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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli Wins Huckabee Presidential Forum

Judging by the comments posted on Twitter, Free Republic and other conservative bulletin boards and forums, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli won Mike Huckabee’s FOX News Republican presidential forum. Unfortunately, “Cooch” is running for Governor of Virginia, not President.

Naturally, Cuccinelli’s limited government conservative approach is going to be a hit with CHQ viewers and other conservatives, but Attorneys General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma and Pam Bondi of Florida are also thought of as solid conservatives.

We think Cuccinelli got such favorable reviews for a slightly more subtle reason; his questions generally started from the premise that we are a nation of laws and the Constitution is the ultimate law that governs all others.

This led Cuccinelli to constantly probe his fellow Republicans for the constitutional or legal basis for their answers or policy prescriptions, and many of them came-up short on that front -- even when the end result was something conservatives might applaud.

For example, Cuccinelli asked Minnesota Representative Bachmann how she would handle environmental disagreements across state lines if she were to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. When Bachmann answered that “a lot of these cases would be negotiated,” Cuccinelli noted, “You cannot just negotiate without a legal foundation and thereby compel both sides to participate.”

Likewise, Cuccinelli pressed Texas Governor Rick Perry about his vow to use an executive order to repeal the Obamacare health care law.

When pressed, Perry was forced to revise his position: "I'm saying we can stop parts of it. The other parts of it obviously would have to be done from the rules standpoint, those rules are going to be implemented by the Health and Human Services, etc."

Bravo! Of course conservatives would like to end EPA overreach and get rid of Obamacare, but we would like to end the whole idea that we can have government by executive fiat even more.

As Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi noted at the end of the two-hour broadcast, “We heard more about the Constitution tonight than every other debate combined.” If that is true, it is because Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli kept the focus on the Constitution and in the process came across as the winner of the evening’s debate.

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