The Extraordinary Comeback of Ken Cuccinelli

Curt Mills
Reuters

Curt Mills

Politics, Americas

The former Virginia Attorney General—and virulent Trump opponent—takes the wheel on the president’s signature issue: immigration.

The Extraordinary Comeback of Ken Cuccinelli

This is disgusting,” Ken Cuccinelli told C-SPAN nearly three summers ago, in the heat of the 2016 Republican convention.

Cuccinelli, the former, controversial attorney general of Virginia and failed 2013 gubernatorial candidate, served as a chief lieutenant for Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid—an effort that culminated in subterfuge at the 2016 convention. The Texas senator famously urged Republican voters to “vote your conscious,” in effect upgrading the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Adding insult to injury, Cruz’s subordinates, namely Cuccinelli, staged a quixotic bid to upstage Trump’s coronation—a Hail Mary, procedural attempt to deny him the nomination. When the effort fell short, Cuccinelli at one point threw down his lanyard and delegate credentials in protest at perceived RNC strong-arming. “If you won’t obey your own rules, there’s no reason to think you’ll obey any others,” Cuccinelli told MSNBC. “Here we’ve got RNC trampling their own grassroots delegates.”

“What Cuccinelli was trying to do was trying to throw the convention and try to get Cruz nominated,” recalls David Warrington, who served as counsel for the Trump Campaign on the Credentials, Platform, and Rules Committees at the Republican National Convention. Warrington has previously worked on Ron Paul’s 2012 bid, who staged a similar convention coup attempt, and was retained by Trump as something of a defensive measure. It worked.

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