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. Barb

    You people just don't get it.!!!!!

    You blame the President for everything. The Democrats won't or can't stick together to get things done. The Republicans stick together to make sure nothing gets done.

    Try getting the change you were elected for through this mess:

    -hasn't done things he promised quick enough..?
    – what's the rush....why is he trying to push things through?
    – I want a public option.... why isn't it done yet?
    – I don't want a public option... why is he in my business?
    – Send troops now!
    – Don't send troops, bring them home?
    – Stand up for America?
    – Why is he trying for the Olympics?
    – Don't touch my health insurance?
    – The Insurance companies are criminals?
    – President Obama is a socialist?
    – President Obama is a nazi?
    – President Obama is a communist?
    – He has a majority in the Senate and is doing nothing
    – What's a blue dog?

    Thank goodness President Obama is still working for
    ALL of you. – more patience and tolerance than I would have.

    Bless you Mr. President.... – keep on keeping on even though I don't really believe they deserve you.

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

    This is tried and true Chicago politics at it's best. Watch out folks, you're working with true professionals here. Chicago politico's are professionals at the game.

    October 23, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Zion

    Jobless Recovery, it's funny how the President never says a word, and yet you always attribute it to the president. You sound paranoid. I love the fact that Pres. Obama himself said that many of his opponents are not RACIST, but yet, many whites continue to play the race card, but then get angry when blacks deal the hand back. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

    What About the CNN Poll..Democrats aren't going anywhere, just like the Republicans are not. People continue to let the two party system oppress them time, and time again. Let me give you an example. When Clinton ran against G.H.W. Bush, it was bitter. Yet, every Sunday morning it has been reported that now Clinton eats breakfast with the Bushes, and they call him son. You probably voted for a Bush, and I don't see you eating any of the breakfast. I don't hear them calling you son. Who's laughing long....The Democrats and Republcans because people like you claim to be outraged, but won't vote third party.

    October 23, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. david

    the obama regime is trying to out do the hitler regime......american is dead because of obama,,,,socialism nationalized companies.nazi health care.....your children's future destroyed,,,the only thing they have to look forward to is welfare....meet the new boss same as the old boss,,,,just worse...and getting far worse the only thing we have to hope for is obama gets what adolf got.........

    October 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Pat F

    The Obamessiah took a lot of lessons from Nixon – dirty tricks, enemies list, threats and legal action against anyone who dares to disagree with you, whispering campaigns and smears against members of your own party who do not toe the line.

    It's 1972 all over again!

    October 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. felicia

    I would never vote for deeds he sound like a loser

    October 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Denise P Quinton

    As a lifelong Democrat who never supported or believed anything Obama promised, I question why Americans are willing to sacrifice our country for this supposedly new form of politics. It is a disgrace, and as far as I am concerned I hope Pelosi, Reid, and any DNC senator running in the next election gets booted out by the electorate.
    And when was Obama supposed to end the war? Why he is so adamant on running our healthcare, when he can't even guarantee jobs for Americans?

    October 23, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Brian

    This is great. Obama is a socialist and America is finding that out. This is the same thing that was going on in 1994. The republicans will take back the house in 2010. They will win 90% of the governors races and they will run over Obama in 2012.

    October 23, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Obama IS ACORN

    Doug from New Jersey is correct. Look at Chicago & Detroit. Pure Democratic rule, & rotten to the core.

    I am thankful that people are finally waking up. Obama is scary.

    October 23, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. TCM

    It all starts at the top...and when you have incompetence at the top, it trickles downhill....Obama, Pelosi, Reid...Dodd....Barney FFFFFrank....no wonder our government's not getting any respect around the world or at home, and are deeply mistrusted.

    October 23, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. john

    This is still a conservative leaning country and they just are getting a little buyers remorse in Obama and the Democrats. Democrats got arrogant assoon as Obama took office. The people want some balance to an overeaching White House with a very socialist agenda. The party in power needs to be shown that they can and will be replaced if they overreach. Virginia/New Jersey races are a sign that the people do have a say about how much they are willing to pay in taxes. Obama seems to think the sky is the limit, but people see their tax bills and are saying they should control their money not the goverment. The people are getting sticker shock at the Democrats proposals and have caught them on the fuzzy math Obama gave them about paying for the health care bill long term.

