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Posted at 04:14 PM ET, 01/03/2012

Cuccinelli’s about-face on ballot access draws backhanded praise

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (MARVIN JOSEPH - THE WASHINGTON POST)
When Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II had a change of heart over the weekend about getting more presidential candidates on the state’s GOP primary ballot, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling issued an attaboy to his political rival.

The two Republicans are both running for governor in 2013. So it might seem surprising that Bolling, the presumptive nominee until Cuccinelli jumped into the race in December, would publicly praise the attorney general’s decision not to seek the inclusion of candidates who did not qualify for the ballot.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) (Tracy A. Woodward - THE WASHINGTON POST)
But take a look at the statement Bolling sent out. It’s backhanded praise, at best.

“Needless to say, I am pleased that Attorney General Cuccinelli has abandoned his call for legislative changes to Virginia’s ballot access requirements in advance of the Republican presidential primary in March,” it begins. 

“While I do not object to the General Assembly considering changes to our ballot access requirements for future elections, it would have been inappropriate to make such changes in the middle of the current presidential nominating process. ... Going forward, I would also encourage Attorney General Cuccinelli to avoid making public statements that criticize our state election laws while his office is defending the State Board of Elections in a lawsuit that has been brought against them by Governor Perry and certain other presidential candidates.  

“I am concerned that such public comments could be used against the Commonwealth in our effort to defend these lawsuits, and I am confident that the Attorney General would not want to do anything that could jeopardize his office’s ability to win this case.”

By  |  04:14 PM ET, 01/03/2012

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