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Friend Or Foe? Cuccinelli Cautious About Upcoming Cruz Fundraiser

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AP Photo / Rebecca Barnett

Terry McAuliffe's campaign -- which has repeatedly been trying to widen a polling lead -- has been quick to link Cuccinelli to Cruz. On Friday the campaign the campaign released yet another attack ad dedicated to connecting Cuccinelli to Cruz.

"Look who's coming to Virginia this weekend," the announcer said in the ad. "Ted Cruz - the Republican Senator from Texas who's the leader of the government shutdown."

In a separate email highlighting new polls showing McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli, the campaign also specifically mentioned Cruz.

The link is one that Cuccinelli's campaign has been trying to walk a fine line on, as evidenced by a recent interview with The Washington Times.

After saying that the weekend fundraiser wasn't a "campaign event," Cullen told the Times, "We work with Ted Cruz. We work with a lot of conservatives who are coming to the state and campaigning for Ken."

A Cruz aide also previously labeled the Richmond fundraiser a "campaign event" according to political reporter David Catanese.

But whether ties to a Republican star like Cruz will help him in a traditionally conservative state, or hurt him in a time when the state's government contractors are feeling the squeeze of the shutdown, remains to be seen. McAuliffe's campaign is betting on the latter.

"With a month left in the race, voters continue to side with Terry's mainstream bipartisan approach over Ken Cuccinelli's extreme ideological agenda," McAuliffe spokesperson Josh Schwerin said in the email. "As we near election day expect Cuccinelli to increase his false and desperate attacks in an effort to distract voters from his extreme record and the fact that tomorrow he will be campaigning with Senator Ted Cruz, the architect of the government shutdown."

About The Author

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Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.