McAuliffe goes all 2004, has Howard Dean complain about Cuccinelli’s Swift-Boating

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

It’s 2004 all over again in the Virginia governor’s race.

Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe sent out an email Monday from former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean complaining about Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s links to the creator of the infamous “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” ad against John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.

McAuliffe was chairman of the Democratic National Committee during John Kerry’s unsuccessful campaign for president in 2004. McAuliffe left his position in February 2005 after the party’s loss. Independent candidate Ralph Nader later accused McAuliffe of trying to bribe him with political resources to stay out of certain states in the 2004 race.

“The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads were a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, those dishonest but brutally effective ads were a turning point in the disappointing 2004 presidential election. But they also marked a turning point for the Democratic Party,” Dean wrote in an email to McAuliffe supporters. “For the last ten years, we’ve fully embraced people-powered politics, showing that passionate people like you run this country — not the political class in Washington or Richmond.”

“We can prove that once and for all this year because the mastermind behind the Swift Boat ads, Chris LaCivita, is the chief strategist for Ken Cuccinelli. Make sure Terry is prepared to defeat LaCivita, Cuccinelli, and their fear-mongering brand of politics by making a $5 donation before Terry’s end-of-month deadline. Our bottom-up political movement has worked — we elected President Obama twice, we elected Senator Kaine, but we can’t just rest back on our laurels,” Dean wrote.

Dean himself rose to national prominence in 2004, briefly livening up the Democratic primary with a web-savvy insurgency campaign before John Kerry took the party’s nomination and went on to be soundly defeated by George W. Bush.

LaCivita is not hiding, even speaking on Cuccinelli’s behalf on MSNBC.

McAuliffe was leading Cuccinelli by four points in two separate July polls.

Usher, Maroon 5, and the original cast of “House” could not be reached for comment.

Follow Patrick on Twitter