Ken Cuccinelli, the attorney general and Republican nominee for governor in Virginia, told supporters recently they should have no question about his support for E.W. Jackson, the GOP’s polarizing nominee for lieutenant governor in that state.
Cuccinelli made his comments over the weekend in private conference call with a group called Homeschoolers for Ken after a woman asked why he hadn’t “linked up” with Jackson or made a formal endorsement. TPM obtained audio of that call.
“I am calling to find out why so far you have not linked up with E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor. I’m really excited about him,” the woman said. “I’m very encouraged by his pro-life stance. I feel like the two of you are on the same page and I’m wildly excited that you could both be elected, but I’m not sure what will happen if you don’t endorse him and I just want to know why there hasn’t been a linkup.”
Cuccinelli responded by disputing the notion there was any split between him and Jackson, and promising they will spend more time campaigning together in the final weeks of the election.
“I think there’s a misconception there. I mean, the minute he was nominated we spent three days traveling to every media market in Virginia together,” said Cuccinelli. “I expect that when we close out the race, the last push is going to be the ticket traveling around the state again.”
He continued by arguing the work he does at the “top of the ticket” will benefit Jackson and other Republican candidates in Virginia. Cuccinelli also assured the woman he supports Jackson and Mark Obenshain, the GOP’s nominee for attorney general.
“You use the word ‘endorse.’ Of course I’m supporting both Mark and E.W.,” Cuccinelli said. “I don’t think there’s ever been any question about that. And there shouldn’t be on this call.”
Cuccinelli previously made attempts to distance himself from Jackson, including during a radio interview in June where he said he “absolutely” wants to be judged separately from Jackson and added, “E.W.’s going to have to introduce himself individually to the rest of Virginia.
Since winning the lieutenant governor nomination in May, Jackson has made negative, national headlines for past statements criticizing gays, accusing President Barack Obama of harboring “Muslim sensibilities,” comparing Planned Parenthood to the KKK, praising the Constitution’s original clause to count blacks as three-fifths of a person, and for his efforts in the late 1980’s to fight desegregation in Boston.
Listen to the audio of the conference call below, which was posted on Vimeo under an account using the name “Jack Hertzfedlt.” Cuccinelli begins discussing his support for Jackson at about 26:50.