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Warner: An extreme governor would hurt state economy

Now that U.S. Sen. Mark Warner is out of the Democratic race for Governor in 2013, what does he thinks about the possibility of a Governor Ken Cuccinelli?

 “I think Virginia has earned national recognition in education in management in its business climate as being a pretty mainstream state,” Warner said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch the other day discussing his position on the fiscal cliff, gun policy after Newtown and state politics. 

 “I think any time you kind of try to jerk politics, on either end, onto the extremes, you don’t help your economy,” he said.

While broad, the remarks echoed Democratic criticisms of Cuccinelli — and those by his former GOP rival, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, that the conservative Republican Virginia Attorney General’s crusade on issues like the Affordable Care Act, climate change and do not fit the commonwealth’s changing politics and would make it difficult to get things done in Richmond. 

But as Attorney General, Cuccinelli has found broad bipartisan support for initiatives such as wrongful incarceration, Medicaid Fraud, domestic violence and, most recently, consumer protection issues related to the use of renewable energy laws by electric utilities to raise rates.

So does Warner, Virginia’s most popular politician, who served as governor from 2002-2005 before his election to the Senate, plan to endorse Terry McAuliffe, the lone Democrat still standing for governor in 2013?  Warner’s incoming Virginia seatmate, senator-elect Timothy M. Kaine, has already pledged his support and intent to back McAuliffe’s bid.

Warner is expected to follow — but not quite yet. He said it was an issue of timing.

“There will be time for me to weigh in at the right time,” he said. “But somehow with the Newtown tragedy and the fiscal cliff, there will be another time to talk about that.”