October 23rd, 2009
06:39 PM ET
4 years ago

Democrat blasts White House for anonymous sniping

The president last campaigned for Deeds in August.
The president last campaigned for Deeds in August.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A well-known Democratic strategist in Virginia is blasting the White House for placing anonymous quotes in the Washington Post in a pre-emptive effort to blame Creigh Deeds for what might be a loss in the state's upcoming gubernatorial election.

David "Mudcat" Saunders, who gained political fame helping Democrat Mark Warner reach out to rural voters during Warner's successful 2001 gubernatorial bid, told CNN Friday that trying to blame Deeds is "bulls**t" when Democrats around the country are "just tired of politics."

"The Democrats right now are a real bruised brand right now where I am," Saunders said in a phone interview from his home near Roanoke. "There was so much energy put into last year's race, everybody's just burned out. You can't get anybody fired up."

In a story published Friday, a senior administration official told the Post that the Deeds campaign ignored their advice to embrace the president, which the official claimed would have boosted the Democratic candidate's lackluster support among the African-Americans and young voters who supported Obama in 2008.


Saunders rejected that argument. Embracing Obama - who does appear with Deeds on ads running in some parts of the state - might not have hurt the candidate in Democratic-leaning areas, he argued, but with the contentious economic debates going on in Washington, the presidential stamp of approval wouldn't have turned him into an instant frontrunner. In southwest Virginia, he said, embracing the president would have been a "devastating" political move for Deeds, who is trailing Republican Bob McDonnell in the polls.

"They're making the assumption Virginia is a blue state, and it's not," Saunders said of the administration. "It's not a red state either. The very best that can be said about Virginia is that it's light purple. For them to say if he had listened to us they would win, that's chickens**t. That's Monday morning quarterbacking."

He also questioned the White House's unsuccessful efforts to court former governor Democratic governor Doug Wilder, who publicly refused to endorse Deeds. "I don't think Doug Wilder means anything anymore," Saunders claimed.

"It's a goddamn shame when our center of government, the White House, won't talk on the record. I discount all of it," Saunders said of the Post article. "It's a lack of courage. And it goes against transparency that Obama told us last year was going to come out of the White House. Anybody who makes anonymous quotes out of the White House should be fired."

Admidst the sharp back-and-forth among Democrats, the president is still scheduled to campaign for Deeds in Norfolk next Tuesday.

UPDATE: Republicans, not surprisingly, are enjoying the back-and-forth. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Katie Wright said the White House is trying to "save face" before Election Day.

"Looks like Creigh Deeds has made the White House enemies list," said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Katie Wright. "Deeds isn't the only one responsible for the downfall of his own campaign. While Deeds has promised higher taxes on Virginia families and small businesses, President Obama has had an equal hand in dragging his party down in the Commonwealth."


Filed under: Creigh Deeds • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. GREG

    BY KEVIN IN DENVER: "We will achieve all major goals of fixing the indescribable mess you republitards left us and the intelligent and rational people of this great country will vote to give Obama a 3rd & 4th Term.......... ad infinitum." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "republitards" leaving an "indescribably mess"?

    Yeah, you sould like the intelligent and rational type. I will be so happy when the day comes we can have a civil discourse and our conflicting opinions discussed as rational adults. It is so pathetic to see the bitterness and.. well I'll just say it.... STUPIDITY when someone is so party-loyal that they would portray themselves to the world as such a blatant j@ck@ss.

    October 23, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Donna P.

    So nice to see the Obama administration giving Creigh Deeds their full support! Virginia is a republican state. We have Democratic governors from time to time but we are Republicans (I’m talking about Virginians who are born and raised in Virginia not the newcomers).

    October 23, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Karen

    Kevin, in Denver, Colorado – are you planning to change the Constitution? A U.S. President can only serve two terms.

    October 23, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. cspurgeon

    no comment !

    October 23, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. keith in ky

    This"SO CALLED" president and his administration remind me of a bunch of kids on a playground if things don't go their way, wha wha wha, piss and moan, it's got to be your fault because I'm the anointed one, looks like YOU'VE elected colonal Klink and sargent Shultz, hows all that hope and change working out, ha ha ha

    October 23, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. ICARE

    tO aNonymous who wrote "October 23rd, 2009 12:25 pm ET

    Deeds can only blame himself for the poor race he has run against McConnell. Deeds DID NOT challenge any of the negative media ads used against him. He NEVER countered with his record and what he will do for the citizens in Virginia. McConnell ran a superb campaign against Deeds.

    Deeds never clarified the ads where McConnell challenged him on whether he will raise taxes, how he will improve transportation in Northern Virginia instead he gave a lot of generics. He was NEVER specific in pointing out his successess and why he should be elected over McConnell. I live in the State of Maryland so I had an opportunity to witness Deeds campaign. He is an embarrasment to the Democratic Party!"

    SOMEONE TOLD ME THE DEMOCRATS ARE DUMMYCRATS... AND THE REPUBLICANS ARE REPUBLI CON...

    Please dont put the elephants who drank all the water in the hole and left us all to dry up.

