Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Ken Cuccinelli
Virginia attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli's campaign has managed to compound the damage of an anti-Semitic joke told at a campaign event by lying about Cuccinelli's connections with the teller of the joke.

After John Whitbeck, the chair of a Republican district committee, introduced Cuccinelli by telling a joke that had "the head of the Jewish faith" bringing the new pope a piece of paper which turns out to be "the bill from the Last Supper," Cuccinelli's campaign first took its time responding rather than issuing a quick denunciation. Later, a top Cuccinelli strategist insisted, "I don’t even know who the guy is." But Ken Cuccinelli certainly knows:

[I]n May, an activist tweeted a photo of Whitbeck, giving one of the nomination speeches for Cuccinelli at the state Republican convention. Whitbeck’sown Twitter feed and the 10th District Committee’s Facebook page show him with Cuccinelli at numerous campaign events. And, as Ben Tribbett noted on his Not Larry Sabato blog, Cuccinelli’s political director worked closely with Whitbeck to win the 10th district committee elections in 2012 in order to take over the Republican State Central Committee — a key component of his strategy to change the nomination process in Cuccinelli’s favor.
Seriously, did they think "we don't know the Republican official introducing the candidate" was really going to fly, particularly when it was so easily disproved? That is some A-One crisis management right there. And may their skills not improve between now and the election, because the prospect of Ken Cuccinelli as the governor of a major state is seriously frightening.

11:43 AM PT: Whitbeck responds by blaming a priest and Democrats:

“At yesterday's rally, I told a joke,” Whitbeck told the Times-Mirror Wednesday. “I did not tell an anti-Semitic joke. I told a joke I heard from a priest at a church service.”

Whitbeck continued, “Any alleged outrage over this joke has been wholly manufactured by American Bridge, an organization founded by Democrat activist David Brock and funded by Georg Soros. American Bridge, which has the sole purpose of electing Democrats by attacking Republicans, has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to defeating Ken Cuccinelli by any means they deem necessary.”

Man, even in the middle of lying about not knowing Whitbeck, Cuccinelli's campaign at least got it right in describing the joke as "wholly inappropriate." Too bad Whitbeck himself hasn't gotten that memo and thinks he's going to be able to finger-point and distract his way out of this.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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