this race should matter to YOU, even if you don't live in Virginia," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, chairman of the RGA and another possible 2016 candidate, in a recent fundraising appeal.

But the national party's much-ballyhooed goal of winning over more minorities and women on the road to the White House doesn't always line up with Cuccinelli's fiercely conservative track record. The mismatch was evident Tuesday, when the attorney general was asked about Rubio's bill to allow millions of illegal immigrants to earn citizenship. Some Republican leaders say the bill will pave crucial inroads into the fast-growing Hispanic community.

"I don't support amnesty, if that's what you mean, but I certainly support a focus on the rule of law," Cuccinelli said in a visit to the Ashby Ponds retirement community. He added he hadn't read the bill: "I'm running for governor. That is a state office." - National Journal, 8/28/13

Republicans are wishing that Cuccinelli, a native of New Jersey, was more like another great GOP hope from the Garden State:

Christie, the governor of New Jersey, is a moderate conservative cruising to reelection; Cuccinelli, currently the attorney general of Virginia, is the darling of the GOP base and not much more. Christie has a double-digit lead over his Democratic challenger, State Senator Barbara Buono; Cuccinelli is down by about five points to former Democratic National Committee Chair, Clinton crony, and alleged grifter Terry McAuliffe, according to the latest pair of polls.

Christie’s strength in the reliably blue Garden State and Cuccinelli’s weakness in the Old Dominion are about persona, policy, and political reality. Christie knows that he’s the governor of a state that has consistently gone for Democratic presidential candidates over the last two decades. On the other hand, Cuccinelli fantasizes that Virginia voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney, and that ethnic-slurring George Allen made it to the Senate.

But Cuccinelli’s problems go deeper than that. Right now, he is underperforming even Romney’s showing in Virginia. Romney lost the state, but still managed to win its upscale voters and white women—Cuccinelli is losing both blocs to McAuliffe.

Cuccinelli has undoubtedly been harmed by an ethics and gift scandal that has ensnared the sitting and term-limited Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, the reported subject of a federal grand jury probe. Still, it’s not just about McDonnell’s allegedly sticky fingers. Cuccinelli, too, suffers from ethical myopia (or dulled political judgment), even if he has been formally cleared of possible ethics violations. - The Daily Beast, 8/26/13

Of course none of that is going to stop the GOP and Super PACs from spending big to try and defeat Terry mcAuliffe (D. VA), who is ahead in the polls.  If you would like to get involved or donate to McAuliffe's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women, Virginia Kos, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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