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

McAuliffe: Virginia Republicans playing games with health care

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. John From Brooklyn

    What Governor Cuccinelli fails to understand is that the notion of nullifcation (that is, that states have a right to choosew hether they will or will not comply with federal law) was settled with the Civil War.

    Unless Virginia is ready to leave the country, or Governor Cuccinelli is willing to be held in violation of federal law.....he needs to uphold is oath to follow the law.

    Perhaps, like Kennedy did in the 60's with Civil Rights enforcement, Obama needs to send in the National Guard to ensure that backwards Dixie states like Virginia comply with the enlightened advances of the rest of the country.

    March 24, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  2. Kathy from Virginia

    It was a privilege to meet you at the OFA office. I am sorry that you are not our governor now. What we need is reason and concern for others rather than making ourselves. What we have are egocentrists who say that they are voting for their base, but what is really a collection of right wing lobbies.

    March 24, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. A Real American

    These nutjobs who yammer on about "the Constitution" ought to take another look at the Supremacy clause before they start filing any more frivolous lawsuits (apparently, the Republicans were against frivolous lawsuits before they were for them).

    McDonnell should also know that besides the Supremacy clause, the issue of "Nullification" was decided against the states long, long ago– and that, coupled with the Supremacy clause, makes this so-called "bill" worth less than the paper it's printed on.

    And these are the clowns who think they're capable of writing a health care bill. No wonder they've never done it.

    March 24, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Greg Hodges

    As a Canadian I am truely amazed at the vitriole the Republicans have unleashed in an almost insane attack against the health care bill passed this week. They have truely taken leave of their senses when 32 million Americans are now covered by health care for the first time in U.S. history. It is shameful in the extreme to say they are defending the public. They are only defending the previous status quo of health care by the rich and for the rich. "That which you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto ME!/"Mathew 25:34-40" Now I understand Democrats are being threatened with physical violence for daring to help the poor. SHAME,SHAME,SHAME !!! The conservative element better look hard in the mirror; facism is us...

    March 24, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. Jamie Tankersley

    I am a supporter of many of the provisions in the new Healthcare Bill, but the mandate I am unsure about and have many questions; for one, does everyone including people who are unemployed have to get medical coverage or pay the fine? In some respects I hope the Democrats remove the mandate unless it is constructed in a manner where everyone who can not afford coverage or even pay the fine can get full help to pay for the coverage.

    March 24, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. A.B.

    All of this nonsense and lawsuits against the U.S. Healthcare law is nothing more than political theatrics and grandstanding which will amount to notthing in the end. These lawsuits are a waste of tax payer's money. When the 2012 election arrives, people will remember that fact the President Obama and the Democrats delivered Healthcare and the Republicans played games and delivered notthing. Politicians who deliver the goods will be re-elected and remain in power. Those who play partisan games talk rhetoric will be gone!!

    March 24, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans will be playing the blame game against each other in a few months when they realize people are benefiting having health care reform. And don't forget, Republicans always try to weazle their way in to take credit, they've done it before but nobody will buy into them.

    March 24, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    So the former chairman of the Party that lied, cheated, schemed, plotted, and bribed its way to tyrannically imposing a law on a country the majority of the electorate of which did not want it is complaining that the Republicans are "playing games."

    So sad...

    March 24, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Michael from Ventura

    I Thought the grand obstructionists didn't believe in "frivilous laswsuits"!

    March 24, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. southern cousin

    McAulliffe the big liberal loser would probably also denied that the Democrats played corrupt games with health care. He has no credibility, he is a Clinton butt boy.

    March 24, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. ran

    Let the fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans continue their ways and we will be ride of them all come 2010/2012.

    At this point they are not worth keeping if all they can do is obstruct and not work for the people.

    March 24, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. aware

    All the lies will come home to roost Obama! The powers and principalities have you by the tail! 🙁

    March 24, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. GuyInVA

    "I didn't have to governor to do the things I talked about." Right. And "it's an honor just to be nominated" for an academy award. Once Bill Clinton was elected, the democrats became professional election losers under McAuliffe. It took Howard Dean and a gigantic lurch even farther left to right their ship. Who cares what McAuliffe says?

    March 24, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. so rich even obama couldn't hurt me but you middle class folk should worry

    hey buddy! the dems are playing games with the constitution! you forgot about that I bet! and the repub are taking orders FROM THEIR CONSTITUENTS!!!!!! you people are delusionsal!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
1 2