WASHINGTON -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gave a self-congratulatory speech on Thursday about his fight against the Obama health care law and the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly crying when he said freedom must be protected for future generations.
"Freedom ... must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or else one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, telling them what it was once like in America where men were free," he said, taking a long pause after mentioning grandchilden and tearing up.
The rest of the speech, given after he won a "Defender of the Constitution Award," was mostly dedicated to a list of his efforts against the Obama administration, which he said has led an "across-the-board assault" on the Constitution and states' rights.
"As we, the American people, have gradually asked [the government] to do more, a little bit here, a little bit there over time and history, we have gradually created a government that is no longer very limited," he said. "We have, in fact, a central government."
Cuccinelli filed petitions in 2010 with the federal government in an attempt to block the EPA's effort to crack down on energy uses that could contribute to global warming, as well as filing another petition to make the government review a finding that climate change threatens "the public health and welfare of the American people."
He also led an effort to block the president's health care law, and boasted on Thursday that he challenged the law about 35 minutes after Obama signed it.
Similar efforts are beginning in different states based on Virginia's example, he said.
"States are now pushing back, and not just Virginia. We play a leadership role, and where better to play a leadership role, you've got Madison and Monroe here, two of the founders on opposite sides of the U.S. Constitutional debate," he said of his state's effort.