Last weekâ€™s Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage have amplified a split in the Republican Party between social conservatives urging a call to arms and a more libertarian wing that says itâ€™s an issue for the states to decide.
So in which camp is Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, who has defended the stateâ€™s 2006 ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage?
â€œI donâ€™t characterize myself either way. I really think of myself just within Virginia,â€ he told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. â€œYou want to drag me out of Virginia, and Iâ€™m focused on Virginia. Iâ€™m going to defend what weâ€™ve done in Virginia.â€
The careful response from the rock-ribbed conservative is illustrative. It demonstrates how the GOP nominee to be Virginiaâ€™s 72nd governor and his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, are working furiously to avoid one potentially fatal pitfall: having the opposition define you before you define yourself.
Indeed, Democrats are trying to paint Mr. Cuccinelli as a crusading culture warrior, but he says thatâ€™s because they donâ€™t have anything else to talk about.
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