RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's activist conservative attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, tacked left toward the political center in addressing the nation's foremost annual gathering of conservatives, touting support for the mentally ill and forgiveness of reformed felons.
In an 18-minute speech the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, D.C., Cuccinelli got tepid applause when he urged conservatives to lead the way "changing the culture of corrections in America."
A stalwart pro-lifer, Cuccinelli never used the word "abortion." His loudest ovation hailed his first-in-the-nation lawsuit against the 2010 federal health reform law.
He said other fellow tough-on-crime conservatives are not only willing but excited to lock up convicts and throw away the key. He said if conservatives believe no one is beyond redemption, they need to stop throwing away the key.
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