AP Political Writer
RICHMOND, Va. -- Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli is calling for Congress to reopen the federal government, then starve the new health reform law of funding.
After days of questioning, Cuccinelli told reporters for the first time Thursday that "strangling the government" to gain leverage for defunding the 2010 Affordable Care Act is not the right way.
Cuccinelli had taken a beating in news reports and by Democrats since congressional inaction on a funding measure shuttered "non-essential" federal services at midnight Tuesday, including national parks, some block grants and social services programs and home weatherization initiatives.
Virginia, with more than 170,000 residents on the federal payroll, is particularly vulnerable to the shutdown.
Cuccinelli still supports repealing the law he calls "Obamacare" and sued to overturn it in 2010.
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