VIRGINIA RACE 2013

Cuccinelli makes right turn with Levin in Sterling

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STERLING, Va. (WJLA) - In an apparent shift in strategy, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is now aligning himself with the far-right cabal of the GOP.

On Tuesday at a Constitution Day rally held behind a strip mall in Sterling, Cuccinelli teamed up with conservative talk-show firebrand Mark Levin.

Levin spoke out against Obamacare, Medicaid and Cuccinelli's opponent Terry McAuliffe.

“He (McAuliffe) talks about Ken Cuccinelli in the bedroom?,” Levin bellowed about McAuliffe. “It’s McAuliffe and the liberals who are in your bedroom (and damaging) our traditional family values (with) some radical, anti-American position.”

At one point, Levin took aim at Virginia's neighbor.

“Do you want to look like the state of Maryland?” he asked the crowd of 200 or so fans who gave raucous applause, along with scattered chants of the Tea Party slogan, Don’t Tread on Me.

Cuccinelli has made a point the past several months to keep many of his controversial social-issue opinions off the radar in the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s bit to defeat McAuliffe. He consistently has said he believes what he believes but that this election is about jobs and economic fairness.

Cuccinelli downplayed the apparent change when asked about it.

"Oh, I don’t think so,” he said. “Look at my policies.”

Asked about the Levin appearance, Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, was blunt.

“The Cuccinelli camp sees this election as a low-turnout affair, and they're very probably right,” he said. “Cuccinelli is unlikely to attract many crossover voters or moderates, so victory depends on pumping up conservatives and increasing Tea Party turnout. Mark Levin helps him do that.

“I don't know whether it represents a change in their original strategy, but given how things are unfolding, it is likely their best tactic.”

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