October 23rd, 2009
06:39 PM ET
5 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. Jobless Recovery

    Obama is downright scary. He is a typical chicago mob politician...except he has the biggest stage in the world. Scary how he controls the media like a Russian communist.

    I bet Deeds is a racist...that's why he's losing....or maybe it's fox news fault? Maybe it's the IOC fault??? Hmmm, what else can this fraud of a president blame?

    October 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. gt

    this is one of the first domenios that is going to fall....american are sick of the blame game....

    October 23, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    Wait a minute. A democrat sniping at the White House? Either there is a serious full moon or even some dems are tired of the dicatorship!

    October 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. tess

    o'bama is the head of this snake and finally the american people are seeing past the smile, tele-prompter and spin that these people are truly evil and power hungary!! it is now up to us to take back our government and 2010 is fast approaching when we can – the question is WILL WE!!!

    October 23, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. What about the CNN Poll?

    What about the latest CNN poll showing that the GOP has such an unfavorable rating? Maybe the CNN poll reeks of biased propaganda – like many of the Democrat Party tactics of late. The 2010 elections will be the biggest bloodbath of voting out Democrats in the last 100 years. Good ridance!

    October 23, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. cal

    David Saunders needs to get his filty dirty mouth cleaned. This has to be the worst article I have read in long time. How can CNN even print this? This man has the mouth that's not fit to kiss a dog butt. I don't care how angry he is, he is showing what a complete idiot he is and his lack of class.

    October 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Kate in SW Fla

    Well, there are numerous cases of Republicans tweeting, e-mailing and even giving "statements, while saying they are democrats. Twitter has even shut down over 35 such accounts. Before believing "anonymous" sources, I'd make sure the statement's origin is credible.

    October 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Mike in Columbus

    Sorry, but O is no better than W was. I voted for the man. I'm still waiting for transparency and the campaign promises. Time to take the blinders off (regardless of the side) America.

    October 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Bren

    Uh-oh........the Democrats are starting to eat their own. This is going to get much worse-as the 2010 elections get closer, and the Democrats realize that they are going to get clobbered. This is going to become even much worse as the moderate/blue dog Dems realize that the only choice/hopes that they have of winning reelection in 2010 and 2012--is to distance themselves from Obama, Pelosi, Reid--and their destructive policies/plans.

    There are 49 blue dogs in conservative districts up for reelection in 2010-–all in districts that were won by McCain!!

    And, don't forget about the New Jersey Governor's election, which will be the same day as Virginia. The Republican is leading (slightly) in that state as well. Even if the Republican does not win--but comes close-–it is still sending a message, as New Jersey is a Democrat stronghold state.

    October 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    And the FPS (finger pointing sessions) begin.

    October 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Doug, New Jersey

    You can take the socialist thug out of Chicago but you can't take the Chicago out of the socialist thug.

    If you have been paying attention, just what do you think Obama's real reaction is when he sees things like honor students being beaten to death in Chicago? What has been the Democrat plan for the poor in this country for the last 40 or so years? How have cities like Detroit and Chicago turned out with complete uninterupted Democrat rule for the last 40 years? What does it say about you if you support them?

    October 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. RCasson

    These people need to win on their own and stop trying to ride Obama's coattails. People like HIM, not these other idiots.

    October 23, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    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!

    Deeds deserve to lose and will lose but he can only blame himself. He ran the worst campaign that I have seen in years! Woe to the citizens of Virginia!

    October 23, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Hammerer

    Finally has got the point. People around the country are tired of politics. They say that they vote their convictions, but they are convicted by threats,cash or promises of fame and fortune. Blogo was impeached for tryiny to sell a senate seat, that is every day business in Washington. Both parties are guilty.

    October 23, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Proud Member..Party of No

    Well, well, well....it looks like Old Mr. Hope & Change is leading the democrats right over the cliff.

    Wake up democrats, you're nothing but a bunch of blind lemmings.

    October 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. worriedmom

    Uh oh, Mr. Saunders, you know now that the White House is gonna put you on their "enemies" list and tell everyone not to talk to you!!!
    But kudos to you. Even though I will not vote DEMOCRATIC in this Virginia election, I admire you to at least stand by your party.

    White House you are showing what you are all about, throwing anyone and everyone under the bus.

    I hope our country survives and I hope you FAIL in your devious attempts to destroy our country.

    October 23, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. t22

    Wait a minute, how is this possible, I thought the Republican party was dying as CNN has tried to point out the last 2 days.

    October 23, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Obama Victim

    dems eating their own..............hw sweeeeeeeet is this???

    October 23, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. seebofubar

    Hey Democrats, try a little hot sauce when you are eating your own. It may make them taste better.

    October 23, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We keep telling you that Barck Obama was a one in a million in the best way possible. Charming, charistmatic, intelligent, hard-working and focused. You don't grow them like that. So keep plucking away Democrats. You might want to try finding a candidate that can get people FIRED UP! READY TO GO!! with their integrity of character and their TRUE commitment to serving the public versus helping themselves.

    A most beautiful, and truly touching First family portrait. I teared up. I sitll can't believe what we have achieved in this country, and in spite of the rabid minority, how VERY far we've come.

    October 23, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Ralph Kramden

    Stop picking on Barack. He has done nothing wrong. He is a great man and we all should trive to be half the man he is. His is inspirational to all Americans. You racist Repuks need to go away and leave our country alone.

    October 23, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. AUSTIN,TX

    Jobless Recovery....I see why you were jobless....probably because apparently your not the sharpest knife in the drawer

    October 23, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. OldUncleTom

    How about, who cares? Virginia is a suburb of DC, and probably 9 out of 10 dollars in the state is a Federal dollar.

    These folks have gone opposite the White House party probably since Reconstruction, and somehow we survived the experience.

    October 23, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. mfpdx

    That CNN can not seem to understand that Republicans are PRETENDING to be Democrats ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, "because" they KNOW how STUPID our media is, really astounds even me – and I already know how incredibly inaccurate CNN can be! Wow, astounding......stupidity ~ THIS is what they do: guy calls cspan3 claiming that NYT reporter is "just a mouth piece".......yet he all but defends FAUX SNOOZE......and is CLEARLY a Republican spew machine.....and MOST don't realize it, simply because he won't admit to it – SHOCKER, eh?!

    Look, it is well known, at this point, that Republicans are doing this; they have learned that if you repeat the propaganda enough, people will believe it........that's WHY we have polls that are almost entirely done by the conservatives; polls that SWAY Americans [because Americans, for some reason, want to "be in the " SO CALLED "mainstream", lol!]

    Progressives NEED TO UNDERSTAND THIS – but even more than that, MODERATES NEED TO.

    They are manipulating you all. How can you just sit back and ALLOW IT? Doesn't it make one feel STUPID to be manipulated so easily? Cnn, you suck. You need to look at WHAT YOU DO.....

    October 23, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. janelle

    President Obama needs to focus on his job as President, which is conducting the business of the people of the United States, not getting involved in the politics of individual states.

    October 23, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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