March 24th, 2010
06:42 PM ET
8 years ago

McAuliffe: Virginia Republicans playing games with health care

Terry McAuliffe ran for governor of Virginia in 2009 and could do so again in 2013.

Terry McAuliffe ran for governor of Virginia in 2009 and could do so again in 2013.

Washington (CNN) - Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who sought the Virginia governorship last year and could do so again in 2013, has some choice words for Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli when it comes to health care reform.

McDonnell signed a bill Wednesday to bar the federal government from forcing state residents to purchase health insurance. Cuccinelli has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration arguing that the health care bill's mandate that individuals purchase insurance violates Virginia law.

Both Republicans, McAuliffe told CNN, "are playing a divisive game of politics that hurts Virginia families and clearly hurts and affects the health care of millions of Virginians."

"This is all bogus," he said in a phone interview. "It's nothing more than pure politics. These lawsuits will not be successful. This is more about playing to their own political base."

McAuliffe predicted that voters will warm to health care reform now that a single piece of legislation has been signed into law and the benefits can be clearly explained. Health care reform, he said, will provide prescription drug coverage to millions of seniors, cut the federal deficit and give tax credits to small businesses in Virginia. The law will "turbo-charge the economy," he added.

"This bill will literally benefit millions and millions of Virginians, and here we have the governor and the attorney general of Virginia filing a frivolous lawsuit," he said. "It's crazy."

Looking ahead to the midterm elections, McAuliffe said "Republicans have made strategic and tactical error, going against what Americans want, and I think they are going to pay a price for it."

Since he came up short last summer in his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, McAuliffe hasn't shied away from dabbling in Virginia politics. Last month, he submitted a bid to purchase a soon-to-be-shuttered paper plant in Franklin, saying he wanted to save the plant's jobs by converting it into a biomass energy facility. Over the weekend, he appeared at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Richmond.

Asked about his political future, McAuliffe left the door open to running for governor again.

"We'll see where we are in three years," he said. "Three years is a long way off, and a lot can happen in three years. Right now I am traveling the state, going to JJ Dinners all over the state. But my focus right now is trying to do what I talked about when I was running for governor, creating jobs, green jobs. I didn't have to be governor to do the things I talked about. I have been active in the private sector."

Filed under: 2010 • Bob McDonnell • Ken Cuccinelli • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Charlie in Maine

    Go Terry GO!

    March 24, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. annie against biased news

    Loser mcauliffe best wise up – the demoncraps already played games with this government rationed hellcare bill destroying a large portion of our country!

    March 24, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Sandy

    Republicans really do hate America.

    March 24, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Obama 2012

    Of course the Republicans are again doing NOTHING to help America recover from the Bush administration's disastorous 8 year's in office. I hope Mr. McAuliffe will run for Governor in 2013. I voted for him last year, and am still not sure how on earth Creigh Deed's ended up with the Democratic nomination!?!?!

    March 24, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Join SC, AL, TX, Alaska and secede – we won't have to support you any longer, for roads and emergency services, with the hard-earned money and the taxes WE pay on that money.

    March 24, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Bill, NY

    After todays incidents in our nations capitol you can now add hate mongerers to the job description of republicans. The only thing they care about is making sure our president fails no matter who suffers. They are terrorists!

    March 24, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. El Gordo

    Each of these attorneys general are merely mugging for the cameras, each hoping to be seen as the Conservative Warrior, ready to do battle with the Liberal-Communist-Atheist-Lesbian-Socialist-Enemies-of-Goodness. Each of their states, I have read, have plenty of problems that could use attention but these guys are running for the November elections and they have a really swell job. It's an easy hop from AG to the governor's mansion, and from there ... who knows?

    Conservative voters, 25% of whom say that Obama is the anti-Christ, fall for this kind of theater every time. They like a man with a good loud voice and no troubling thoughts.

    I am disgusted.

    March 24, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Susan

    Shame on the Discovery Channel to make her a spokesperson for Alaska. All she wants to do is kill all the animals and she's rarely there anyway so her loyalties are obviously anywhere the money is.

    March 24, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. John Lloyd Scharf

    We have been committed to a health care plan written by lobbyists on crack for a committee whose chairman says he´╗┐ doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress who did not read and exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president, a smoker, who also did not read it, with funding administered by the Treasurer who "" pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a nation in debt to be paid for by citizens who are jobless.

    McAuliffe needs to have that door on a gubernatorial nomination closed on him.

    March 24, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Listen

    mcAulloaf needs to listen to the American people, they are trying to tell him something, or is he too arrogant and ignorant as his counterparts in congress?

