Democrats see Virginia vote as sign of Tea Party fading

Nov. 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- A leader of the Democratic Party said last week's election in Virginia showed that U.S. voters were focused on the economy rather than Tea Party politics.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Sunday that Democrat Terry McAuliffe's election as governor was based on his emphasis on job creation. McAuliffe defeated Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea Party-supported Republican.

"When the voters are presented with a candidate who focuses on creating jobs and investing in education and working together, versus a candidate who doubled down on the politics of shutdown, who embraced Tea Party extremism, who was a leader in the war on women, particularly on women's health, they overwhelmingly chose Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, and elected him," Wasserman-Schultz said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Wasserman-Schultz said she did not see the Virginia election as a referendum on President Obama's healthcare initiative. She said McAuliffe won by about the same percentage of votes as Obama received in the last presidential election and did not expect the Obamacare controversy to be as heated an issue in the 2014 congressional elections as it was this year.

But Rence Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, argued Obamacare would flounder in the coming months and drag the Democrats down with it. "This issue is going to be toxic for the Democrats and, believe me, we will tattoo it to their foreheads in 2014. We will run on it and they will lose because of it," he said.

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