Biden frames Virginia governor's election as race against the tea party
November 4th, 2013
11:50 AM ET
6 years ago

Biden frames Virginia governor's election as race against the tea party

(CNN) – Campaigning for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in Virginia's gubernatorial race, Vice President Joe Biden depicted Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli as a puppet of the tea party and framed the race as a referendum on the conservative grassroots movement, one day before voters head to the polls on Election Day.

"I'm not just here for Terry. I'm not just here because I'm a Democrat. I'm here because this race matters well beyond the state of Virginia," Biden said Monday at a campaign event in Annandale, Virginia.

"It's the first major race between the forces and faces of the new Republican tea party, a tea party whose social recidivism is outdone only by its hostility to science and technology, innovation and scholarship," he continued.

Five things to know about this year's most important election

A new Quinnipiac poll released Monday showed McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, ahead of Cuccinelli, the commonwealth's attorney general, by six percentage points, 46%-40%.

While Cuccinelli has strong support among grassroots conservatives, he has struggled to unite the Republican base. The new poll shows only 85% of the GOP backs Cuccinelli, while 93% of Democrats support McAuliffe.

Biden argued the tea party's motto should be "back to the future" and their goal is to undo progress. As for Cuccinelli himself, the vice president said the attorney general "has views that are completely antitheses to where this country has to go."

While Democrats are trying to make the race about the tea party, Cuccinelli's campaign and supporters argue the contest is more of a referendum on the federal health care law, as it undergoes a rocky roll-out this fall.

McAuliffe ahead on eve of Election Day

The vice president also hammered Cuccinelli on women's issues and his support of legislation that critics argue lead to restrictions against abortion and some forms of birth control. Democrats have zeroed in on the topic during the campaign, but Cuccinelli maintains he has never gone after personal choices about contraception.

Regardless, polls indicate a significant gender gap among likely women voters, a crucial voting bloc in Virginia. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 50% of women back McAuliffe, while 36% support Cuccinelli.

As the author of the Violence Against Women Act, Biden harpooned Cuccinelli for not signing a letter of support to reauthorize the legislation.

Cuccinelli's campaign says the attack, which has been used before to paint Cuccinelli as weak on women's issues, is unfair. His website states it's the attorney general office's policy not to sign letters with a position on legislation, "regardless of the subject."

Combating the attacks, Cuccinelli points to his record of devoting staff to fight human trafficking and "protect women from entering into forced sexual servitude," his website states. It also highlights a national program he started in college of student-to-student sexual assault prevention, called "S.A.F.E."

"Vice President Joe Biden’s visit and rhetoric today in favor of Terry McAuliffe encapsulates a campaign for governor on the part of Democrats littered with absurdities and falsehoods. Biden is the poster boy for the failures of this administration and its lies concerning ObamaCare," Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix said in a statement.

Biden on Monday strongly urged supporters to get out the vote for McAuliffe, warning "there's only one place the tea party can compete with us and that is they do turn out their base."

"Don't be one of those people who worked all this time to elect Terry and this ticket – don't be going to bed on Tuesday night thinking, 'If I had knocked on 10 more doors, if I had knocked on 20 more doors, if I had taken 5 more people to the polls.' You don't want to be there and you can't let the nation get there," he added.

The vice president was the latest high profile figure to campaign for McAuliffe. President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have also hit the trail for the Democrat.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia governor’s race

Also Monday, Cuccinelli has a high profile guest of his own when former Rep. Ron Paul, a three-time presidential candidate who has a strong following among Libertarian voters, campaigns for the Attorney General at a rally in Richmond.

Tuesday night's winner will succeed Republican incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell, who's not running for re-election because Virginia's governors are not allowed to serve consecutive terms.

- CNN's Chloe Sommers contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2013 • Joe Biden • Ken Cuccinelli • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. A True Conservative

    @anonymous – funny – I thought that was what Obama ran on (along with many, many other things). How has that worked out for you Obama voters? The Tea Party tried to tell Americans that the Obama led health care law was going to crash and burn – but many didn't want to lisen. Now those same individuals will rant against the Tea Party – you can lead a horse to water....but if the fool won't drink it.....

    November 4, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Ol' Yeller

    "Again – ever notice how the comments shift to the left here as the day goes on? Seems the the left leaners are finally rolling out of bed......LOL"
    The Truth Hurts writes: just as Donna comes on and starts her communist tirades while nursing her hangover from the cheap vodka she bought from the corner liquor store who givers her 25 cents on the dollar on her SNAP card.
    EL OH EL.... (you can tell how much truth and these other righties are really 'with it' as they think it is still on the cutting edge to write LOL- putzes)

    November 4, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    The Truth Hurts

    Do you mean the Tea Party that tried to tell the American people the truth about Oamacare and Joe? That Tea Party? Yup – we have to keep an eye on them – they are WAY too honest with people! We wouldn't want honesty and accountability sneaking into the government, now would we?

    Again – ever notice how the comments shift to the left here as the day goes on? Seems the the left leaners are finally rolling out of bed......LOL
    Wow, geez, and you're so busy running data on global warming, in addition to your stated profession as an engineer and blogging under your other handle ( A True Conservative): where do you find time for the wife and kids, or are they as big a myth as your multiple engineering degrees and your ground-breaking research as a denier of man's inpact on climate change ( even though you have no expertise)? Just insert a story about winning a Olympic Medal and producing a new Broadway musical, and your fantasy will be complete. Stick to one name, instead of just clogging up space with mindless, kneejerk responses that only betray a shallow wit. The question should be, how do you find the time to post throughout the day and night?

    November 4, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    @The Truth Hurts "Do you mean the Tea Party that tried to tell the American people the truth..."

    Tea Party "truths"
    religious freedom = my kind of Christian State Religion, force religion into schools, government, etc.
    oppressive government = replace with MY kind of moral laws and big government
    Obama the dictator = I don't want to be told I cannot hate gays, poor, women, and non-evangelical Christians
    death panels = similar to space aliens, imaginary
    right to life = put women in their place be regulating their bodies

    November 4, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. 2L

    This is very telling for VA – used to be Republicans ruled in non-Presidential elections there

    November 4, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Anthony in California

    Wow. Tea Party is toast. 2012 and 2014 will be back to back "referendums" on them.
    And 2016... oh man.. Hillary is gonna pummel the Republicans into extinction.
    "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" will turn to "Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi" but guess what? Americans are sick of Republican lies and false promises. Instead of obstructing and goose chasing... try coming up with some solutions for a change.

    Oh.... and we still want our 24 Billion back.

    November 4, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. loving it


    "...Biden depicted Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli as a puppet of the tea party and framed the race as a referendum on the conservative grassroots movement..."

    Actually, the Tea Parties don't do puppets; they quite straightforwardly offer candidates support for supporting liberty and condemnation for supporting the Nanny-state tyranny of the left.

    And in fact the Virginia race is a referendum on the evolving disaster of Obamacare: can Democrats be trusted to do anything without screwing it up and costing the country billions of dollars?


    So when McCauliffe wins tomorrow, you'll accept the results of the referendum that the ACA is supported, and will encourage your friends on the right to discontinue trying to sabbotage it?

    November 4, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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