Written by Ken Cuccinelli
Thank you all very much. Thank you for standing with me and fighting for Virginia's future. And thank you all at home for letting me spend this time with you.
My name is Ken Cuccinelli and I am a constitutional conservative.
That means that I fight not only to restrain government, but also to use the first principles as my guide to solving the problems that confront us. Those principles provide the roadmap to both preserve liberty and make Virginia a better place for us all.I'd like to talk with you about things that are quite important to Virginians. Not things that have been poll tested to the point that they say nothing, but issues and decisions that really matter to each of our daily lives.
We're going to talk about choices – real choices – between two futures for our state and for ourselves... about big challenges facing Virginia today and about how we can meet them.
And let me make very clear at the start, everything I say will reflect my faith that the greatest resource we have in Virginia is Virginians. I have faith in the people of Virginia that if we remain true to our deepest ideals and most noble traditions – limited government, equal rights, opportunity, liberty and justice for all, we can be even greater in the future than we have been in the past.
But that requires choices. The choices between me and my opponent are clear.
He has no experience in elected office, while I have been in the state senate and I've been your attorney general and I've had the privilege of fighting for you as your attorney general.
But the biggest choice is that my policies are based on well-defined principles, and you will always know where I stand. I will fight for you and I will always, always be honest with you. My opponent is harder to nail down, to say the least. He tells every audience what they want to hear. And a vote for him is an invitation to bring Washington wheeling and dealing to Richmond. You know, because it's worked so well in Washington D.C. Why not import it into Virginia.
If you're like me, you look at government, and say that we have taken a wrong turn, somewhere we got away from our first principles, and no one in political life escapes blame. Both political parties share responsibility and we need to restart, rebuild, renew.
And if you are like me, you feel one place that wrong turn began was with the enormous new spending and regulations that have come out of Washington.
Yes, Virginia is in better financial shape than most states after the Great Recession. But with all our military installations and other federal operations, we go up and down with Washington D.C. more than almost any other state. Now we are losing jobs in such centers of recent prosperity as Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads – and many of those jobs are not coming back.
But what are we doing about it?
States like North Carolina have been gaining on us, and even Maryland is looking to become more competitive. It's their right to try but we need to respond.
This year, North Carolina passed a package, a tax package, that could lower their business income taxes down to 3% - half of Virginia's rate!
It was an imaginative move designed to give that state's people better opportunity to achieve their dreams with less burdens of government. Virginia's government needs to be equally imaginative.
Think of communities like Martinsville — where unemployment is 13 percent -- and Danville – where it is 11 percent. Many of our communities are struggling and not just in the southern tier... in the Piedmont, and in the Shenandoah Valley and the mountains. Their struggle is the price we pay when politicians forget our first principles... and so we get stuck in the economy of yesterday while the world moves into the economy of the future.
And speaking of the economy of the future, I'm happy to say that I was recently endorsed by the Northern Virginia Technology Council's PAC. NVTC is the largest business technology council in America. Their PAC endorsement means they think I'm the best leader to take Virginia's economy and education system into the next four years and to take it to the next level so that every Virginian has a chance to have a great job and every child in this state has the chance for a great education.
Almost every economist tells us that job growth and job creation is what drives our economy. It comes from the private sector, not from government.
With the Great Recession, the creation of new businesses has plummeted and has not come back at the speed we were promised. We need to get the number of these sparks of hope growing again.
I have a plan that applies the principles of limited government to spark 58,000 new private sector jobs. My opponent has no plan except schmoozing his big business and big labor buddies with your tax money.
In the mean time, we worry about our children and their education. And while, yes, our education system ranks well nationally. It still falls behind in the international tests, we lag behind our global competition.
Around the nation, creative reforms are producing incredible results. Many of us believe that the key to turning around school systems like Petersburg and improving all our schools is embracing more of these reforms, even though it will mean standing up to well-funded and very powerful special interests. And like all parents I know, I believe that our children's opportunities for achievement are more important than the special interests.
