After stating (at 3:45 into the audio) that he will NOT be endorsing Ken Cuccinelli in this year's gubernatorial campaign, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R) talks (starting at around 4:45) about his relationship with Virginia Republicans and conservatives since he started considering a run for governor. Pop up some popcorn, because this is good! :)
As far as [RPV] Chairman Pat Mullins is concerned, I haven't heard from him, I haven't heard from the Attorney General, frankly I haven't heard from any of these folks, which doesn't particularly surprise me. But look, the only heat that I took during this entire process, to be perfectly honest, came from the more, I'll just call them passionate elements in our party, who do represent more of the more extreme views within our party. But as far as mainstream Republicans, people that I've known and worked with for years, I think almost every one of them that I talked to was totally understanding of the position we were in...many of them frankly were supportive.
I will tell you, I'm not alone in the concerns that I have about the current direction of the Republican Party. There are a lot of other Republican elected officials and party leaders out there who share these exact same concerns, they're just not in a position to voice them...At this particular point in time...I think I've been put in a position...to speak out on the need for a more mainstream approach to governing in Virginia...and the other is to speak out candidly to my fellow Republicans and talk about the need to get our party back to a more mainstream approach.
In other news, Bolling says that Terry McAuliffe has not offered him any position in his administration if he's elected governor. Bolling also says that most moderate and independent Virginia voters see Ken Cuccinelli as "too extreme...too ideologically driven...too confrontational and combative...too focused on the incredibly controversial and divisive issues of the day." The question is, Bollins says, can Cuccinelli redefine himself, and does he even "want to do that, or is [Cuccinelli] gonna double down on the conservative ideology of the farthest right wings of the Republican Party?"
Finally, Bolling agrees with the RNC assessment that the GOP is now viewed as "scary, out of touch and simply too extreme," and "I think that is an accurate assessment." For instance, on the issue of abortion, the GOP is "by and large" a "pro-life party," but that doesn't mean the GOP should focus on "controversial and divisive issues like fetal ultrasound." Instead, "why aren't we the party that's championing efforts to reduce teen pregnancy in Virginia...support for crisis pregnancy centers...adoption as an option to abortion?" In Bolling (100% correct) view, "these are positive pro-life alternatives that would be supported not just by pro-life Virginians but by most pro-choice Virginians, and at the end of the day they'd probably do more to reduce the number of abortions being performed in our state than the fetal ultrasound will ever do." As Bolling puts it, that's all part of the Republican Party not being the "stupid party," as Bobby Jindal put it. I couldn't agree more with every word Bill Bolling said here!
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