September 21st, 2009
07:38 PM ET
9 years ago

Source: White House not looking for 'soft landing' for Paterson

Polls show that Paterson is low in the polls -- and dropping fast.

Polls show that Paterson is low in the polls - and dropping fast.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An Obama administration source denies reports that the White House has been looking for a 'soft landing' for embattled New York Gov. David Paterson - but says Paterson hasn't flatly refused to remove himself from the race, though he is being coy about his plans.

Informed sources tell CNN that White House political director Patrick Gaspard met early last week with the Democratic governor to let him know about the administration's concerns he could not win the governor's race next year - a problem that could affect races down-ticket, not the least of which Senate seat now held by Kirsten Gillibrand. The White House decision to approach Paterson, says one source, "was driven by the poll numbers. There doesn't seem to be any way he can recover."

CNN has also learned that New York Sen. Chuck Schumer met with the president last month, and that the fate of the governor's race may have been one topic of conversation.

Polls show that Paterson's approval numbers are low - and dropping fast. In recent polls, just one in five voters approved of the job he'd been doing as governor. The same surveys indicated he'd lose in a matchup against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo - who has assiduously avoided weighing in on the Paterson controversy - is clearly waiting in the wings, his approval ratings skyrocketing as he aggressively takes on Wall Street. "Every banker Cuomo indicts, the more popular he gets," says one Democratic strategist.

Even so, New York Rep. Jose Serrano told CNN, "if the White House has issues with a Democratic governor, there are ways to do that. Going public and embarrassing our governor doesn't make any sense." Particularly, Serrano adds, since the two met had to meet in New York today. It must be, he added, "the most uncomfortable situation either has faced in a long time."

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Brotherhood of Man

    Gov. David Paterson -------------

    You are Blind, You can't See.


    You can look into EVERY HEART
    You can look into TRUTH
    You can look into LOVE, MANKIND AND GOODNESS

    WE LOVE YOU DAVID PATERSON -------------–


    September 21, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. stan

    The gop cant win anything anymore,because they cant get minority voters,the hispanics are quitting the gop in record numbers,because the word on the political scene is the gop wants to try in pass a law that would prohibit citizens who was not born in this country from voting for the president of the united states,the gop has just ended their chances of winning anything because the gop has let these right-wing people and fox news take control of their party

    September 21, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Brad

    Paterson is pathetic and he needs to go...the sooner the better. If he doesn't get out, this man is going to drag down Democrats with him everywhere in New York.

    September 21, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Hmmm.....

    It would be nice for the federal government to stay OUT of the affairs of the states. Does nayone wonder why the rest of the world thinks lowly of us – our federal government thinks it is the reason we all exist- kind of suppossed to be the other way around. Get back in your cage and leave NY alone- They will figure it out fine!

    September 21, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Fan of Common Sense

    Somebody's holding out for a gig in the executive branch. 😉

    September 21, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Billy J ..Texas..

    I must admit that Paterson is a drag to his state and to his party. It happens. The only way the GOP will get back some clout is to purge their party of the folks that make them look bad, and the Dems are no different. Paterson needs to go. Somebody offer him a job... pleeeez!

    September 21, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. Glen

    All I have to say is Governor, don't take any rides in a small plane before the election. They do not end well for Democrats in trouble of losing their seats.

    September 21, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. DJ

    Guiliani is a fraud and his police commissioner sidekick Kerik proves it.
    Patterson is just an interim to replace another sleazebag, but is a good man. NY deserves better than 2 slimeballs and an interim appointed Governor.

    Show some respect towards Patterson though...he is blind afterall, give the guy a break already.

    September 21, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. The Great Chicago Political Machine

    We have simply made him an offer he cannot easily refuse.

    September 21, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. Rita

    You are wrong Stan, everyone knows it was the independents who voted for Obama that won the office for him. They are falling away from him more and more every day, by the time 2012 gets here Obama's numbers will be as small as Patterson's. Do you think Hillary will be able to get Obama to step aside for the good of the democrat ticket?

    September 21, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Buddy Gilmour

    Weird that every loser (e.g., Blago) thinks Obama should do something for him. Regardless, I see Paterson in an endowed Chair at CUNY and Cuomo in the NY State Governor's Mansion.

    September 21, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. E from NY

    As far as I'm concerned... and being from NY... Patterson needs to go. Respectable because he ain't sleepin' around the Gov mansion, but his politics stink and have decimated our state! Goodbye in 2010 Mr. Patterson!

    September 21, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. No Incumbents 2010

    Paterson would be an excellent Ambassador to Canada or motivational speaker.

    September 21, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. JayG

    Giuliani should be Gov. Everybody always makes fun of him and trys to make him that all he talks about is 9/11 but what he did in NY as mayor was remarkable. Giuliani lost alot of friends on 9/11. Did you idiots ever think maybe thats why he speaks about it??? Rudy is the perfect person to be responsible for NY, there is nobody better for the job. He cleaned up NYC and eliminated a tremendous amount of crime and poverty. Anybody whos been to NYC now as well as back in 1992 can attest to this whether you like him or not.

    September 21, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. rickymo

    We cannot risk this man on NY. It is bad enough we have thugs and losers running the Senate and the possibility of a thug (Rudy) or a loser (Lazio) is worse. Obama should give him another job and make way for Cuomo...(either one but the AG will do)

    September 21, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. James

    Excuse me, but why is the President of the US trying to control ANY State Government, or the candidates that are running for office in that State? WAYYYYY too abusive of Federal power! WAYYYYY wrong!

    A President shouldn't even be campaigning for any candidate as that means he isn't doing his job, but that happens on both sides of the aisle. BUT – at NO time should the President (or any Federal Power) be trying to influance the choice of who goes on the ballot for their party prior to the primaries!. That is the CITIZEN'S choice through the PRIMARIES! THAT is what the PRIMARIES are for! Geezzzz... This arrogant President is just incredible thinking he can reach down into a State and tell us citizens who WE should be putting up for candidacy of OUR State! I'll vote for the opposing party, or not at all, before I will allow that kind of power to be held in Washington! Who does he think he is – Chavez the dictator??!!

    September 21, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. ran

    This would not be happening if he had not been so mean to CK. She would have been a great Senator.

    September 21, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Independent Voter

    The President should not get involved in state elections. Period. If Gov. Paterson wishes to run, so be it. Let the voters decide. The USA is a democracy after all.

    September 21, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. ironic observation

    So, this means that the White House is paying attention to polls? ..I wonder if they're following the Daily Presidential Tracking Poll posted at the Rasmussen website: Obama's approval index is down 8 points now.

    September 21, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. Farrell in Houston

    The GOP supporting Paterson, I don't think so. The GOP will use every dirty trick in the book but they can't take care of their business and they need to stay out of ours.

    September 21, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. PL

    Maurine Dowd and Jimmy Carter, where are you? Need you to come out to do some justice. The power that be just dont want to have a black man in the governor's house.
    Go ahead, go tell them.

    September 21, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  22. obama the liar

    obama lies, lies, lies until he is elected Messiah of the world.

    September 21, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. Sian

    I hope the Governor has the sense to step aside quietly. I also hope the current administration and the Democratic Party has the sense to give Governor Patterson the recognition he deserves. .

    September 21, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama has gall.

    September 21, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. G'er

    Frankly, Paterson is better than NJ Governor Corzine or PA Governor Rendell. Governor Paterson is doing much a better job than Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. Frankly Paterson is even doing a better job that President Obama. Asking him to step aside is arrogant and wrong...

    September 21, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
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