Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling says he’s not planning to endorse anyone for governor, and that seeking the office himself as a write-in candidate is not a viable option.
Asked by the website RealClearPolitics about whether he would endorse Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, Bolling said:
“I don’t plan to. That could change. But I don’t have any plans to do so. I’m a Republican. I’ve been clear to say that I have concerns about Cuccinelli’s ability to effectively and responsibly govern our state, and because of those concerns, I have not been comfortable endorsing his candidacy. But I’m a Republican, and because of that I’m not comfortable endorsing the other guy’s candidacy either. Whether the voters like it or not, one of these two guys is going to be the next governor of Virginia.”
He added: “I’m not a big fan of Mr. Cuccinelli’s. There are issues on which I agree with him, and others on which I disagree. My main concern is the types of issues he has tended to focus on through his career, and his leadership style and demeanor, and his ability to effectively and responsibly lead the state. It’s not personal — I’m just not convinced he has the skill set that’s necessary to be an effective governor. He is a smart guy, a very principled guy, and a very hardworking guy. I respect all of that. I just worry about the kind of governor he would be … He has tended to be a rigid ideologue who thrives on conflict and confrontation and tends to be drawn to the more controversial and divisive issues of the day. They fire up the Tea Party base, I’m just not sure they’re the right skill set for someone who wants to be governor.”
In that interview, Bolling also made these points:
On whether negative campaigning will lower turnout: “I think Cuccinelli would love that. I think he likes the current direction of this campaign, because it’s turning off a lot of voters and that means they may stay home. The lower the voter turnout, the better the chance Cuccinelli has of winning. McAuliffe, I think his strategy is, he has to drive people to the polls. He’s got to boost voter turnout. I don’t think he can do that by attacking Cuccinelli. I think he also has to offer some sort of positive vision that encourages people to vote for him, not just against the other guy.”
On the campaign so far: “The campaign up until now has become a rapid race to the bottom, with each candidate trying to define the opponent in terms of the lowest common denominator, rather than trying to define themselves … Independent voters are not moved by negative campaigns. They’re moved by candidates who are able to present come sort of a positive vision. And at this point, neither one of them has been able to do that,” when asked what independents are likely to do.
On the state of the GOP: “There are a lot of Republicans in Virginia who are not happy with the Republican nominee for governor, and there are a lot of Republicans in Virginia who are concerned about the direction of the Republican Party.”
On governor McDonnell’s troubles: “It just makes Republicans look bad, and it reminds voters that Mr. Cuccinelli has his own Star Scientific problems. As a result of his relationship [with Williams], he encountered a conflict of interest in at least two cases in which he has had to assign to outside firms, which will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The situation involving Gov. McDonnell and Star Scientific is certainty not helpful, in fact it is harmful.