Conservative Media Darling Cuccinelli Flames Out In Virginia


After months of support from conservative talk radio and other right-wing media, commonwealth Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli failed to win the race to become Virgnia's next governor. Even before Election Day, conservative commentators like Mark Levin had already begun lashing out at "RINOs" and Republicans like Karl Rove for not sufficiently supporting Cuccinelli.

Terry McAuliffe Elected Governor Of Virginia

Terry McAuliffe Elected Governor Of Virgnia. On November 5, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli to become the next governor of Virginia. [NBC News, 11/5/13]

Conservative Pundits Had Praised, Rallied For "Awesome" And "Courageous" Cuccinelli

Rush Limbaugh Identified Cuccinelli As One Of A Few "Fearless" Republicans Who Are "Exactly What Is Necessary." On his radio program, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh identified Cuccinelli -- along with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal -- as four "fearless" Republicans who are "exactly what is necessary" because they are "unafraid to define Obama and the Democrats as they are and for who they are and what they're doing." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/6/13]

Limbaugh's Newsletter Promoted Cuccinelli's 2013 Book And Touted Him As A "Fearless" And "Courageous" Politician. The March 2013 Limbaugh Letter featured an interview with Cuccinelli in which Rush referred to him as "courageous" and "fearless." [March 2013 Limbaugh Letter, accessed 11/5/13 (subscription required)]

Conservative Radio Host Mark Levin Rallied For Cuccinelli: "I'll Be Damned If I'm Going To Watch Terry McAuliffe Be Governor." Radio host Mark Levin endorsed Cuccinelli at a September campaign event. From The Washington Examiner:

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli embraced his Tea Party roots Tuesday winning the endorsement of top conservative radio host Mark Levin who charged that Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe wants to turn Virginia into Maryland where taxes are higher and liberal Democrats are in control.

"This is my county, this is my state, and I'll be damned if I'm going to watch Terry McAuliffe be governor Virginia. If he wants to run for governor of Maryland I'll understand it. But this is Virginia and we have to draw a line somewhere in this country and we're drawing it right here in Virginia," said the conservative firebrand.

"Do you believe low taxes, individual liberty and family values are a radical, extremist point of view? You want to look like the state of Maryland? Well then damn it let's do something about it," he urged about 150 Cuccinelli backers at a suburban shopping mall campaign event in Sterling in eastern Loudoun County.

Where Maryland has endorsed a more liberal approach to government, recently expanding its taxes, Levin said Cuccinelli will preserve Virginia's conservative roots. "This is the place of George Washington, not Terry McAuliffe," said the author of the New York Times bestseller "The Liberty Amendments." [The Washington Examiner, 9/17/13]

  • According to Cuccinelli's website, Levin was also featured at a "Get Out The Vote Rally" for Cuccinelli the weekend before the election. [, accessed 11/5/13]

Fox News Commentator Erick Erickson Raised Money For Cuccinelli: "Ken Must Win. We Must Help." In an August post on, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson announced that "We Must Support Ken Cuccinelli" and challenged his readers to raise $10,000 for Cuccinelli's campaign:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is running for Governor of Virginia. He is not just opposed by the Democrats, but by big business Republicans who want a Governor who will give them the taxpayers' money for their purposes. Ken has been very clear -- he will not use government to pick winners and losers in business. Big business hates that.

Ken Cuccinelli is for Virginians, not major corporations wanting their tax dollars. He is also, unlike Terry McAullife, of Virginia through and through. We need to help him. He is going to be outspent and we need to even the odds. If he loses, the left and Republican Establishment will together assail conservatives.

Ken must win. We must help.

How fast can we raise him $10,000.00? Just how fast? In the past, it has taken RedState one day to that. Can we do it again? Throughout the day, can you help us? Can you have your friends help us?

Donate now to Ken Cuccinelli. He is RedState's pick for Governor of Virginia. He needs your help.Give what you can. Send your friends to

Can we raise Ken Cuccinelli $10,000.00 today? Can we go back to our roots, open our wallets, and help Ken Cuccinelli? Will you, on your own website, in your own emails, with your own friends, link to the donation site and help make this a team effort?