    October 23, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. ICARE

    Well, I dont know what was said about Huckabee, but I do like the man. Had he won the 2008, I would have voted for him over Obama.

    October 23, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. cspurgeon

    Duh he either wins or loses. Who is this so call Dem strategist. We sure need more like him to add fuel to the fire.

    October 23, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. STILL unemployed in Iowa

    So you trust Obama and Pelosi. Then you might want to view their comments on pun;ic option. Pelosi the NAZI is pushing her authority and Obama has turned loose his SS Troopers. troubled times are a coming.

    SOON, We need to rebel against the Obama Pelosi team.

    This team will be YOUR DICTATORS unless you act soon.

    October 23, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. NVa Native

    If you don't like our President then you can leave our country.

    October 23, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. An Independent Virginian

    I've been watching the governor's race here closely for some time, and I've been listening to neighbors and co-workers. I have to tell you, this governor's race isn't about either of the candidates.

    It's a referendum on President Obama, the Democratic Congress, and their policies and performance so far.

    Looks to me like Deeds is going to be crushed because right now (and this may change by the mid-term elections but I doubt it) the voting population here in Virginia (including Northern Virginia where I live) is overwhelmingly anti-Obama and anti Democrat.

    October 23, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. Dan

    SOCIALISM….. GOP calls Obama a Socialist.
    SOCIALISM….. GOP calls Public Option, Socialism.
    SOCIALISM….. Social Security, is it not Socialism?
    SOCIALISM….. Free education until 12th grade, is it not Socialism?
    SOCIALISM….. Bailout of Wall Street and AIG, is it not Socialism?
    SOCIALISM….. Bush lied that Iraq has WMDs, is it not Socialism?
    SOCIALISM….. We believed what Bush said, is it not Socialism?
    SOCIALISM….. 4300 Troops died, is it not Socialism?
    SOCIALISM….. Bush visits Beijing Olympics, is not a waste of Tax Money.
    SOCIALISM….. Obama flies to Copenhagen to Canvas for Chicago, GOP calls it a waste of Tax Dollars.
    This is an Example how GOP tries to Misled.......................................

    October 23, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. ICARE

    Whatever the case, we need to pull this off together. We must UNITE and stay focus to grow jobs and to stop saying 'no'.

    If you say 'no', you must come up with a better plan.

    October 23, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. cora

    Stop that MUDCAT did the people of virginia tell you there feelings? are is it your opinion? CNN why you lie? you will not post any of my comments especially if it's any thing about FOX, then you put your logo up saying posts is close when fifty more get posts, shame on you.

    October 23, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Sea.gem

    "If you don't like our president then you can leave our country"...you libs threatened to do that for eight years...why didn't you?...and if you do like the president can you still leave the country or do we need your permission for that too?

    October 23, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Albert

    Bush Banrupted America.

    October 23, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Hey, a few lists...

    Hey, I read the lists from the guy's on the right and then guys on the left...everyone should read those lists...

    I tell you what, I will take Obama's lists much before the lists for Bush, and what is really great, is half the complaints on Obama's lists are actually attributed to Bush...hmmm...only if Bush never was elected in 2000...

    October 23, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. bill

    Nva native: "if you dont like our president you can leave the country"

    Um, really, I'm from NoVa to, and you are exactly why everyone is up in arms. Obama has convinced you he has all the answers, and any dissention needs to be met with complete destruction or removal of those that dare oppose.

    I am hopeful you dont mean that, and fearful that you do. It certainly is the direction we are headed, and that is what scares, offends, and angers all those that you see in these grass root protests.

    October 23, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Truth seeker

    Now this is entertainment!

    October 23, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. mark in Atlanta

    It must be disappointing for the Deeds campaign to be criticized by the WH before a vote has been cast. On the other hand, perhpas they should have taken the WH advice. It's not like their current strategy is going gang busters.

    October 23, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Navy Jack

    Obama has intermittently verbally attacked and demonized or used SOME of these same groups as supporting props:
    doctors, insurers, business owners,
    secured bondholders, Wall St.. bankers, automaker execs,
    US Chamber of Commerce, and recently Fox News.

    Why hasn't ALL TARP bailed out companies' executive pay come under the gov't scrutiny? Like Goldman Sachs and GE?
    They carry his message and promote his interests.

    October 23, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. wd

    ....and I can see the Democrats pulling their Hair Out from My House !!

    ...YOU BETCHA !!

    October 23, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. Dave

    Even the Democrats and starting to see through the illusion! Someone developed criticisms for the republicans. Here are some for our current President:
    -vowed for transparency, but won't disclose policies as they are discussed
    -stated Afghanistan was a good war, but doesn't support it
    -wants bi-partisanship, but only promotes far left policies
    -asserted Iran is no threat, but they are developing nuclear weapons
    -promised to close Gitmo, and it is still open
    -disapproved of lobbyists, but seems to have a lot in his office
    -says he wants competition, but will destroy the free market
    -likes the pay as you go system, but has increased debt and deficits
    -said he would not raise taxes . . .

    Wake up America – you are getting taken again!!!!

    October 23, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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