By Jeremy Herb
President Obama on Sunday sought to link Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli to Tea Party Republicans in Congress, noting that Virginia was one of the states hit hardest by last month’s government shutdown.
“I know sometimes folks in Congress can get away with acting irresponsibly, acting like compromise is a bad word. Maybe it’s good for their political prospects, or maybe it’s good for their political districts,” Obama said at a rally for Democrat Terry McAuliffe. “But you cannot afford to have a governor who’s thinking the same way.”
Obama spoke at a McAuliffe rally at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va., urging McAuliffe supporters to turn out and vote in Tuesday’s race, even though the former Democratic National Committee chairman has a comfortable lead in most polls.
“Nothing makes me more nervous than when my supporters start feeling too confident, so I want to put the fear of God in all of you,” Obama said. “Virginia historically has always been a swing state, and this race will be close because past races in Virginia have always been close.
Obama in his 21-minute speech did not mention in the speech his signature healthcare law, which has been marred by problems and a frequent target of Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general, in the race.
"Terry McAuliffe is joining President Obama today for a grand celebration of ObamaCare, just days after it was revealed that the president was intentionally misleading the American people about their ability to keep their preferred health plans," Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix said in a statement.
"The president’s visit is an important reminder of Terry McAuliffe’s blind support of his big-government agenda, starting with ObamaCare, which was deceptively sold and is hurting Virginians."
Obama is the latest high-profile Democrat to hit the campaign trail in Virginia for McAuliffe.
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both stumped for McAuliffe, and Vice President Biden will be in Virginia for the gubernatorial hopeful on Monday.
“I was tired of letting other people have all the fun,” Obama said. “I thought, I wanted to get in on the action.”
Sunday’s rally also included Virginia Democrats Sen. Mark Warner and Reps. Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly and Bobby Scott, as well as actress Kerry Washington.
A crowd of roughly 1,600 attended the rally in Arlington, according to a White House account from Deputy Fire Marshal Brian McGraw.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) are stumping for Cuccinelli in the closing days of the campaign.
— This report was updated at 4:52 p.m.