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This is painfully awkward:

In the clearest sign yet of the potent effect of the government shutdown on the Virginia governor’s race, Republican Ken Cuccinelli avoided being photographed with Ted Cruz at a gala they headlined here Saturday night—even leaving before the Texas senator rose to speak.

Backstage, a source said, Cuccinelli urged Cruz to work with Democrats to end the federal shutdown. But he did not make that point, or even acknowledge Cruz, in short public comments to some 1,100 social conservatives.

Cruz has become the face of GOP intransigence, and the conservative attorney general’s effort to distance himself from congressional Republicans reflects how damaging Cuccinelli realizes a prolonged shutdown may be for his campaign.

For his part, Cruz heaped praise on his “friend” Cuccinelli and argued passionately in a 54-minute speech that their party can still win the messaging fight over the shutdown if the people just speak out loudly enough. - Politico, 10/5/13

Ouch, that's cold.  Especially after Cruz said some very nice things about his buddy, Kenny:

After a couple of filler speakers, it was Cruz’ turn.

He made couple of jokes about his faux filibuster, took some shots at President Obama and at Washington in general, and talked about how “Obamacare is hands-down, the No. 1 job killer in this country.”

Cruz soon left the lectern and paced across the stage while making his various points. Aside from frequent applause, rapt attention and silence came from the crowd.
Of Cuccinelli, he said, among other things: “How proud I am of my friend, Ken Cuccinelli. Ken is smart, he’s principled and he’s fierce. . .He loves liberty and the constitution.”

Cruz then kept the bulk of his remarks about the health-care act, Obama and various Democrats on Capitol Hill who he repeatedly blamed for the government shutdown. - WJLA, 10/5/13

Then again, it's pretty understandable why Cuccinelli wouldn't want to be photographed with Cruz:

The impasse in Washington has forced Cuccinelli to walk a fine line: between his longtime tea party supporters, who regard Cruz as a hero, and independent voters in a state with a large federal workforce, who tend to take a dim view of Obamacare but an even dimmer one of the shutdown.

At the same time, the shutdown drama and last week’s glitchy opening of Obamacare enrollment have given Cuccinelli the opportunity to highlight his early opposition to the law. The first attorney general in the nation to file suit against it, Cuccinelli has held a series of roundtable discussions about the law with small-business owners over the past week.

In his remarks at the Family Foundation dinner at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, Cuccinelli spoke generally about fighting the “regulatory onslaught coming out of Washington” without mentioning the battle raging in Washington.

“The battle for liberty, the battle for freedom from our government takes place so often over regulatory burdens,” he said.

His only nod to the shutdown came as he said his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, has threatened one on the state level. On the campaign trail, McAuliffe has said he would not sign a budget that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA. Republicans say that, given opposition to expansion in the GOP-dominated House, his promise amounts to a threat to hold the state budget hostage over Medicaid. McAuliffe, who has lately softened his rhetoric on the subject, has said that he would find a bipartisan way to make expansion happen.

Cuccinelli’s campaign said that he met privately with Cruz before the dinner and urged him to find a way to end the impasse.

Brian Coy, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia, said the campaign had “fabricated” that account.

“Ken Cuccinelli had an opportunity to go on stage and send a message to Ted Cruz if that was, in fact, his goal,” Coy said. “Instead he was silent, and his staff tried to cover for him with a secret meeting.” - Washington Post, 10/5/13

Plus considering Obama won Virginia in last year's election, Cuccinelli really doesn't want to be too close to Cruz because Obama hasn't said nice things about him either:

It was clearly not a good weekend for Cruz’s ego: President Obama also criticized him, calling him “controversial” on Saturday and saying “I didn’t go around trying to court the media.” At least Cruz has those bedtime readings of Green Eggs and Ham with his daughters. - The Daily BEast, 10/6/13
Cuccinelli, down in the polls, can't afford to be seen with the man who is helping bring down his party.  Even though Cruz doesn't think he's hurting the GOP's chances:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters as he emerges from the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept 25, 2013, after his overnight crusade railing against the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as
Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) rejected the suggestion that members of his own party are unhappy with him for pursuing a fight over Obamacare into a government shutdown.

Asked by host Candy Crowley whether his actions have "hurt the Republican Party brand," Ted Cruz said no.

"Not remotely, but I also think far too many people are worried about politics" in the shutdown fight, Cruz said. - Huffington Post, 10/6/13

Cuccinelli can pathetically try to distance himself from Cruz all he wants but at the end of the day, he's just another crazy teabagger like Cruz.  There's really no difference between the two Republicans.  But we need to make sure Cuccinelli doesn't win by making sure our base comes out to vote for Terry McAuliffe (D. VA) on November 5th.  If you would like to donate or get involved with McAuliffe's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 06:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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