Dueling ads: McAuliffe highlights cross-aisle support, Cuccinelli hits Democrat on probes

BOB BROWN, STEVE HELBER - Democrat Terry McAuliffe, left; Republican Ken Cuccinelli, right

Terry McAuliffe used a new ad to highlight support for his Virginia governor campaign from outside the Democratic party Tuesday, while Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II unveiled a spot of his own focusing on the investigations of the electric car company co-founded by McAuliffe.

In McAuliffe’s spot, titled “That’s Why,” former Del. Katherine Waddell (Richmond) says the Democratic nominee “will work with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to make smart decisions about our future. Terry is the candidate who has a plan to create jobs, and he has the experience to make it happen. That’s why I’ll be voting for Terry McAuliffe for governor.”

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Waddell, who supported Democrat Creigh Deeds in the 2009 governor’s race and President Obama’s reelection in 2012, was elected to the House in 2005 as an independent. In the ad she refers to herself as an “independent Republican.”

The ad continues McAuliffe’s effort to position himself as the more moderate candidate in the race, willing to work with Republicans and independents, while casting Cuccinelli (R) as an inflexible conservative.

Republicans have mocked McAuliffe’s strategy, contending that the former Democratic National Committee chairman is a longtime partisan brawler with little record of reaching across the aisle.

Cuccinelli, meanwhile, is using his latest ad to focus on what it calls McAuliffe’s “shady business deal and a growing scandal” surrounding GreenTech. The car company and a sister firm are under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over their use of a federal program that gives visas to foreign investors. The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General is conducting a separate probe into whether a top immigration official granted GreenTech favorable treatment.

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