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. Debby

    The Dems. can't even get along with their own so how are they going to help our country out of this mess.

    October 23, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. independent

    Rick, go listen to Fox if you are that certain about everything. The rest of us are open to discussion and persuasion.

    October 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. LacrosseDad

    2010 and 2012 are dates the loons from the left do NOT want to see.

    October 23, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Patty in California

    Wow, that's a twist that just won't fly....desperate

    October 23, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. T.R. Ucknuts

    Anybody care that the "jobs governor" has no plan to add jobs? Anybody care that he's an anti-feminist, born again Xtian who seeks to indoctrinate young people with his religion, and seeks to criminalize abortion? Anybody care to point these things out CNN?

    Bob McDonnell is running in this race too, last I looked. Is it just to presumed that because he's a conservative, he's doing everything right as long as he's not caught making a racist slur? This article is truly awful. Deeds, Deeds, Deeds, Obama, Obama, Obama...oh and some guy named McDonnell, who y'all don't need to know about, he may only end up being governor because Rasmussen is being paid to say he's popular. What a farce.

    October 23, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    I love our president – no one can clean up an 8 year mess in just 10 months. It will take decades to recover from shooter and the dummie.

    October 23, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Fed Up

    You know right where it is coming from. That stuff rolls downhill. I was under the impression the Dems want to unite the country. Good job.

    October 23, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. cph9680

    Wow, it took six years for embracing Bush to be the kiss of death, it only took nine months for Obama.
    Guess that halo is starting to get a little lackluster?

    October 23, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    "Embrace" that self-righteous, power-mad, spendthrift? They think that's going to buy Deeds any votes anywhere outside the Washington Beltway? No way.

    Like New York City is to New York State–a Liberal wart on an otherwise conservative state–Northern Virginia is an ant-hill of Democrats atop an otherwise sensible state.

    (I've lived in Virginia for a lot of years, both inside and a long way outside the Beltway.)

    October 23, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Bob in Pa

    How can you embrace someone that thinks 50% of your paycheck belongs to the government !

    October 23, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Emily

    I live in VA and get to see all the various gubernatorial ads every day. Democrats are under fire in VA– our current governor has cut so much money in fundings which has created many layoffs for state workers including teachers. VA may ahve voted Democrat for the election, but we're all feeling the pains of thier decisions. Creigh Deeds, if he's smart should try and distance himself from the party. It's very egotistical to try and make every Democrat use the president as a figurehead for thier campaign– not everyone (no matter thier race) is a supporter.

    October 23, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Death Panel Sarah

    Boy, all the wing-nuts and 'cons jumped on this one....must be 'slim-pickins' for them.
    Was it 'field trip at the looney bin' day?

    October 23, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. LATINOS GOP

    LIBERAL DEM need to go out!!!!!!! they are all morons, it is about time the American People are walking up this this bozo!!!!!! the conservative will take back our country (USA). we need leaders not just clowns.

    October 23, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Bill from Northern, VA

    Obama is a scary guy

    October 23, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. sara-fl

    You people get whatever comes to you, and misery loves company from reading all these blogs I never ever want to visit Virginia.

    October 23, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Wise Latina

    Chicago political thug tactics from the White House. Learn to love it, Dems, until 2012 that is...

    October 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    @OldUncleTom: "Virginia is a suburb of DC..."

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Virginia covers about 40,000 square miles, of which maybe a 100 could properly be considered a suburb of DC. Go not much further out than a few miles beyond the Beltway–like Manassas, where I lived for a few years–let alone anywhere else in the state, and it's very much a Southern state.

    October 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Ha! Can't say you weren't warned.

    This pundit has said all along that the new Politburo at 1600 Penna. Ave would have to toss other dems under the bus. And at the time, you all told me, to a man, that you were okay with that.

    As for the folks who want those of us on the right to go away, sure, no problem. Just tell us which half of the country you want, and we'll split and go our separate ways. Knowing your preferences, we get rural areas, and you get the major cities. How can you say no to that?

    And here is the keeper! Since you feel it is your country, and not ours, you get to keep the current USA title and government. We'll start over. And since the USA signed all those T-bonds, you get to keep the US Treasury as well. When China comes for its cash, we'll give them your number.

    October 23, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Can't wait till 2010

    The fraud in chief is in Boston, my hometown, today instead of doing his REAL job, he is stumping for Deval Patrick who is an Obama clone and his campaign manager was none other than David Axelfraud....

    Deval if the phone rings in November you SHOULD ANSWER IT, it may be your next "job".

    First nine months in office for the last three Presidents and fundraisers they attended:

    Clinton – 6

    Bush – 5

    Obambi – 25 and counting

    He is nothing but an empty vessel who can read from a binkyprompter, perfect for the DNC chief, my President, NOT A CHANCE.

    One and done Barry.

    October 23, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. LeftOut

    Deflect, Dodge, Blame. Getting tired of this. Wish I never voted for the guy.

    October 23, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. S Callahan

    Again, the current adminstration is missing what the constituints of America are saying....We have had enough of dismantling our government, discrediting our protective agencies, and disregarding the needs of the average guy while customizing care for the 'big guys/decievers'.......people are fed up and are saying so...

    October 23, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Mark

    I am thoroughly enjoying the Democrats on here that are defending Obama or are just throwing out insults because they have no facts to support their argument. Especially enjoying those who are arguing that the Dems have the facts but do not see how bad of a move this is from the Whitehouse or are calling this another RNC conspiracy. Are you kidding me?

    October 23, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Frozone

    All you have to do is reaf the comments from Republicans on this board to see why nobody believes the GOP anymore. They're a party of liars and bigots.

    October 23, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Bapslap

    Wow, these comments are really funny. It's so easy to complain and run your mouth on the internet. Is there any hope that all Americans can unite to accomplish some good together?

    October 23, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. MT

    Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, Fox News, Conservatives, Out of Touch White Middle Class..... I think the Liberals may have to dig deep to find new blood in this latest round of blame

    I want to know where "sniffit" is...... he like all Liberals only spout off when it serves their latest "cause"

    October 23, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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