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. Anonymous

    Balloon Boy Dad is a Democrat

    October 23, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Eileen

    Obama is the same, the sheep are just waking up. I can not believe this trash is in the white house. Trying to censor fox news. What country am I living in? I can't believe I even have to ask this question.

    October 23, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. susan

    Ah, so this is where all the right wingers decided to park today. I was wondering, since I couldnt find them on any other blog. Must have been told this was the place to go by their leaders.

    October 23, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Ain't life strange?

    I'm sorry... I musthave missed something. Where does the article attribute the comments to Obama? Unless it quotes, " Today, speaking from the West Wing of the White House, President Obama said," no one can lay the blame on him. In other words... if the shoe fits shove it in your mouth.

    October 23, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Obama's Banana Republic

    Obama has went down faster in the polls than anyone in 50 years. He needs to keep his non working arse in the White House and stop his continual campaigning. Try working Obama for the money we pay you instead of trying continually to take our hard earned money. Go McDonnell.

    October 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Keith B

    Bob: Reference your post on higher deficits. What do you expect when a new President walks in on the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. What about the LOST tax revenues at the federal and state levels and increased expenditures for unemployment benefits, resulting from the failed policies of the GWB administration? Do a little homework. Your posts are shallow.

    George Bush’s

    Greatest Accomplishments

    1. Started a trillion dollar war in Iraq
    that had nothing to do with 9/11
    2. Wasted another trillion on increased
    health care costs while leaving 46 million
    Americans uninsured
    3. Gave a $1.35 trillion tax break to the
    wealthy under the guise of creating jobs,
    yet produced the fewest jobs, per year,
    of any president on record
    4. Led us into the worst economic debacle
    in 70 years
    5. Increased national debt 86 percent
    6. Gave hundreds of billions of dollars to
    “Big Oil” via renegotiating contracts
    for oil taken off federal property
    7. Squandered budget surplus handed
    to him on a silver platter by Bill Clinton
    8. Protected White House staff who outed
    CIA Agent Valerie Plame
    9. Obligated the U.S. to yet another
    $220 billion per year, in INTEREST alone,
    to finance the debt accumulated
    under his administration
    10. Raped the 4th Amendment via warrantless
    wiretapping of ordinary citizens

    October 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Juan

    This administration is looking more and more like the Hugo Chavez Marxist/Socialist style of leadership in public and like a bunch of spoiled children behind the scenes!!

    The Obama administration on Thursday tried to make "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the White House pool except Fox News. But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included.

    The Treasury Department on Thursday tried to make "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the network pool except Fox News. The pool is the five-network rotation that for decades has shared the costs and duties of daily coverage of the presidency and other Washington institutions.

    But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks consulted and decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included. The pool informed Treasury that Fox News, as a member of the network pool, could not be excluded from such interviews under the rules of the pool.

    The administration relented, making Feinberg available for all five pool members and Bloomberg TV.

    October 23, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. north carolina

    Ian,

    Yea, medicare works great doesn't it? I mean its government-run so it has to, right?? Yea, that's why here in North Carolina you have senior citizens protesting for better medicare support. All the while, Obama is talking about "eliminating waste" in Medicare and proposed $313 billion dollar cuts to Medicare and Medicaid this summer.

    So let's go ahead and start another government-run health program because our government does such a GREAT job of running the ones we have now.

    October 23, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Why would he embrace a president.....

    who is ONE and DONE?????

    October 23, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Hawk Texas

    Any one that would vote for a republican need mental help BAD. Bush had 8 yrears to totally screw up this country. it will take a lot longer than the short time that Obama has been in office. lets at least give the man time to do something. like at least 4 years.

    October 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    Honestly . . . Creigh Deeds has fumbled his way through this campaign to the point where I expect to hear he endorses Bob McDonnell for Governor.

    October 23, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Lauren in Ohio

    Well if Obama and his administration is all that worried about it, why are they not down there helping thier guy win?

    Nooooo, they are more worried about beating down any that oppose them. The Chamber of Commerce, Fox news, and others.

