In almost every campaign both sides claim they are going to stay away from social issues and instead focus on jobs and the economy.
Invariably as the weeks dwindle closer to the vote both sides retreat to their bases and drum up passion and support with emotional issues like abortion.
The 2013 race for Governor of Virginia is no different.
The issue is particularly thorny for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who has proudly warn the mantle of a pro-life leader for much of his public life. The Terry McAuliffe campaign has sought to exploit his stance with past statements and votes to drive down the Republican's support with women.
This week, NBC12 has taken a second look at a video of a speech given by Cuccinelli to the Christian Life Summit. The video has already raised some controversy because in it the Attorney General, who had yet to formally announce his bid for Governor, has some tough words for the Catholic Church, of which his a member.
“One of my great frustrations as a Catholic...is how soft and weak the leadership of my church has been,” Cuccinelli said. “They have for decades lobbied government to ‘do this’ and to ‘do that.’ All of which should be done by the church if they’re done at all in society. So over time, they’ve made themselves out to be the largest special interest group in the country.”
In that same video, Cuccinelli talks at length about scripture as it relates to public service and how God judges not only individuals, but nations as a whole.
First- here is the two excerpts of the video that deal with the subject of God's judgment.
Early on in the speech Cuccinelli sets the stage in his remarks by discussing how God judges nation according to scripture.
"But he does judge nations and obviously we don't have to score a hundred percent," Cuccinelli said.
Then later on in the speech, which also touched on gay marriage and other social issues, Cuccinelli gets very specific about his view of God's review of the United States as it relates to to its abortion policies.
"Really, Given that God does judge nations, it's amazing that abortion has run as far and foully as it has, without what I would consider to be a greater imposition of judgment on this country," Cuccinelli said. "Who knows what the future holds?"
This is obviously just a small section of a thirty minute speech, that despite the publicity it recieved several months ago, has been viewed on YouTube less than 15 hundred times.
You can see the entire speech for yourself below:
Cuccinelli's campaign chose not to addess his comments directly but instead said that his focus is not on social issues, but on jobs and the economy.
"It's no secret that Ken Cuccinelli is proudly pro life," said his spokesman Richard Cullen "His focus as governor will be to implement his jobs plan, which will create 58,000 jobs and ease tax burdens on middle class families and workers."
Cuccinelli told me shortly after formally being nominated as the Republican candidate for Governor that he will not seek to expand exisiting abortion laws.
While the Cuccinelli camp avoided addressing the comments directly don't be surprised to hear from the McAuliffe campaign which has worked steadily at making Cuccinelli's abortion stance front and center.
(They chose not to comment tonight)
They've run numerous ads related to the subject, including a hard hitting piece that claimed that Cuccinelli "wants makes all abortion illegal". The ad was rated "Mostly False" by PolitiFact Virginia.