Cuccinelli Calls for McAuliffe’s Tax Returns, Deploys Obama Tactics
In 2012, President Barack Obama’s campaign successfully managed to paint Mitt Romney as a heartless businessman, guilty of outsourcing jobs and hiding dark secrets within his tax returns. Now the tides have reversed. Virginia’s current attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is on the offensive against Terry McAuliffe, his challenger well known for raising funds for the Democratic Party.
The Cuccinelli campaign recently released an attack ad calling upon McAuliffe to release his tax returns for the sake of transparency.
“It’s important for any candidate for public office to be as transparent as possible,” Obama said in the ad, the first in a long series of quotes taken from liberals and re-purposed in the attack against McAuliffe. Statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former campaign adviser David Axelrod, and even former Democratic President Bill Clinton were run throughout the ad.
One of McAuliffe’s own quotes was utilized at the end:
“If you have nothing to hide… then release the documents.”
Cuccinelli released eight years of his own tax returns last Thursday.
But the parallels do not stop with Cuccinelli’s demand to see McAuliffe’s tax returns. Cuccinelli has also attacked McAuliffe over his involvement in Greentech Automotive, a company Cuccinelli asserts did not create the jobs promised and instead outsourced Virginia jobs to Mississippi.
Cuccinelli has reason to go on the offensive. Though Virginia’s outgoing governor may be a Republican, the state voted for Obama twice and has only elected Democratic senators since 2008. Cuccinelli has built up a conservative record of opposing gay marriage, sex education, abortion, and gun control at a time when the state is adopting a more progressive tact. Sure, the majority of Virginia remains a vast rural expanse of red, but those aren’t the parts of the state experiencing rapid population growth.
Being a businessman used to be a badge of honor that politicians could display proudly on their chest. Now, in a post Occupy Wall Street world still bitter that everyday people struggle while banks get massive assistance, a politician doesn’t want to be seen having had their hands on too much money. Cuccinelli is a charismatic individual, and as he amps up his Obama-style political tactics by calling for McAuliffe’s tax returns, he just might win.