The Washington Post

In forthcoming book, Cuccinelli echoes Romney’s ‘47 percent’

RICHMOND — Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s new book doesn’t hit stores until Feb. 12, but a few pages of it have trickled out to The Washington Post.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate wrote the book, “The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty,” with Brian J. Gottstein, his spokesman at the Attorney General’s office. It recounts his legal battles with the federal government. Chief among them: His first-in-the-nation but ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit against “Obamacare.”

“A must-read for every patriot,” reads its billing on

Spoiler alert: The pages reveal Cuccinelli is a conservative. His campaign declined to comment Wednesday night.

On the pages sent the Post’s way, Cuccinelli uses language akin to Mitt Romney’s famous “47 percent” comment. The Republican presidential candidate had suggested that a share of the electorate was so dependent on government hand-outs that it would never vote for him.

Romney’s words, captured on a hidden camera, helped sink his campaign. Time will tell how the similar language plays for Cuccinelli, who unlike Romney has never been accused of trying to pass himself off as a moderate. In his case, he wants voters to hear it.

A few excerpts:

— “Sometimes bad politicians set out to grow government in order to increase their own power and influence. This phenomenon doesn’t just happen in Washington; it happens at all levels of government. The amazing this is that they often grow government without protest from citizens, and sometimes they even get buy-in from citizens — at least from the ones getting the goodies.

“One of their favorite ways to increase their power is by creating programs that dispense subsidized government benefits, such as Medicare, Social Security, and outright welfare (Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, and the like). These programs make people dependent on government. And once people are dependent, they feel they can’t afford to have the programs taken away, no matter how inefficient, poorly run, or costly to the rest of society.”

— “Citizens will vote for those politicians who promise more benefits each year, rather than the fiscally responsible politicians who try to point out that such programs are unsustainable and will eventually bankrupt the states or the nation.

“Creating government dependency is the typical method of operation for big-government statists. But sometimes even small-government conservatives can stray from their principles and fall into this way of legislating. . . . We don’t have to go far to find examples of conservatives going astray. One such example was the creation of a subsidized prescription drug program for senior citizens called Medicare Part D. It was the largest entitlement program program in forty years, and it was created under Republican president George W. Bush and passed by a Republican-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate in 2003. While there may have been some good intentions involved, this was George W. Bush using taxpayer dollars to buy seniors’ votes for his 2004 reelection campaign, pure and simple. And the Republicans in Congress generally went right along with it.”

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.



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