Cuccinelli Keeps Distance From Ted Cruz

As I noted yesterday, Virginia GOP Gubernatorial Ken Cuccinelli has taken pains to distance himself from national Republicans on the issues surrounding the government shutdown for obvious political reasons. Last night, that distancing when a step further when he managed to avoid a photo op with Senator Ted Cruz:

In the clearest sign yet of the potent effect of the government shutdown on the Virginia governor’s race, Republican Ken Cuccinelli avoided being photographed with Ted Cruz at a gala they headlined here Saturday night—even leaving before the Texas senator rose to speak.

Backstage, a source said, Cuccinelli urged Cruz to work with Democrats to end the federal shutdown. But he did not make that point, or even acknowledge Cruz, in short public comments to some 1,100 social conservatives.

Cruz has become the face of GOP intransigence, and the conservative attorney general’s effort to distance himself from congressional Republicans reflects how damaging Cuccinelli realizes a prolonged shutdown may be for his campaign.

For his part, Cruz heaped praise on his “friend” Cuccinelli and argued passionately in a 54-minute speech that their party can still win the messaging fight over the shutdown if the people just speak out loudly enough.

“Ken is smart, he’s principled and he’s fearless,” said Cruz, in a line that may give the left fodder for attack ads, given how the campaign has gone. “And that last characteristic in particular is a rare, rare commodity in elected life. There are so many elected officials in both parties that desperately crave the adulation of the media and the intelligentsia.”

The dynamic made for a stilted evening at the Richmond convention center, where the conservative Family Foundation hosted its annual fundraising dinner.

I can imagine….

FILED UNDER: 2013 Election, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:
  2. Mark Ivey says:

    “Backstage, a source said, Cuccinelli urged Cruz to work with Democrats to end the federal shutdown.”

    Cuccinelli is “Cruzing” for a Tea bagging..

  3. PJ says:

    I can’t see Cuccinelli taking any votes from McAuliffe by doing this, but it probably will help minimize the votes he’s going to lose to McAuliffe from the shutdown.

    Add to those loses, I’m guessing a number of Republicans in VA who aren’t working for the federal government and who are pro shutdown and/or default will end up switching to Sarvis.

  4. PJ says:


  5. @PJ: I think that Cuccinelli has to worry more about teabaggers just not showing up to vote if he keeps it up, and I don’t think he’s going to manage to pull many votes from T-Mac.

  6. swearyanthony says:

    McAuliffe also didn’t have a photo-op with Cruz – see, Both Sides Do It!