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McAuliffe, Cuccinelli spar over social issues

Saturday - 10/26/2013, 5:22pm  ET

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. -- Democrat Terry McAuliffe is casting Republican Ken Cuccinelli as an uncompromising social crusader and the GOP nominee for governor isn't disputing the characterization.

McAuliffe and Cuccinelli traded barbs on abortion rights, gay rights and guns during a forum Saturday that also included libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis. The very deep differences between the candidates were on full display with little more than a week before voters in Virginia elect their next governor.

McAuliffe says Virginia needs to "open and welcoming to everyone" if its economy is to improve. McAuliffe says Cuccinelli's rhetoric toward gays and women would frighten business away.

Cuccinelli, who opposes abortion and gay rights, says his views on the topics come from his personal beliefs and people are free to disagree with them.

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