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Updated: McDonnell stops by CPAC; Cantor, Gilmore, Cuccinelli to speak at conference

Anita Kumar

Updated: 4:51 p.m. We have just learned that McDonnell has stopped by CPAC to shake hands and conduct some radio interviews. We're told he took the stage for a impromptu two-minute speech.

Gov. Bob McDonnell may be skipping the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington this weekend, but Virginia will be well represented at the gathering, which often provides a stage for presidential hopefuls.

U.S. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor will be there. So will former governor Jim Gilmore. And Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

This morning, Cantor and Cuccinelli will speak on a panel, "Saving Freedom: It's About Jobs, Stupid!" A few hours later, it's Gilmore's turn. The new president of the conservative Free Congress Foundation's topic is "Does Security Trump Freedom?"

So why is McDonnell skipping the event?

Spokeswoman Stacey Johnson says the governor plans to stay in Richmond for the weekend while the House and Senate prepare to release their versions of the budget Sunday afternoon.

McDonnell will attend National Governors Association and Republican Governors Association conferences in Washington today, along with a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, but be back tomorrow. He will return to Washington Sunday for a black-tie dinner at the White House with the nation's other governors and their spouses. On Monday, the governors will meet with Obama and his Cabinet at the White House.

McDonnell has been a much sought-after speaker since winning his landslide election in November. Phil Cox, senior adviser to the governor and director of his political action committee, Opportunity Virginia, said McDonnell has been invited to dozens of political events across the state and nation, including the Iowa state spring dinner, but that he has turned them down because he wants to concentrate on being governor. One of the few exceptions, of course, was delivering the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address last month.

By Anita Kumar  |  February 19, 2010; 9:11 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Eric Cantor , James Gilmore III , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: Cuccinelli to speak at CPAC, but not with Obama citizenship challenger


McDonald will be absent from the meeting of "How Millionaires Can Preserve Their Cozy Lifestyle" while he is in Richmond doing their dirty work behind closed doors. These Republicans who think that problems can be solved by an all out assault on children continue to brainwash their under-educated masses of followers by reducing complex socio-economic policies down to a size that fits on a bumper sticker. In the back rooms, they rub their hands together and think of all the extra riches they amass on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens.

Here is what they want to do:
“The Governor recommends drastic additional cuts of $730 Million to K-12 public education, $38 Million to health care for 28,000 low-to-moderate income children, $24 Million to services for at-risk youth, and over $10 Million for early childhood initiatives. These four cuts alone represent almost half of the total budget reduction in the Governor’s recommendations and will negatively impact almost every Virginia family – and Virginia’s future.”

Posted by: thuff7 | February 19, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Saving Freedom: It's About Jobs, Stupid!"

Saving freedom? Jobs? How can you create jobs while you are systematically destroying our educational system while the rest of the world is investing heavily in its schools. This is a recipe for economic failure in the global marketplace and a step toward making the US economy 4th behind China, India and Brazil.

Our children will be the ones who will build the businesses of the future by they innovations, their ingenuity and their entrepreneurship. These wack-job has-been politicians are leading you on the fast track to becoming a 3rd world nation and their moronic, under-educated, brainwashed followers are cheering them on for doing so.

The only jobs these guys care about are their own.

If you think they care about your jobs, you are seriously deluded.

Posted by: thuff7 | February 19, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it time that these megalomaniac millionaires are forced to return some of the riches they have amassed from exploiting their fellow citizens so that the rest of our society has the opportunity to become educated while enjoying health care benefits that are worthy of the wealthiest nation on earth?

How can they keep saying they are "making difficult choices" while at the same time, they won't give up a nickel yet they impose all the difficulties on our children?

That doesn't sound like a tough choice that they are making.

Posted by: thuff7 | February 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Good call by McDonnell not going to this meeting. He must be THRILLED by Cucinelli's antics upstaging him. Cucinelli is going to be a major issue down the road for McDonnell as McDonnell tries to show he's about governing, working to get things done, etc. and his AG, rather than prodiving him legal counsel as is his job duty, is instead filing suit against the federal govt. Would love to by a fly on the wall listening to McDonnell's advisors talk about how they are going to keep Cucinelli from sinking this ship... good luck.

Posted by: ChrisD4 | February 19, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

when folks say it's all about jobs, they're referring to private sector jobs. unaffordable public sector 'defined benefit' pensions that require debt-servitude from private sector businesses are job killers. so the targeted cuts McDonnell proposed are in the right direction. he did propose an increase in public safety and $88 million for public sector bonuses which are completely unaffordable, so his proposal certainly has faults. maybe when the state deficit hits $8 billion he'll have all this figured out. maybe not.

Posted by: millionea7 | February 19, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

millionea7 wrote:
"when folks say it's all about jobs, they're referring to private sector jobs. unaffordable public sector 'defined benefit' pensions that require debt-servitude from private sector businesses are job killers."

Tell me that ridiculous BS when private sector businesses come plow my streets. Or educate my children. Or perform life-saving, ground-breaking biomedical research. Or care for the elderly folks who have been abandoned by their children. Or police our streets. Or keep our air and water clean. Or inspect the food we eat. Or build our roads and fill our potholes.

The moronic bumper sticker mentality that has brainwashed people into thinking we don't need government services will sink us all down into a third world ghetto, while the rich just keep on amassing all the wealth.

Posted by: thuff7 | February 19, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Does Security Trump Freedom?" -- only in fascist and authoritarian regimes, but in a DEMOCRACY, freedom is everything.

BTW, there can be no 100% guarantee of security and the government won't be able to give it to you but it will take away all your freedoms in pursuit of 100% security.

So if you want no freedom and no security, vote Republican.

Posted by: B-rod | February 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The GOP has become quite the cult.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 19, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

thuff7, you are delusional.

"Or perform life-saving, ground-breaking biomedical research."

ever heard of Merck? they developed that vaccine that protects young women from cervical cancer.

"Or police our streets."

give it time. many municipalities across the country are dumping their local law enforcement and contracting with sheriffs' departments at cheaper rates.

if the state outsourced all the other services you also mentioned to private sector firms, then they'd hire the EXACT SAME people to perform the EXACT SAME job just at affordable rates with reasonable benefits.

the taxpayer is tapped out. that's economic reality whether you live in Virginia or on fantasy island.

Posted by: millionea7 | February 19, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Sending Ken Cuccinelli to speak for Virginia at CPAC is a grave mistake. After the blugoning that Cuccinelli and protege, fellow Men's & "Father's Rights" Activist, Ron Grignol gave the decent, hard-working mother of Grignol's two daughters in Fairfax County Juvenile Court on January 26, 2010 (as AG), I would not unleash him on anyone. Grignol plays the "Vitim" but IS the BULLY and Ken Cuccinelli, well "Birds of a Feather Flock Together". I have never seen such perjury and attempt at character defamation in my life! As a registered Republican, I am seriously disturbed by Cuccinelli (first hand). The man is evil.

Posted by: SeekingJustice1 | February 19, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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