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. IsNot

    What is being portrayed as "sniping" is ONE comment made by a person who asked not to be identified. This is a common practice throughtout the government, no matter which party one belongs to.

    If you look back at the thousands of comments made from the White House, many of the sources are only listed as being a "senior White House official" or a "source close to the administration". Most of the feeds from the 2001-2009 administration were ID'd as such. That was especially troubling as many of those sources turned out to be Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and/or their cronies.

    Frankly, if Virginia elects McConnell, they deserve that slide further backwards he wants so badly. I fully expect NOT to hear a single word out of the wingnuts about increased pregnancy rates, domestic violence cases or any of the other antediluvean things he wants to bring back to that state.

    Go for it! Just remember–getting what you wish for is not always the treat you think it should be.

    October 23, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. David Vaughan

    As I read and listen to liberals I think back to my entry exam to Engineering school. In order to even apply you had to prove you in fact had the ability to comprehend what you were about to spend a lot of money on and waste a lot of peoples time doing it.
    I believe this should be the case in the ability to vote...you have to be a citizen, of adult age, so why not have to prove you have the power of deductive reasoning in order not to waste a lot of money and other peoples time when you do not have a clue. The difference between a liberal and a conservative is simple. I look at it as I do engineering..I can never say I "feel" as though a project will work, I have to know that it will work. Liberals live their lives making decisions based on feelings with absolutely no idea or concern with the facts.

    October 23, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. DJ

    Yawn...much to do about nothing. "Anonymous" quotes....yeah the story has the credibility of the balloon boy.

    October 23, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Laura, Boston MA

    Why does CNN keep deleting my comments....it is annoying to take the time to express an opinion and have my comment await moderation for hours and then poof do away with it all together.

    My thoughts are cohenant and I never use vulgarity.

    I am middle of the road in my comments. Sometimes I support the administration and other times I am not happy with them.

    Ever hear of the 1st ammendment!!!

    October 23, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. malclave

    "Ever notice on these comment sections that the Obamabots just call names and do not debate issues."

    Well, to be fair, it's really the fault of CNN. Their moderators are apparently told to suppress comments that don't insult people in the right.

    October 23, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Tanbiker2

    Another backwoods rural Virginia hick brays out criticism of the White House because the other Virginia hick running for Governor there is losing. Quick, who do we blame for our own incompetence? Oh, yeah, the White House.

    October 23, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. John

    @@@@@@@@
    Keith B October 23rd, 2009 4:30 pm ET
    ___________________________________________
    Please add this to your List

    1. Lying about WMDs of Iraq.
    2. Creating false intelligence report that Iraq has WMDs.
    3. 4300 US Troops Died.
    4. 25000 US Troops Permanently Disabled.
    5. $ 3 Trillion spent on Unjustified and Misleading war.
    6. No 9/11 terrorist from Iraq.
    7. Unregulated Banking – Mortgage Crises – 2.5 million lost their homes.
    8. No health care for 50 million.
    9. No rescue relief for Katrina.
    10. Bush misleading in 2008 "Our Economy is still strong".
    11. Bush Stating "Mission Accomplished". Since then 3500 US Troops have died.

    October 23, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. 9corona

    The Deeds situation is like the Health Care Reform situation:

    - Bill needs to be passed before August break
    -Abortion is in / Abortion is out
    -illegals in/out
    -robust in/out
    -backroom deals which are scary – Walmart (who supports the reform) is exempt
    - the impact to state budgets, for the expansion of Medicare/Medicaid, will be paid with Federal Tax dollars (one of the states is Nevada – at least their property and school taxes won't go up).

    - And my favorite – RANGEl; I truely believe he did not pay tax income on the out of country rental property – and the IRS gave him a pass and he paid; the so called forgotten funds – he paid taxes on, just didn't report to the House on his disclosure form; my issue is the primary residences and FOUR rent controlled apartments. (Why isn't the NYC Housing Authority up in arms???)

    I have no clue where my party stands – if I had to go to the polls next month and vote for statewide/federal position – I won't know how or what to do.

    I live in Florida – but am born and bred from the Jersey shore – and from what my 'democrat' friends' are saying, I don't believe the polls – I think Christie will win and win bigger than we expected.

    October 23, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Why does CNN keep deleting my comments...."

    Trying leaving out facts, statistics or historical references...and forgo any logical progression in your argument. They hate those. They just want talking point regurgitators to projectile vomit all over everyone's sensibilities.

    October 23, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Artemisios

    It's hard to keep fired up when the one you hoped would change things moves so far to the right.

    October 23, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Like everything else, the republican crystal ball is broken. If you really believe that the country is going to vote you in in 2010 you're seriously deluded. While we may not achieve everything in the time frame that everybody would like (yesterday!) 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.

