VIRGINIA RACE 2013

Ken Cuccinelli calls for Kathleen Sebilius' resignation

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STERLING, Va. (WJLA) -- Trailing in all the major polls with two weeks remaining until the election, Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli knows voter turnout could be pivotal and, as such, he knows he needs to energize his base.

He did just that early Monday afternoon in front of a partisan crowd packed into a tiny strip-mall retail space that's serving as a his Sterling campaign headquarters.

As promised a few hours earlier by his campaign staffers, he called for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare.

"That law is crumbling before our eyes (and) it is tearing up opportunity across America," he said. "You can't salvage something that's fundamentally broken."

From members of the sign-waving and adoring supporters came hoots of approval regarding the comments about the law that has had its rollout embroiled in a series of embarrassing glitches for the Obama administration.

"Amen!," shouted one.

"Right on!," shouted another.

Cuccinelli nodded and smiled, as did his fellow attorney general visitors on stage with him: Pam Bondi (Fla.), Patrick Morrisey (W.Va.), Sam Olens (Ga.) and Luther Strange (Ala.)

Strange talked about the time Cuccinelli visited his state to "give us some of his conservative wisdom." Olens noted that "folks in congress don't do much more than name post offices." Morrisey said he "would like to have a wonderful, friendly neighbor." Bondi said "General Cuccinelli" is "absolutely brilliant."

Afterward, in front of a gaggle of reporters, Cuccinelli more or less waffled when asked about the recent government shutdown, saying he didn't "know whether I would have voted for it," but acknowledged he worries whether it could hurt him, inasmuch that polls show most Americans blame Republicans for the recently resolved mess.

"I worry about everything," he said.

Which brings us to Terry McAuliffe, Cuccinelli's Democratic opponent.

Just before he hopped into a white SUV to exit the shopping center, Cuccinelli was asked whether he's worried about the fact that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton are making campaign appearances in support of their longtime friend.

Cuccinelli paused before responding.

"Um, I'm done here," he said. "We're really late."

And with that, he shut the vehicle door. Later, In a statement released by his campaign, McAuliffe said:

"Ken Cuccinelli’s refusal today to support reopening the government demonstrates a lack of leadership. Once again, he has put Tea Party ideology above what is best for Virginia. When Washington gridlock is hurting Virginia families, 'I don’t know' doesn’t cut it."

Staff writer Jeff Goldberg contributed to this report.

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