GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said he will have a very direct message for government shutdown figures Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) when the three men meet at a weekend fundraiser in Richmond.
"I'm certainly going to push them to finish this as quickly as they can," said Cuccinelli. "I don't think the shutdown should have ever happened."
Cuccinelli was in Fairfax Friday to hold a roundtable with doctors focused on the program at the heart of the shutdown, the Affordable Care Act.
Cuccinelli is fiercely opposed to the program but now says forcing a shutdown as a way to try to dump "Obamacare" was wrong.
Cuccinelli's position was called into question during last week's debate, when he said he was opposed to the idea of a federal government shutdown, but stopped short of criticizing GOP figures who were encouraging the standoff.
But this week, he made his position more clear.
"Strangling government to do this is not an appropriate course to go," said Cuccinelli in Richmond.
In Fairfax the next day, he told News4's Julie Carey, "This is not way to run a government and especially a superpower."
Cuccinelli said the federal government should reopen and then Republicans can continue efforts to dismantle or delay the Affordable Care Act.
Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe hammered Cuccinelli earlier in the week as he toured a Vienna area government contractor, forced to send half of it's workforce home because of the shutdown.
"My opponnet Ken Cuccinelli ought to do same thing Gov. Bob McDonnell has done," said McAuliffe. "We need to come together. We cannot use the federal government budget as a bargaining chip in this tea party idealogical war and he needs to tell his allies in congress to stop it."
Both gubernatorial campaigns have made the shutdown the focus of new television ads.
Cuccinelli launched a TV spot early this week suggesting McAuliffe as governor would cause a state government shutdown if lawmakers didn't back Medicaid expansion -- something McAuliffe supports.
McAuliffe calls that charge false.
"We'd never shut the government down. It's about working together," McAuliffe said.
McAuliffe has fired back in TV and radio ads, reminding voters of Cuccinelli's past support of Sen. Ted Cruz and his plans to join Cruz this weekend.