    March 24, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Slider

    I see Terry's still a loser.

    Fanny's still sore, honey?

    March 24, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. Aspen Professor

    Just a quote - "the governor and the attorney general of Virginia filing a frivolous lawsuit," he said. "It's crazy."

    It is NOT crazy! It is Republican roadblocking of anything and everything that the Obama administration wants to do for America.

    The GOP has become an embarrassment for their registered voters like yours truly.

    March 24, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. KLS

    As a small business owner who pays $1000/month for basic health insurance with a $6000 deductible I thank God health care reform was passed.
    As a nation we already have "socialized" medicine partly funded by local, state and federal taxes for selected groups: active military, VA, federal and state employees, Congress, teachers, fire fighters, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
    Something had to be done to bring the skyrocketing health care premiums under control. The pre-exiting conditions and the insurance companies right to deny coverage to whomever they like and for any procedure or drugs they want has to stop.

    March 24, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. LoveThyNeighbor

    The "Grand Obstructionist Party" is at it again. Why do they NOT want American citizens to be taken care of by OUR goverment when we fall on hard times? That is the is the answer...THEY want to keep ALL the insurance kickback money in THEIR own pockets. This gives new meaning to "get a job". I wish I had a job that all I had to do to get paid was cut other people down and fill my pockets with their money!? Where can I sign up!?...Sam

    March 24, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. ib

    The only ones playing games are the democrats and they are playing with our healthcare. A lot of stuff has come out today. It's plain to see the democrats were in such a hurry to pass this thing they didn't even read it. Remember in Nov.

    March 24, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. CBR

    I read about Gov. McCullum and the VA legislature which penned a bill prohibiting certain measures in the Health Care Plan such as requiring people to carry insurance. Truthfully speaking i think they all have health care and could care less about those who do not. They should be required to tell their constituents about their health insurance and why the citizens of VA should not get health insurance.

    Mr. McAuliffe is correct. The Gov. and his friends are denying access to health insurance. However, if you followed the VA election last Nov. you cannot by surprised by his actions.

    March 24, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Gerry NH

    This guys a joke. If any business in the US would have created apolicy thur extortion and bribery lake Obama, Reid and Polosi did the justice department would be all over them. Only in Washington is it legal to perform criminal acts.

    March 24, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. JustMe

    That's what republicans do ... they play games. No big surprise that they're doing here too.

    March 24, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Roger

    McAuliffe you too have been suckered in by the Democratic deceiption, lies, bribery and a total disregard of our democratic princlples. But then you are one of them. You are a loser and so will be your so-called party in November. Have you ever heard of freedom and lliberty??? How can one respect one of your leaders when she says you have to passed this bill so we can understand it and another says that we make the rules as we go along, famous quotes by Reid, and the distortion and lies of Obama throughout this debate. Your silence until now certainly indicates that you condone this kind of hypocrocy. Get with it McAuliffe or just shut your mouth.

    March 24, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. Cain2012

    Looking ahead to the midterm elections, McAuliffe said "Republicans have made strategic and tactical error, going against what Americans want, and I think they are going to pay a price for it."

    I think Mr McAuliffe is out of touch. The polls that CNN were reporting clearly displayed that America does "NOT" want this Health Care Bill. Yes there are a few good parts of the bill, but there are a lot of bad parts as well. It will not lower insurance premiums, or the cost of Health Care. The funds that pay for the subsidized 32 million, will come out of the 53% of the people that pay the taxes, most of whom are not in the top 2% of wealth holders.

    March 24, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Very true. Tax credits to purchase insurance that doubles in cost every few years, Healthcare Savings Accounts, or Tort Reform Republican agendas will do nothing to help fix Healthcare. We need a Public Option like almost every other civilized nation on the planet has.

    March 24, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Indy Pendent

    Is there another side to this story? I would like to hear a rebuttal to Terry's statements. Or is that not newsworthy? And Terry has "been active in the private sector"? He can't be too closely tied with the administration then, huh?

    March 24, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Terry......

    Obamacare is going down and Obama is ONE and with it schmuck.....

    March 24, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Jo Ann Berry

    I am a born and bred Virginian, now living in Michigan. I had thoughts of returning to my home state of Virgiinia, but no longer. I am not too happy with Michigan either, but very, very upset with Virginia's current politics and their continual fight again the just passed Health Care Bill. What a terrible waste of time and money for the citizens of Virginia.

    March 24, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. Mickey

    Of course they are...that's what terrorists do...

    GOP = Domestic Terrorists

    March 24, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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