Bill Clinton: Obamacare, Shutdown Play in Virginia for a ‘Friend of Bill’

Photograph by Nikki Kahn-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General for Virginia and Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, right, speaks during a debate with former DNC Chair and Democratic candidate Terry McAuliff on September 25, 2013 in McLean, Virginia.

Obamacare is so unpopular that Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, is using his opponent’s opposition to it against him in the closing weeks of a campaign that polls have portrayed as close, leaning McAuliffe’s way.

That and the shutdown.

McAuliffe is one of those “friends of Bill,” a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and major fundraiser for former President Bill Clinton. And Clinton is repaying the favor, with a fundraisng e-mail this evening to Virginians:

“Despite what you might hear from the media, the next election isn’t in 2016 or 2014. In Virginia, it’s just 22 days away, and there’s a lot on the line,” Clinton writes, contending that McAuliffe is running against “a guy who’s really out there.”

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Clinton notes, “took legal action against one of the country’s best universities (which happened to be his OWN client) because he disagreed with a study on climate change research. He’s one of those people who still doesn’t believe in global warming. Oh, and he was the first person in the United States to sue the federal government to overturn the Affordable Care Act.”

That Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law offering insurance to millions of Americans lacking it, is what Republicans seized upon in a bid to take control of the continuing budget resolution needed to keep the government running after Oct. 1. The partial-shutdown that resulted, is something the Democrats already are using against Cuccinelli in a state with more than 150,000 federal employees furloughed.

Of course, this is a fundraising pitch to fellow Democrats, in a state that has produced the most contentious governor’s race of the year (an off-year with few of those.)

“Many of the same people working to undermine the president’s agenda are spending millions trying to prop up Cuccinelli’s campaign,” Clinton writes. “We’ve seen what a small group of Republicans backed by very wealthy special interest groups can do. They’re making it harder for poor folks to vote in Texas. They’re trying to nullify federal laws they don’t agree with in Mississippi. And they’ve forced an unnecessary and damaging government shutdown — something I hoped never to see again.”

“They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We want it to work,” Clinton writes. “We don’t want to make it harder to vote. We want every American to be able to participate. And we don’t want to keep the government shut down. We want it to be open for business so our economy can grow.”

The appeal requests $10 for McAuliffie’s campaign in a state that has changed rapidly in the last couple decades. Clinton, a Democrat from Arkansas, couldn’t carry the Old Dominion when he ran for president. Obama carried it twice.

The Obama door-knockers were out this weekend in Northern Virginia.

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