    October 23, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Laura in Boston do not despair it is Friday the GOP moderators on duty. My comments, even the funny ones about Huckabee are being deleted left and right. Maybe if you signed on as TCM or some such other idiot you'd stand a chance today.

    October 23, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Alice

    Creigh Deeds is a poor candidate (though I will vote for him anyway) and ran a poor campaign. If I see one more tv commercial about McDonnell (his opponent) writing a college paper on why women shouldn't work, I will throw up.

    October 23, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. asdf

    Great quotes to sum us Democrats.

    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
    Will Rogers

    We'll have a Democrat firing squad. You know, the one where we all stand in a circle." Paul Begala, Election Night 2002

    The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too. ~Oscar Levant

    The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it. ~P.J. O'Rourke

    October 23, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Centrist

    First of all, whenever a source is anonymous, it leaves open the question of validity in the media's constant quest for sensationalism.

    Fortunately, this too will pass in the coming days as President Obama campaigns with Creigh Deeds for VA's next governor.

    What will not be forgotten is the alarming fundamentalism from McDonnell and his far-right views against working women and other hard working Americans.

    VA deserves a more moderate governor with Creigh Deeds.

    October 23, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. GREG

    BY ISNOT: "Frankly, if Virginia elects McConnell, they deserve that slide further backwards he wants so badly. I fully expect NOT to hear a single word out of the wingnuts about increased pregnancy rates, domestic violence cases or any of the other antediluvean things he wants to bring back to that state."

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Really? So that seems like a logical, well constructed argument that you would feel comfortable enough with to share with the rest of the world? You really think his position is in FAVOR of domestic violence and increased pregnancy rates? That's cute... that would be kind of like me saying all democrats support murdering babies. Use your brain y ou partisan hack... if you're going to argue a point, at least use some common sense and speak as a reasonable person in a civil debate.

    October 23, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. paul

    Hmmmm, sounds as though the SHEEN is dulling on this era of HOPE.

    October 23, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Gary

    Obama, Pelosi and Reid are not listening to us, passing pork and calling it stimulus, passing a pollution tax and calling it cap and trade, passing a public option when no one wants it. In this environment it would be very very difficult for any Democrat to win in a moderate state like Virginia. Given that Deeds is a weak candidate with a marginal campaign effort, I'm surprised that the race is as close as it is.

    October 23, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Bill

    2000 to 2008 ___________________

    GOP – 8 Years – No Deeds, Did Nothing, Zero, Absosutely Zero

    2009 _________________________

    GOP – All Talk.
    _____________________________

    GOP = Talkative Idiots, No Deeds, Just Talk.

    October 23, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Lois

    Deeds need to carry his own weight and not expect President Obama to carry them all. The Democrats don't need any weak links so if Deeds lose so be it no REfLECT on our PRESIDENT at AlL

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

    You got to "love" the DEMOCRATIC way.

    These guys fight among themselves will even do some trash talking that actually leaves the family compound. But when it comes to a "fight" from an outside force, they are 1 united.

    That dog will hunt and get the prize.

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

    LOL comrads LOL...

    We R all racists, bigots and exclusionists haven't you heard?

    Careful what U wish 4 especially if this looks like UP 2 U. Still wining about a war that Congress endorsed and bush kinda prosecuted.
    Party on Dems all we are really missing r a few apt quotes from Joe Babble.

    This administration makes GWB's look pretty tranparant ehH??

    October 23, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. cassius king

    This is typical Illinois hack politics. Blame early and often on someone who doesn't have the same access to media. Embracing Obama wouldn't work either.

    October 23, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. AP in Illinois

    You betcha October 23rd, 2009 4:43 pm ET – and you liberals do not jump at ANY chance to attack Sarah Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity or Cheney?

    This post is disingenuous and not to mention intellectually dishonest. Limbaugh and Hannity, amongst many others spend almost every minute on the air 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year bashing anything Obama and the Democrats do.

    Cheney is in a class by himself. I believe that it is unpatriotic and unprecedented for a FORMER Vice-President to criticize the current administration the way he has. Kudos to President Bush for taking the high road. Too bad Cheney won't do the same.

    As for Sarah Palin. It is not hate to point out that she doesn't really come across as 'smart.'

    It's always tit for tat with you guys on the right. You always have some sort of ax to grind. Some sort of alleged slight or feigned outrage to defend. This is not really the case and everyone knows it. It is just a crutch to exhibit the same behavior you are complaining about. That is hypocrisy at its finest.

    October 23, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. Danny

    GOP =
    1. Defunct.
    2. Useless.
    3. Misleading.
    4. Low I.Q. Politicians.
    5. Fake not Real.
    6. Hypocrites
    7. Feudalistic Ideologies.
    8. Party of No.
    9. Warmongers.

    October 23, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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