Cuccinelli Endorses Running Mate, But Won’t Defend Anything He’s Ever Said

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"Cuccinelli Endorses Running Mate, But Won’t Defend Anything He’s Ever Said"

Virgnia GOP statewide nominees Ken Cuccinelli II, EW Jackson Sr., and Mark Obenshain

Virgnia GOP statewide nominees Mark Obenshain, Ken Cuccinelli II, and EW Jackson Sr. (Credit: Kyle Green/Roanoke Times)

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), the Republican nominee for governor, endorsed his newly-nominated running mate, Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., but refused to say whether he agreed with Jackson’s myriad controversial comments.

Cuccinelli told a crowd in Abingdon, VA on Monday that he wants Jackson, as Lt. Governor, breaking ties in the currently split Virginia Senate: “I don’t need to know what the subject matter that’s going to tie up 20-20 that the LG can vote on will be. I’m confident that we’re going to get the right vote every single time out of E.W. Jackson. So I’m glad he’s on this ticket, too.”

But in a statement to the Virginia Pilot, Cuccinelli also said he would not answer questions about his new running mate’s views. “We are not defending any of our running mates’ statements now or in the future,” he noted, adding “The people of Virginia need to get comfortable with each candidate individually.”

Given the panic and criticism from some Republicans over Jackson’s surprise victory at Saturday’s Republican Party of Virginia nominating convention, it is unsurprising that Cuccinelli wants to keep his running mate at arm’s length. But their arch-conservative views on key issues seem largely identical:

Jackson Cuccinelli
LGBT Rights Jackson opposes LGBT equality, claiming, “Homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.” Cuccinelli opposes LGBT equality, claiming, “When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.
Planned Parenthood Jackson has attacked Planned Parenthood, calling it “more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was.” Cuccinelli has frequently attacked Planned Parenthood, accusing them of having an “open willingness to participate in human trafficking,” and has suggested the fact that abortion clinics in Virginia are in urban areas with large African American populations is an example of white racism.
Health care Jackson does not believe Virginia should comply with the Obamacare law, claiming, “Virginia is duty bound to DEFY NOT COMPLY with any federal encroachment on the rights and freedom of our people. Working families across the Commonwealth are disappointed that a Republican led General Assembly decided to COMPLY and NOT DEFY a law that will greatly hurt the economy and health care options affecting all Virginians.” After Cuccinelli’s failed challenge to Obamacare in federal court, he suggested Virginia might not need to comply with the law: “It’s not like there’s criminal penalties out there — it becomes a power struggle,” he noted, adding, “There have been periods of time when states have just thrown their hands up and said, ‘We’re not going to do this’… It’s still possible, but it’s outside the expected legal structure.
President Obama Jackson has attacked President Obama for having “Muslim sensibilities,” claiming Obama “sees the world and Israel from a Muslim perspective.” He called Obama an anti-Semite, blaming “his Muslim associations and his long period of mentorship under Jeremiah Wright.” Cuccinelli dabbled in birtherism in 2010, saying, “Someone is going to have to come forward with nailed down testimony that he was born in place B, wherever that is. You know, the speculation is Kenya. And that doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility.” He quickly backed down.

For his part, Jackson sees Cuccinelli as an ideological soul mate. In a March posting on his campaign website, entitled “Ken Cuccinelli Is Right,” he wrote: “As an American and a Virginian whose ancestors were deemed by some to be less than human, I am proud to stand with a man who has the courage to speak to our consciences. As the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, I will be proud to help Ken Cuccinelli bring common sense values and governance to Richmond. If we are elected in November, KEN AND I WILL FIGHT FOR EVERY VIRGINIAN’S RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”

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