Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli accused President Barack Obama on Sunday of respecting liberty less than the British crown did in the years before the Revolution.
“King George III and the parliament of Great Britain that we rebelled against respected the liberty of the colonists of America more than the Congress and the president of the United States of America,” he told thousands of tea party activists gathered on Washington’s National Mall for the 9/12 rally.
Cuccinelli, who has become a darling of the right because of his eagerness to butt heads with the administration, called the health law “the greatest erosion of liberty in my adult lifetime.” His office filed suit against the federal government on the day Obama signed the health care bill into law.
The analogy came during a condemnation of the new mandate that individuals buy health insurance, a key provision in the bill Obama signed into law this March. In 1774, after the first Continental Congress boycotted goods, Cuccinelli said the solicitor general told the British Crown that the government couldn’t mandate subjects buy products like tea.
“If the federal government can order you to buy health insurance, they can order you to buy anything,” he said.
The health care law has become one of the biggest issues galvanizing conservative voters, and Republicans hope to capitalize on polls that show the new law remains unpopular with a majority of voters to make traction with independents in the coming midterms. The individual mandate was included in the bill as a cost-control measure.
“Make no mistake about it: this lawsuit is not about health care,” he said, wearing a full business suit and black cowboy boots on a sweaty afternoon. “It’s about liberty and preserving liberty as the Founding Fathers understood it, not as the people who occupy this building rewrite it every week…all that stands between us and the end of federalism is one lawsuit.”
He told the conservative activists who had come from around the country that he hopes to argue his case before the Supreme Court in about a year-and-a-half.