We don't promise outcomes in this country, but we do promise opportunity. And when we trap children in failing schools, we deny them even a shot at the opportunity that is the promise of America. We can do better in educating all the children of Virginia, and along the way, make Virginia a better place for us all.
And while we are talking about where our state and our country got on the wrong track, let's talk about ObamaCare.
I've met with hundreds of small business owners since my campaign for governor started. Many tell me that ObamaCare is their number one worry... a bigger worry than tight credit or another dip into another recession.
The official name for ObamaCare is the Affordable Care Act and since the president signed it into law, in Virginia and around the country most of our new jobs have been part time jobs, limited to less than 30 hours per week so employers can avoid the high cost of federally imposed health care bills.
According to a recent Richmond Times Dispatch article, "The number of temporary workers nationwide has risen more than 50 percent to 2.7 million — the most on record — since the recession ended in June 2009."
Meanwhile, every day it seems like some well-connected group gets exempted. Big business was first, then Congress got a special exemption of its own which really aggravates Virginians' sense of equality and fair play. Now big unions are demanding it. But if politicians can use ObamaCare to hand out favors, then they can use it to hand out punishments, too.
Do you think that Congress should get special deals while the rest of us don't?
Ken Cuccinelli: Well we know what the audience thinks, I want to hear from you, and so please go to FightingforVirginia.org and tell me what you think about this. That's FightingForVirginia.org
It seems like the only people that are going to have to deal with the ObamaCare law are middle and lower-middle income families, small businesses and Virginia workers. Who's fighting for them?
Well, I have been. As Virginia's attorney general, I was the first to fight ObamaCare in the courts– where we won the right for Virginia to opt out of parts of the act.
There is more to be done – and not just because ObamaCare is bad for jobs. Under it, federal agents and bureaucrats will have the access and the power to probe our most personal health information. 16,000 new IRS agents will meddle in our business affairs and private lives. And the government will tell our doctors how they are allowed or not allowed to treat us.
Do you remember how we were promised that we would be able to keep our insurance and the doctors of our choice? Well, that didn't just prove to be false or inaccurate, it was wildly untrue and it was told to the American people in an effort to sell this jalopy of a law.
And Obamacare is a job killer. Recently, the presidents of several major unions, not folks I normally cite, presidents of major unions sent an open letter to President Obama that said Obamacare will "destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class."
They went on to say that the Affordable Care Act, if not modified, will "destroy the very health and wellbeing of their members along with millions of other hardworking Americans".
I will keep fighting ObamaCare as governor. When we don't have enough politicians in Washington D.C. who adhere to the rule of law, state governors and attorneys general become our last line of defense.
I said earlier this was about a choice of two futures. I represent one path. The other is the one that Terry McAuliffe would take the state down. Here is what I mean.
As I've said, I have been fighting ObamaCare from the start.
Well, Terry McAuliffe not only supported ObamaCare, he wanted to go even farther, advocating for a complete public option! A public option would put our country on a path where we could only buy our health insurance was from the government. Only the government could decide the care we could and could not receive, or have paid for.
Now he's threatened to hold up Virginia's state budget, if he were governor, unless he gets his Medicaid expansion – more Washington D.C. tactics to achieve his big government goals.
Ronald Reagan told us that freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. The fight over ObamaCare is about preserving liberty and protecting us against uncaring bureaucrat standards for our health care. It is also about preserving our freedom, not giving the government the ability to play favorites when your health is at stake, and keeping the IRS, which will have 16,000 new ObamaCare agents just to start, from getting even more deeply into our most personal affairs.
What to do about ObamaCare is one choice we Virginians face. What to do about energy is another.
I support affordable electricity through off-shore drilling, and by encouraging clean, modern power plants, including cleaner coal-fired plants.
For those of us that don't live in South West Virginia, where the coal industry is almost all they've got economically, we need to fight for them. We need a governor who will fight for them. In South Side Virginia, where more than half of their electricity comes from coal, we need to fight for them too. And for their opportunities.
