Augusta Free Press

Cuccinelli camp continues effort to kneecap McAuliffe with new TV ad

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The Ken Cuccinelli gubernatorial campaign, buried under deep negatives in recent polls, is continuing its fight-fire-with-fire effort with a new TV spot, “Not Realistic,” trying to pin big tax increases on Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Because we all know that pinning tax increases on a Democrat is gold in modern politics. (This is still the first decade of the 21st century, right?)

The spot and a press release on the spot both include a reference to how the Washington Post has described McAuliffe’s budget proposals “not sustainable or realistic” and that they would cost the state $14 billion.

The $14 billion reference in the Post is from a story headlined “Cuccinelli says price tag for McAuliffe’s campaign promises totals $14 billion,” so take that one for what it’s worth. Put out a press release saying that the other guy’s plan costs $14 billion, get somebody to write about the press release, then say the paper that wrote about it somehow confirmed that the plan costs what you say it costs because it wrote about your press release.

Nice circular reasoning, that.

The “not sustainable or realistic” quote is from a Post editorial titled “Medicaid’s no cure-all for McAuliffe’s budget plan” that ends this way:

“None of this argues against expanding Medi­caid in Virginia. Mr. McAuliffe is right about that, and the Republicans, including his opponent for governor, are wrong. Many Virginians would get health coverage, almost entirely on the federal government’s dime. Expanding Medi­caid is the right thing to do. But it is not a sustainable or realistic way to finance new spending in other areas.”

In essence, the editorial does say McAuliffe isn’t realistic in relying on money from a Medicaid expansion because Republicans in the General Assembly can’t be relied upon to do the common-sensical thing to the great benefit of their constituents.

So the ad does hit the mark there, though maybe not in a way that might sway a lot of independent and swing voters to give Cuccinelli a second look and peel off from McAuliffe.