Most Read: Local

Virginia Politics
Posted at 04:40 PM ET, 03/09/2012

Virginia lacks conservative leaders, Cuccinelli’s wife tells supporters

It turns out Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s wife may be as outspoken as he is.

In a letter to supporters, Teiro Cuccinelli, writing on behalf of her husband, said the state suffers from “a lack of firm, principled
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)
conservative leaders.”

She didn’t mention the man Cuccinelli (R) wants to replace as Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, or his rival in the GOP primary, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling , both Republicans, but she didn’t really need to.

“In the past two years, it has become clear that Virginia and the rest of the country are suffering from a lack of firm, principled conservative leaders....men and women not just willing to talk about our principles but to stick their necks out and lead on tough issues,’’ she wrote. “Personally I’m very tired of elected officials who want to make everybody happy and avoid ruffling any feathers at all costs. By avoiding all controversy, they actually don’t accomplish anything if substance. These types of politicians are not leaders.”

Zing!

Needless to say, McDonnell, who is backing Bolling in next year’s gubernatorial campaign, and Bolling himself, don’t think much of those comments.

“I guess I just, respectfully, disagree a little with Mrs. Cuccinelli,’’ McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. “I think Virginia has a number of conservative leaders, starting with Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, Ken Cuccinelli (her husband), Eric Cantor, Morgan Griffith, Scott Rigell, Robert Hurt, Rob Wittman, Randy Forbes, Bob Goodlatte and Frank Wolf, and the list goes on and on.”

When Cuccinelli decided to challenge Bolling in the governor’s race, Republicans worried things might get ugly.

After all, Bolling has already lashed out at Cuccinelli, deriding him as putting his “personal ambition” ahead of the state. But Cuccinelli has surprised many by not saying much.Until now.

The attorney general has garnered national headlines with persistent lawsuits against the federal government, challenges to scientists on climate warming and advice to colleges against nondiscrimination policies for homosexuals. His tendency to speak his mind has helped him garner enthusiastic tea party support. Last month, he received the “Defender of the Constitution Award” at the Conservative Political Action Conference, billed as the largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists nationwide.

“We are very proud of the conservative leadership that Governor McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bolling and other Republican leaders have provided in Virginia over the past two years, and we’re also proud of the leadership that Congressman Cantor and other Republican leaders have provided at the federal level,’’ Bolling spokesman Ibbie Hedrick said. “If Mr. Cuccinelli disagrees with the things we have been doing, he hasn’t told us about it. So, it is surprising that he would begin his campaign for Governor by attacking the very people that he campaigned with two years ago and has served with for the past two years.”

By  |  04:40 PM ET, 03/09/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company