Virginia Republican revives the 47% argument in new book

Updated
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gestures during a press conference after a hearing before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on a challenge to the...
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gestures during a press conference after a hearing before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on a challenge to the...
Steve Helber/AP

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the likely Republican nominee for governor, will release a book next month that includes what many are calling the new 47% argument of 2013.

In the new book, “The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty,” Cuccinelli argues that ”bad politicians set out to grow government” to “make people dependent on government.”

The reasoning is strikingly similar to Romney, who was caught on camera last fall complaining of the “47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what” because they “are dependent upon government” and “believe that they are victims.”

Romney also said at the time he would “never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

In the excerpts published by the Washington Post Cuccinelli does not go that far, instead accusing the politicians who choose to expand government services of nefarious motives.

In one excerpt he writes, “Sometimes bad politicians set out to grow government in order to increase their own power and influence. This phenomenon doesn’t just happen in Washington; it happens at all levels of government. The amazing thing is that they often grow government without protest from citizens, and sometimes they even get buy-in from citizens—at least from the ones getting the goodies.”

“One of their favorite ways to increase their power is by creating programs that dispense subsidized government benefits, such as Medicare, Social Security, and outright welfare (Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, and the like),” he writes. “These programs make people dependent on government. And once people are dependent, they feel they can’t afford to have the programs taken away, no matter how inefficient, poorly run, or costly to the rest of society.”

“Citizens will vote for those politicians who promise more benefits each year, rather than the fiscally responsible politicians who try to point out that such programs are unsustainable and will eventually bankrupt the states or the nation.”

Cuccinelli even criticizes those within his own party, calling out George W. Bush for his support of Medicare Part D. “It was the largest entitlement program program in forty years, and it was created under Republican president George W. Bush and passed by a Republican-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate in 2003,” he writes. “While there may have been some good intentions involved, this was George W. Bush using taxpayer dollars to buy seniors’ votes for his 2004 reelection campaign, pure and simple. And the Republicans in Congress generally went right along with it.”

Romney’s now infamous comments about the 47% are widely seen as one of the major factors contributing to his loss. A poll taken about a month before election day found a majority of Americans had a negative reaction to the comments.

Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz pointed to the 47% line as major reason that Romney lost the Latino vote by such a wide margin.

“You want to know why Barack Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote? Tone on immigration contributed, but I think far more important was ‘47%,’” Cruz said at an event a few weeks after the election, although polling shows that Romney’s numbers with Latino voters didn’t change drastically after the comments.

This new book includes the latest in a series of controversial statements from Cuccinnelli since announcing his campaign for governor. Earlier this month he said that catholics should be willing to be arrested in order to protest the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, even comparing that issue to the civil rights protests of Martin Luther King.

Recent polling shows Cuccinelli is statistically tied with his likely Democratic rival in the 2013 Governor’s race, Terry McAuliffe. Many speculate that Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling may enter the race as an Independent.

Explore:

Virginia Republican revives the 47% argument in new book

Updated