President Barack Obama headlined a rally for the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, Terrry McAuliffe, Sunday afternoon at Arlington's Washington-Lee High School.
The president attacked Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli and the tea party, highlighting how the shutdown particularly hurt Virginians.
“Here in Virginia you felt the pain of the first government shutdown in 17 years, and there aren’t a lot of states that felt more of the pain than folks right here in Virginia,” Obama said.
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Obama also encouraged the audience not only to vote for McAuliffe Tuesday but also to get out and get others to vote.
“Virginia historically has always been a swing state and this race will be close. ... The question is going to be whether or not you are willing to outwork the other side,” he said.
Last week, Cuccinelli said bringing the president to Virginia only strengthens his campaign, as every day brings more troubling news about the administration of the health care sign-ups.
McAuliffe is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, and his campaign believes the president's appearance will help turnout in vote-rich northern Virginia. Democrats acknowledge turnout will be critical in an off-election year in which some observers predict it could drop below 40 percent as contrasted to 80 percent of active voters in last year's presidential contest.
Fresh off her Saturday Night Live debut, actress Kerry Washington made a surprise appearance at the McAuliffe event. The crowd burst into applause as she took the stage.
Sunday also was a busy day for Cuccinelli, who had four stops scheduled, including one in the Shenandoah Valley.
He made a handful of stops in northern Virginia Saturday with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Monday he’ll campaign with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in Culpeper and with former congressman Ron Paul in Richmond.