Cuccinelli challenges Biden to debate

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"Since my opponent threatened to walk away from the only debate scheduled, and refuses to engage in other debates across the Commonwealth, perhaps his friend, the vice president, will," Cuccinelli said in a release.

He charges that the Obama administration's policies are hurting job creators and middle-class families, adding that "one can only assume that Mr. Biden would be willing to defend the administration’s stances on these issues in an open and honest debate."

Biden spoke at a Virginia Democratic Party fundraising dinner on Saturday night, touting his and President Obama's work on the economy and characterizing Cuccinelli and other conservative Virginia Republicans as counter to the state's values.

"There is so much they stand for that is so at odds with the value set of Virginians," Biden said.

In his debate challenge, Cuccinelli called Biden's attacks "disappointing."

"It’s disappointing and all-too typical that Vice President Biden would be willing to come into Virginia to level false charges on behalf of a candidate who has been unwilling or unable to offer a plan for Virginia’s economic future or participate in substantive debates on the issues facing Virginians," he said.

The nation's only competitive gubernatorial race this year has remained close from the outset, with most recent polls showing McAuliffe up slightly.