“I am just not going to defend my running mates’ statements at every turn,” he said, referring not only to Jackson but Sen. Mark Obenshain (R), who was nominated for attorney general.
Democrats, who will choose their ticket in a June 11 primary, have made it clear they will try to link Cuccinelli to Jackson. In a news release issued Monday, the Democratic Party of Virginia recalled Cuccinelli’s contention, made in an interview with the Virginian-Pilot as he ran for attorney general in 2009, that it is “appropriate” to base public policy on the premise that homosexuals engage in behavior that is “intrinsically wrong” and offensive to “natural law.”
“Ken has always believed that marriage is between a man and woman — he won’t change that position — but Ken also believes it’s important to convey policy differences without personally demeaning anyone,” LaCivita said.
In this race, Cuccinelli has tried to steer clear of social issues and stress economic policy in the style of term-limited Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who ran four years ago on the slogan “Bob’s for Jobs!”
Until he dropped out of the nomination battle, Bolling had a voting record about as conservative as Cuccinelli’s. But the lieutenant governor he has a more conciliatory style than the attorney general, who has led high-profile battles against “Obamacare,” a university climate scientist and abortion. Bolling has since parted ways with Republicans on a range of issues, saying he planned to become an “independent voice” for the party.
Some Republicans have called Bolling’s new-found independence sour grapes, noting that Bolling himself was nominated in a convention four years ago.
“I like Bill Bolling, but Bill was nominated by a convention last time,” said Del. Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), who was chairman of the convention.
Asked about Bolling’s criticism of the contention and Jackson, McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said via email: “The Governor believes in a Virginia that provides opportunities and respect for all. There will always be political and policy disagreements, but the governor believes we must express those disagreements with civility. While the Governor has a different opinion on a few issues than some of our candidates, as expected, he knows that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will lead a strong ticket focused on jobs, schools, taxes and kitchen table issues.”