I stand with Ken. You should too. Let's help Virginia avoid Terry McAuliffe. [, 8/7/13]

Conservative Radio Host Ingraham Tells Cuccinelli: "I Obviously Endorse Your Candidacy Full-Throatedly And Wholeheartedly." On the September 26 edition of The Laura Ingraham Show, conservative host Laura Ingraham told Cuccinelli that "I obviously endorse your candidacy full-throatedly and wholeheartedly," adding, "I really want you to be governor." [The Laura Ingraham Show9/26/2013]

Fox News Host Sean Hannity Praised "Awesome" Cuccinelli While Ann Coulter Floated Him As A Possible A Future Presidential Candidate. On his Fox News show Hannity, after conservative pundit Ann Coulter suggested Cuccinelli as a potential 2012 Republican vice presidential pick, Hannity declared, "Cuccinelli is awesome" and labeled him "a good choice." Coulter then suggested Cuccinelli and fellow Republican Marco Rubio should "both run for governor of the state and then run for president some day." From the program (emphasis added):

HANNITY: Here's the next question. VP is going to be a very important choice. You obviously were in love with Chris Christie, I don't know if you gave his the, quote, "Obama breathalyzer or his inhaler back." But I like Rubio of Florida because I just think he's a natural leader, I've seen him speak, he's extemporary and he is funny, inspiring, and smart.

COULTER: Yes. Very good.

HANNITY: OK. So, but I keep hearing the establishment pushing Rob Portman. Nice guy. Boring. You know? I like Bob McDonald a lot, he did a great job. I don't want them to make a bad decision here.

COULTER: I am pretty confident, for one thing I'm always wrong in choosing vice-presidents, so I have no insight into who it will be, except that I think Romney will make a good decision if -- if -- if I were advising him, I would say stay away from the untested ones, the young ones. I mean, I would take another one in addition to Marco Rubio, and another one I think that's a huge future as Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General.

HANNITY: Cuccinelli is awesome.

COULTER: He brought the first lawsuit.

HANNITY: He's a good choice.

COULTER: To overturn Obama-care. He's very smart. I think both of them are maybe a little too young now. I mean, I think they should both run for governor of the state and then run for president some day.

HANNITY: I don't think Christie, and look, if Obama can be president, they can be vice-president.

COULTER: Yes, but we are Republicans. We take the presidency.

HANNITY: You're a Republican. I'm a registered conservative in New York. You may be a registered -- I'm a registered conservative. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/25/12, via Nexis]

Civil War: Cuccinelli Backers Have Already Started Lashing Out At "RINOs," Karl Rove For Not Supporting The Campaign

Levin Attacked "RINOs" That "Want A Terry McAuliffe Victory" And "GOP Bag Man Karl Rove" For Not Backing Cuccinelli On Fox. The day before the election, on the November 4 edition of The Mark Levin Show, host Mark Levin read a Facebook post he had written, arguing that "the RINOs want a Terry McAuliffe victory in Virginia," and that "GOP bag man, Karl Rove, is all over Fox without a word of support for Cuccinelli, while he schemes and whispers behind the scenes against conservatives nationwide." He added that "recent polls show Cuccinelli closing. This makes the Left and RINOs very nervous." [The Mark Levin Show11/4/13]

Levin Tells Followers The "RNC Is Trying To Punk Us" By Planting "Crap" At To Pretend "They Have Been Vigorously  Fighting For Cuccinelli's Campaign." In a November 5 Facebook post, Levin accused the RNC of planting a post at Erick Erickson's RedState website in order to convince people that it had been actively fighting for Cuccinelli:

Now RNC trying to punk us.

Look at this planted RNC crap.  This is intended to persuade you that the RNC has been vigorously fighting for Cuccinelli's campaign in Virginia. They think you're so stupid that you'll buy this self-serving BS.  Instead, it exposes their uselessness and deceit. [Facebook, accessed 11/5/13

The American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord Endorses Levin's Charge That "RINOs and Rove" Wanted A McAuliffe Win. In a November 4 post at The American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord reprinted Levin's Facebook rant, explaining that Levin has "done a superb job" of laying out why "The RINO wing of the GOP -- and Karl Rove specifically -- do not want a Ken Cuccinnelli victory in Virginia." [The American Spectator, 11/4/13]

Erickson: "Many People In The GOP Want Cuccinelli To Lose." In an October post on, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson said he was "deeply disappointed in a bunch of Republicans who've decided to throw [Cuccinelli] under the bus," adding that "many people in the GOP want Cuccinelli to lose." [, 10/30/2013

Limbaugh: "The Republican Establishment Would Not Mind If Cuccinelli Lost." On the November 4 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, host Rush Limbaugh told his audience that "the theory is that the Republican establishment wouldn't mind Cuccinelli losing" because "they get to blame the tea party." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show11/4/13]

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