Virginia GOP governor candidate Kenneth Cuccinelli rejects attempts to label him on cultural issues

July 1, 2013

Last week’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 it’s an issue for the states to decide.

So in which camp is Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, who has defended the state’s 2006 ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage?

“I don’t characterize myself either way. I really think of myself just within Virginia,” he told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. “You want to drag me out of Virginia, and I’m focused on Virginia. I’m going to defend what we’ve done in Virginia.”

The careful response from the rock-ribbed conservative is illustrative. It demonstrates how the GOP nominee to be Virginia’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 that’s because they don’t have anything else to talk about.

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