This isn't about some black rock called coal. It's about real people, with real lives, without many other alternatives. They need a governor that will fight for them, as I already have as attorney general.
As I say, Terry McAuliffe has backed the president's War on Coal and affordable energy. But don't take my word for it, here's Terry himself. Let's listen.
Ken Cuccinelli: Wow.
How can you talk about a brighter future if you are going to make it too expensive to turn on the lights, or fire up the machinery of a healthy economy?
I want to lower electricity costs. In fact, I've successfully fought for that already as Attorney General. I don't know of anyone else who has taken on the power companies and beaten them, but I have. That grows opportunity, it grows jobs.
Last year, fighting for Virginia against another part of the radical environmental agenda, I joined with the Democrat Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County to stop the EPA from trying to treat rainwater like a pollutant. Can you believe that's what they were trying to do? How insane is that? Our victory saved Virginia taxpayers about $250 million. (applause)
Fighting for lower energy costs at times means standing up to giant generating companies -- like Dominion, Apco and CONSOL Energy -- which I have done both as a legislator and as your attorney general.
But standing up to powerful interests is one thing you can't do if the biggest thing you care about is raising campaign money.
Let me play a clip of Terry McAuliffe's own words
Terry McAuliffe: "Now let me tell you, it's a lot easier to raise money for a governor. They have all kinds of business to hand out, road contracts, construction jobs, you name it."
Ken Cuccinelli: Wow. He also told The New York Times, "You help me, I'll help you. That's politics."
Well, that's not my politics.
But it's the kind of politics that got us to where we are today in this country, and I don't want to import them in to Virginia. (applause)
My opponent calls the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion a jobs program. He started the race for governor claiming to have the business acumen to run the state effectively, but today, the only successful business that he can claim to have run was started in high school, and I suspect he couldn't even start that business today because of all the regulatory burdens he'd have to deal with. (applause)
Terry McAuliffe has a track record of fighting ... for himself!
Global Crossing was one of the greatest bankruptcies in American history. Terry used his connections to get a special deal and his $100,000 investment grew to be worth $18 million. And everyone else? 10,000 job losses, $54 billion of lost investment.
McAuliffe boasted in his 2009 campaign of starting five businesses in Virginia, but The Washington Post found all that five were investment partnerships, without employees, and they were based out of his McLean house.
He grandly claimed he created more than 100,000 jobs, which also proved to be false. Not even the Democrats believed him. They ridiculed his claims. In fact, he's probably been associated with more job destruction than job creation over the years.
Its parent company is incorporated in an offshore tax haven, it is embroiled in two federal investigations, it failed to pay its taxes, and it appears that while McAuliffe was chairman, GreenTech told workers to pretend to be making cars so they could fool investors.
Yet we don't know how much Terry made from GreenTech or how much of his money is sheltered offshore because he refuses to release his taxes. I made eight years of my tax returns available to the media. You can bet Mrs. Cuccinelli really appreciated that.
With Terry McAuliffe it has been going on for years. And it won't stop on Election Day. He's taken over $2.7 million from union bosses in both of his gubernatorial elections. Some of those union bosses have indicated that they're expecting big things if he is elected. Well that won't be good for Virginia. But I have little doubt it will be good for Terry McAuliffe.
I am talking about contrasting futures for Virginia. Terry McAuliffe uses government to enrich himself and his friends. I use government to protect our liberty so that all people are safe and have opportunities to pursue their dreams.
As attorney general, I have fought to protect the innocent and the weakest among us, such as the growing curse of human trafficking. Among those it traps in its hideous clutches are underage girls and young women.
I also have fought Internet child predators. As governor, these types of fights will remain priorities for me.
I have heard from many Virginians, who have family members in the military and serving in Virginia's National Guard who are worried about their loved ones going to another war in the Mid East with questionable national security interest and no approval for military action from Congress. I share their concerns. And I'd like to hear from you. Please go to FightingforVirginia.org and let me know what you think. This is important in Virginia, and to families in Virginia.