    October 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Joe

    Deeds can blame who he wants about this lackluster support but even a good connect with the Obama White House would not save a campaign that has failed to tell the people of Virginia where he stands on issues. Deeds' entire campaign was focused on what his opponent can't do. People of Virginia are tired of negative campaign styles which is why independents and many Democrats have sided with McDonnell as his campaign was about what he would do and what he has done. If Deeds believes 100s of TV adds based on what the Washington Post thinks is going to make him governor he needs to start looking for a new job now because he will not be the next governor of Virginia.

    October 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Matt

    Democrats are burned out??? Well the rest of us are just getting warmed up!!! Teabaggers unite!!!!!

    October 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Bob Semler

    The Democratic Party is finally realizing that the majority of the American public is tired of what they are trying to do with Health Care, Gun control, and rubber stamping Obama's ideas and not really representing their constituants – as they were elected to do. Many are facing unemployment with the next election.

    October 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. in the middle

    Wow! Deed run a poor campaign and its Obama fault? Republicans life mission is to take down Obama at any cost. They are so crazed that they have an entire hate machine from faux news to assure that. People mention MSNBC, but they at least have Morning Joe. So, if I come down with the flu, can I blame that on Obama? How about if I wreck my car? That is Obama's fault too. How about if it rain outside and I can't go to the fair, I can blame that on Obama. I guess I should have blame Obama due to me being late for work this morning. Maybe I need to act like a Republican. Yell how holy I am, cheat on my wife and go on long vacations paid by the tax payers and say it Obama fault.

    October 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. bj, Texas

    Blame Fox News, no let's just call him racist. Yeah, that's the ticket. If that doesn't work, then just blame Bush. We must protect the messaih.

    October 23, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. diridi

    quit bithching each other ...and work for progress idiots...pass health care with public option...ok....help pres. obama...is doing the "Best".

    October 23, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. SLP

    It is becoming increasingly clear that President Obama said what the American people wanted to hear during the election to win the presidency. He never had any intention of following through with any of the promises he made. He has his own agenda and he figured it would be easy to carry it out once he was leader of the free world. He didn't count on the spirit and independent nature of the American people. Americans are not going to let their country be taken over without a fight. Sorry, President Obama. It isn't going to happen.

    October 23, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. KMAN

    Sorry, "Mudcat" .. but it's hard to take anyone from Hillbilly Virginia seriously, especially with monikers like MUDCAT or Billy Bob! I will bet however that you are an expert in BS!

    October 23, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Tom

    Well...well. It appears Americans are beginning to wake up.
    Libtards are a laughable lot...that's a fact.

    October 23, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Michael Hsu

    If deeds loses, it's because the great, holy, annointed, messianic One did not wish it so. And the American voters had nothing to do with it. Because we all know that the will of the voters is insignificant in comparison to the great will of the great dear beloved leader. (Did I mention that he was also great and holy and messianic too?)

    October 23, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. jimbo

    When are you liberal moron going to get a clue that this current administration is a total wreck? Any one who makes a decent living in this country would never stand for a government run anything!
    Let's face reality folks, He's a smooth talking car salesman at best and soon you will all wake up. I don't want to pay 60-70% of my income supporting any one else...got it?

    October 23, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Jessie

    Pres. Obama's approvals are at 56%. He's not the problem. Maybe Deeds just sucks.

    October 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Julia

    I'm a Democrat and I say this guy is absolutely right. Obama's campaign promises are decidedly different from what we've been seeing. He has a hard job and as an American, I'm going to continue to support this man, but he has to buckle down, get the jobs done and stay away from the rhetoric. I thought we said we didn't want anymore dirty pool? It wasn't good for us when the GOP was in office and it's certainly not OK, now. Washington: GET TO WORK.

    October 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Larry

    Sounds to me like Saunders is the only one burned out, tired of politics, real bruised and full of BS

    Give it a rest Saunders, if you can't take the heat, get out of OUR kitchen

    October 23, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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