    Instead of wasting energy on attacking those who oppose Obama, they should be reaching out to those who do support them. But maybe that number is getting smaller and smaller.

    Obama wants to be GOD, and those who do not kiss his arse, will pay.

    October 23, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Lauren in Ohio

    It MUST be Bushes fault. Or Limbaughs, or probaly Fox news and Sarah Palin had somethingt o do with all of this not going Obamas way.

    We all know he will not take any responsibilty when he can blame Bush

    October 23, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Dan, TX

    H eis right. I think Mr. Saunders should leave democrats and join Republicans. Democrats are dead with Barack Obama. He is still campaigning because he does not know how to be Presidential. I think campaigning should be like in Europe or even Canada where it starts just 2-3 weeks before the election day. Barack Obama is a community organizer and has no experience so he does not know. His true colors are seen now. The change which nobody can believe. He got elected by just criticizing George W. Bush which he is still carrying on.

    October 23, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Ray in Phoenis

    Nice post Bob...well said.

    The facts speak for themselves...

    -Obama met with General McCrystal for 25 minutes to discuss war strategy..
    -Obama met with strategists for 2 HOURS to discuss his was with FOX news.
    -Under Obama unemployment hits 10%.
    -Obama employs Earth Wind & Fire for ANOTHER White House party.
    -Under Obama unemployment hits 10%.
    -Obama eats $300 a pound KOBE beef at ANOTHER White House party.

    No politics there...just the facts. Read it and weep Libs.

    Ray

    October 23, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. It's Palin, Rush, Cheney, Bush, FOX, Beck, Hannity, Conservatives, seniors, dogs, cats, cow farts, and on and on and on...fault

    Go McDonnell !!!

    October 23, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Chris

    I live in Roanoke and was a strong supporter of Obama. But I also cannot support Deeds. He is not the person to lead our state.

    Whether the White House would have embraced him or not, he will lose this election. It's not a matter of being "fired up",Deeds is not the right man.

    October 23, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Joe Weisz

    I am sick of Obama already. He has to stick his nose in everything. The economy is still in bad shape, people are struggling to eat and put a roof over their head, and Barack is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars flying to Belgium to get his hometown the Olympics and taking Mrs. O to New York on a date. He is a disgrace, and that's saying something considering the last clown we had in office. I used to lean Democratic, but now I think both parties stink and we need an alternative.

    October 23, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Jobless Recovery

    Ever notice on these comment sections that the Obamabots just call names and do not debate issues. It's so disappointing. How many times do they use the word racist? It's sick, because many people do feel the brunt of racism. People disagree with Obama because of his far left wing stance on issues and his balooning of the deficit.

    October 23, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Pragmatic

    As Will Rodgers said, "I don't belong to any organized party: I'm a Democrat!"

    October 23, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. You betcha

    simp October 23rd, 2009 1:39 pm ET
    I love all the haters out here. You clowns wait for a negative article and then you jump on it like the morons you are. Whether this administration did it or not, guess what losers? Barack Obama is the President of the USA and you haters will have to whine for another 8 years. LOL!!!!

    Oh what the hell simp,,,,, and you liberals do not jump at ANY chance to attack Sarah Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity or Cheney? Double standard comment there Mr simp. The liberal attack dogs are VICIOUS when it comes to anything conservative.

    October 23, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. natale from mass.

    i guess obama supporters are getting a little nervous are ya he better start going center or hes a 1 term president

    October 23, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. alockl

    So CNN will "protect" the reader's sensibilities if we object to the word s***, but chooses to include a vulgar use of the name of God? Wow. CNN, you've just confirmed my opinion of you.

    October 23, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Dan

    As much as Bush was misunderestimated, the current president probably was misoverestimated!

    October 23, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. krejaton

    I thought the Messiah was going to unite us, bring us together? What a bunch of campaign crap.

    I would just like to see all of the 3.7 million jobs that were to be created for the $787 billion "stimulus" bill!!!!

    It's all lies!

    October 23, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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