Cuccinelli: It's time to pivot back to conservative principles

As Virginia’s Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Ken Cuccinelli attested on Ed’s show on Wednesday, a big theme of his gubernatorial campaign is going to be about the importance of beating back the brazen overreach of the federal government and the virtues of relying more heavily on federalism as an efficient policy problem-solver. Like he told The Hill:

“I think we should pivot back to principles,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), the party’s nominee for governor in 2013, told The Hill.

“The reason Obama is the president in the first place is Republicans failed to lead in the first half of the last decade,” Cuccinelli said. “We need to get back to showing the American people why they work, how they work.” …

“I campaigned very explicitly on pushing back on the federal government if they overstepped the bounds of the Constitution. I just never thought I’d have so many opportunities,” Cuccinelli said. …

“This sort of across-the-board regulatory assault we’re seeing from this administration hurts poor people first and poor people worst. Some people forget that. It’s as unavoidable as gravity,” he said.

His role in suing the federal government over ObamaCare and his recent victory over the EPA‘s overreach will definitely be great high-profile selling points for the conservative base, and the early campaign winds seem to be at his back, but Virginia’s newly solidified oh-so-moderate purplishness means this race is going to need a delicate hand. As much as I applaud the unabashed and unintimidated small-government, founding-principles conservatism, the Democratic team is just waiting in the wings to pounce with the sort of “these Republicans are so extreme” blather to which Virginia unfortunately proved itself more than susceptible last November — and it’s already started.

All of those lovely war-on-women, “Mitt Romney is just like Todd Akin!”-type radio ads to which we Virginians were treated during last year’s campaign season? Those are going to be coming back in spades, and Planned Parenthood is on it. Via Politico:

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC are teaming up today to launch a campaign against Cuccinelli, the state attorney general, on women’s and health issues, POLITICO has learned.

“If the November election taught us anything, it’s that voters are sick and tired of politicians like Cuccinelli who want to insert themselves into our personal medical decisions. Cuccinelli’s ongoing attacks on women’s health and economic security should be a warning to us all: women’s health will be on the Virginia ballot in 2013,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

At the center of the campaign is a new website, “Keep Ken Out.” The site features news clips about Cuccinelli, a blog and a list of his positions on issues like abortion, contraception and Obamacare.