Virginia Governor's race 2013: Cuccinelli falls behind McAuliffe in polls
FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) - He may be down, but as the grandson of a bare-knuckle boxer, Ken Cuccinelli says he's also a fighter who can't be counted out.
“We've been behind before. I'm the only one who actually stood up and advanced extensive positive proposals with detail who knows what I'm doing".
Cuccinelli points to his elected experience, and Terry McAuliffe's lack of it, as to why he's the best man for the job.
Raised in Fairfax County, the husband and father of seven was first elected to the Virginia State Senate in 2002, then as attorney general in 2009.
Cuccinelli is best known for his rock solid conservative views on abortion, gay marriage, guns, and Obamacare.
“It's a statement about the law itself. It's a failure and it's failing. This is what happens when you overwhelm your system with government control."
His positions have also given Terry McAuliffe a load of material for speeches and ads in which he labels Cuccinelli an anti-gay, anti-women ideologue.
Cuccinelli responds by saying, “I think they're using a lot of lying. It's very unfortunate for this campaign."
But the Democrat's lead in the polls show the attacks are working, especially with women voters, where McAuliffe holds a considerable advantage.
When asked if he's lost the middle and is now squarely focused on energizing the republican base, Cuccinelli says, "Oh no, are you kidding? The middle is as upset about anybody about Obamacare."
Outside factors have been a drag, too. The government shutdown sent poll numbers plunging for Republicans, while also highlighting Cuccinelli's ties to the Tea Party, largely blamed for the shutdown.
Then there is the gift-giving scandal involving Gov. Bob McDonnell, which also revealed Cuccinelli himself accepted gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonny Williams, all of which have been paid back.
When asked why he’s not campaigning with McDonnell, Cuccinelli said, "I'm running for governor and he's term limited. He's on his way out and hopefully I'm on my way in so I've got to stand on my own two feet."
Terry McAuliffe has raised millions of dollars more than Ken Cuccinelli, putting the Republican at a significant disadvantage on the airwaves. A lot of big-name campaigning will happen between now and Election Day: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be stumping for Cuccinelli, while President Obama and Vice President Biden will be appearing with McAuliffe.