McAuliffe also hasn't said a word about protecting your property rights – your rights to your home and land – against government intrusion. Instead he raises campaign funds from a radical environmentalist. They help McAuliffe. How will McAuliffe help them?
I have spent years fighting to protect Virginians' property rights – often against big moneyed interests. It has been a hard fight. I led the battle to pass Virginia's eminent domain constitutional amendment. It took 8 years but 74 percent of the people of Virginia voted to support it, 74 percent.
I support reform. We should give teachers incentives to educate successfully – so that children learn.
And I am for empowering parents to select other schools when their local school is failing. Where their child is in a school that's failing. Schools aren't jobs programs. Children have to come first.
These are straightforward, proven reforms. One problem: The heads of the teachers unions oppose many of them.
Now, bucking big, rich, powerful special interests is something I've done, but not what Terry McAuliffe does. His rule of politics -- "You help me: I'll help you" – applies here. And the teachers' unions are helping him. Big time.
Here is how I see everything adding up. The choice for Virginia's future is simple.
We can have Washington-style influence peddling and insider deals. That's Terry McAuliffe.
Or we can fight to have new growth and new opportunity, getting rid of the special interest breaks that the well-connected have piled into our tax code that don't work. Making room for lower tax rates for ordinary hard working Virginians to put more money into growing a business, to put more money into savings, or to invest in their children's future.
We can have opportunity that allows people to pursue and achieve their dreams.
I said earlier that, to my mind, and I hope to yours too, it all starts with remembering our founding ideals, the same ideals that Patrick Henry, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson stood for, and that George Washington fought for.
I call these ideals our First Principles. They are eternal principals. They include the idea that power in Virginia comes from its people, not from government, and that's why we have limited government.
These principles are why I entered politics – these are the principles of freedom and opportunity that still make our country the world's shining city on a hill. They are the principles that no matter your station in life now, you have control of your destiny, (applause) and that government can't restrict your personal achievements.
They are the greatest principles civilization has ever written into law.
What has been true for two hundred years remains true today. Our state, our nation, are strongest when we are true to our first principles. To the foundation of this nation.
The choice in this election is a dramatic as night and day.
It's between the principles of freedom and opportunity that made Virginia a great state and America a great nation, versus the Washington D.C. influence peddling and lawlessness that's tearing us apart and tearing us down.
If you like ObamaCare, vote for McAuliffe. If you want to fight ObamaCare in Virginia, vote for me.
If you want more taxation, more regulation, and a bigger more intrusive government, vote for Terry McAuliffe.
If you want smaller government, less regulation, and more freedom and opportunity for individuals and small businesses in Virginia, vote for me.
If you think having a Washington D.C.-style government run by politically connected lobbyists and influence peddlers is a good idea, then vote Terry McAuliffe.
If you like the direction President Obama is taking America down, down the road toward a society with near-zero economic growth, vote for Terry McAuliffe.
If you want to see America and Virginia scale down our intrusive government, peel back the mountain of regulations that's suffocating individual initiative, liberty, for business and enterprise, vote for me.
I will fight for you, but I need your help now and on November 5th, on election day. Please go online right now and donate to my campaign. The website is FightingforVirginia.org. It's at the bottom of your screen.
And remember to go to FightingforVirginia.org and answer those two important questions: One about Congress and ObamaCare, and the other about Syria. And remember that we have a lot of military families in Virginia that care an awful lot about that.
Your contributions will go to buy more TV, radio and Internet time to replay this broadcast and ads to reach more Virginia voters.
My opponent is backed by big Labor Unions and extreme liberals who are writing $250,000 checks, and he has far outraised me nationally. That's why we need your contribution to put our ads and this video on TV again before election day, so please be as generous as you feel you can, whether its $25, $250 or more, please do so today.
Let's you and I send a message in this election that will be heard by all those Washington politicians who are passing laws like ObamaCare for you and me to obey, but not for them, and not for their special pals, as well. And their doing this even as they give special subsidies to others and to themselves.
Thank you for inviting me into your home. God bless you, and God bless Virginia. Thank you. (applause)