HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Appearing on a syndicated radio show in Iowa, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for governor, suggested what he calls an effective way to attack the Affordable Health Act requirement that would force business and faith-based institutions to cover contraceptives: go to jail.
During the interview, Cuccinelli said his local bishop agreed civil disobedience is the answer.
“My local bishop said 'Well, you know, I told a group I`m ready to go to jail,' and I told him, `Bishop, don`t take this personally - you need to go to jail,” he said.
Cuccinelli’s likely Democratic opponent in the governor’s race, Terry McAuliffe, blasted the attorney general, accusing him of leading the charge to prevent women from making their own healthcare choices
He’s even set up a petition online.
CBS 6 spoke to McAuliffe’s press secretary, Josh Schwerin, over the phone.
“The point of our petition is that our supporters and folks across the Commonwealth want a conversation about the economy, and not partisan divisive rhetoric… This wasn’t a comment on civil disobedience. This was a commentary on the way Ken Cuccinelli using divisive rhetoric, and ideological issues to drive his career, long agenda.” Schwerin said.
Though Father Michael Renniger of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Henrico County applauded the administration's plan to provide health care to those in need, he doesn’t agree with forcing faith-based institutions to put aside their core beliefs.
“In the United States civil disobedience, even to the point of being arrested is something that has a very long history. Last year, the liberal press applauded the protesters at the state capitol for certain laws that were passed to protect the unborn. I just raise the question: If that is a laudable exercise of American freedom, how would it not be equally laudable for Christians to say there are certain things we cannot abide? And, as law abiding citizen we will take whatever steps are necessary to make our opinions known,” Renniger said.
Neither the Attorney General or Terry McAuliffe were available for interviews.