President Obama put in a plug for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe as the race with Ken Cuccinelli closed in on Election Day.
The latest Real Clear Politics polling average has McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, up 6.7 points on the Republican attorney general.
Obama stumped for McAuliffe Sunday afternoon at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, along with Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and actress Kerry Washington.
Obama said McAuliffe wouldn’t put party first as governor.
“You know, no party has a monopoly on wisdom. And I’m a Democrat and I’m proud to be a Democrat — but, historically, in our two-party system, there’s always been the capacity for folks on both sides of the aisle to work and find compromise on issues like the environment, or issues like building roads, and educating our workforce, and funding basic research. There’s been a broad consensus that these are things that are important for America to do,” the president said.
“But lately, instead of rolling up their sleeves and working on the things that we can agree on together, you’ve seen an extreme faction of the Republican Party that has shown again and again and again that they’re willing to highjack the entire party — and the country and the economy — and grind progress to an absolute halt if they don’t get 100 percent of what they want.”
Obama tried relating the effects of the federal government shutdown to the state race.
“Here in Virginia, you felt the pain of the first government shutdown in 17 years. And there aren’t a lot of states that felt more of the pain than folks right here in Virginia. Paychecks were delayed. Families were forced to go without the services that they depended on. Business owners took it on the chin when customers cut back on their own spending,” he said. “And, as Terry mentioned, his opponent says he’s perfectly happy with it. Now he says it’s in the rearview mirror. Well, it can’t be in the rearview mirror if this is your operative theory of politics. If you embrace the very politics that led to this shutdown, then I guarantee it’s not in the rearview mirror of voters in Virginia.”
He also went after Cuccinelli’s social conservatism, saying “you don’t create jobs and help the people of Virginia by trying to restrict the health care choices that women make.”
“Women are capable of making those choices by themselves. That’s not going to create jobs. Trying to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood — that’s not something that will grow our economy,” Obama continued. “That’s not going to help middle-class families get ahead. It doesn’t even help — it sure doesn’t help making sure that our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons.”
“Nothing makes me more nervous than when my supporters start feeling too confident, so I want to put the fear of God in all of you,” he added. “All right? Virginia, historically, has always been a swing state. And this race will be close, because past races in Virginia have always been close. And the question is going to be whether or not you are willing to out-work the other side.”