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. Travis

    WH needs some cleaning done. Maybe Obama can use that mop he keeps talking about. Great job trying to boycott FOX news. That worked well didn't it. That constitution always telling you what you can't do to us must be frustrating.

    October 23, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Jayson

    Some of you people need to get a life. Do all some of you do is sit around waiting for something to attack this Presdient over? I dont agree with all his policies...but I dont mind him as a person. Some of you peoples obsession with trying to make that man into something he is not speaks more to your character then it does about his. What Obama has done is no different then anyother President when it comes to politics of elections, and the truth be told, Obama is the only reason the Democrats are where they are right now..so they might not want to bite the hand that is feeding them. Some of your lack of education when it comes to these issues are an embarrassment.

    You folks sitting on your computer all day attacking the President is not going to change his position. For people who claim to hate him so much you sure do read about him and watch him a lot..looks like the joke is on some of you.

    October 23, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Ian

    I love the idiots who post here. You make up what, 25% of our population and hopefully a declining one? You don't want government funded healthcare? So what do you make of Medicaid, huh? Seems to work pretty well. Stupid *****

    October 23, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. lmj

    The problem is that Democrats think. They don't blindly follow someone–read George Bush and Dick Cheney-who has NO idea what is going on.

    October 23, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Reformed Republican

    Hey Mudcat!
    Remind me NOT to hire a whiney buck passer and quitter (everybody is "to tired to work" for Deeds??) like you when I run for office. I would want to win and you sure don't show me squat in that regard.

    Besides, Deeds should have asked the POTUS for support sooner no doubt about it but at least he's not p#@!ing and moaning about waiting to do so like you are....

    October 23, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. valwayne

    This is the new politics that Obama promised us? Planting anonymous rumors in the paper sabotaging their own Gubanatorial candidate in a vitally important state to shield Obama from any blame. NOT only is that the same old politics, but its the same OLD DIRTY politics! And against his own party? It's too bad Obama and his team don't know how to fight a real war like Afghanistan as hard as they fight the people on their enemies list like the Chamber of Commerce, Fox News, and poor Creigh Deeds. And is trailing in the polls really all it takes to get on Obama's enemies list?

    October 23, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Tony in Dallas

    Stop crying foul over an on-going game, the President has too many things to worry about now than your childish cry. Every man on his own, so Deed stand up and fight like a man, after all the GOP are dead but not buried yet. Meaning they still could rise, especially in such state as Virginia. I would rather cast my vote for a fallen Democrat or better still Independent than any GOP.

    October 23, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Tom K

    Our current president said whatever he needed to say to get elected, and he can't even remember or keep up with the incredibly rosy picturehe painted for everyone, so there is no way he'll be able to even keep his own party happy. What he is left with is his own style of winging it each day, and making it up as they go.
    He has taken on so many tasks left over from the previous administration, he's showing that he doesn't know which way to go...Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, healthcare, foxnews, stimulus, professors, czars, gitmo, olympics, and many more we don't see. He needs to focus more on completing individual tasks fully and correctly, instead of trying to just throw a quick fix at everything. Fine, the last administration screwed tons up, they are the past now, he wanted the problem, he needs to just call it his own and quit pointing the finger backwards. That fixes nothing now.

    October 23, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Ds

    November 19,2009 is being called National Unemployment and Underemployment day and all unemployed and underemployed Americans are being asked to submit their resumes to CNN and Fox news to dramatize the critical economic problem in the country and refute the shameful claim that the "economy is getting better and we have pulled back from the brink". The national day of unemployment is seeking to have more than 11 miilion resumes from unemployed and underemployed Americans sent to CNN and Fox news in order to give the politicians and economists a more thorough picture of how bad things really are and finally provide a vioce for the millions and millions of nameless and voiceless unemplopyed and underemployed Americans who have been lfet out of the bailouts and Stimulas Package. NOVEMber 19, 2009 National Unemployment and Underemploymnet Day...Fax Your Resume! Has anyone herard about this?

    October 23, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. brian Ward

    This country is going downhill ever since the turn of the 20th Century. Either Dems or Reps in the house can't get anything right. I am a dem and yes, I know voting for Obama was at the time right only b/c Bush ruined it for his party. I strongly feel the President NEEDS to reFOCUS on US and OUR COUNTRY. I am sick and tired of paying for Illegals living here, tired of throwing money to big CORPORATIONS who claimed they would close up if they didn't get bailout money. I lost my job of 12 yrs to this economy that BUSH left behind. I strongly OPPOSE bailouts... I think BANKS cried wolf. They were never in trouble just look at their balance sheets less than a year later. Please, Mr. President DO WHAT YOU INTENDED TO DO. CHANGE AMERICA and contiinue the same old song.

    If this continues, a CIVIL WAR should take place to eject the corruption in CONGRESS and begin a new country. Pay attention to our needs for once.

    October 23, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. mj

    I am a SW Va. Democrat and Mudcat has always been a renegade.
    I will vote for Deeds only because McDonnnell is a right wing nut who thinks women should shut up, go barefoot and stay pregnant and gays should be stripped of all rights as described in his Pat Robertson University law thesis.
    I am ashamed to say, a lot of SW Va. residents agree with McDonnell.

    October 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. CBR

    Each political race should be treated individually. I would hope that we would person and not party. The voter should vote his mind and not his politics.

    Personally I feel that people who write diatribes are not the voters who count. Their writings must make them feel better. The more vindictive the better. They usually do not have facts to back them up.

    I hope voters choose the candidates based on what they say and do and not what politicians say about them or what letter writers to CNN include in their emails.

    October 23, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Sandra

    Everyone needs to grow up! Term limits and campaign finance reform are more important now than they ever have been. Also, if anyone thinks the President of the US is spending his time discussing petty disagreements then you are really reaching.

    October 23, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. demlibssuk

    What is funny to me is that the Dem Liberals are still name calling in many of the posts above, when this is a Democrat on democrat issue. What is so wrong about wanting to keep a country safe, and economically sound? I think many Americans would love to see a new political party formed out of all of this mess! Just because I am a conservative person, who prays that God blesses our country, that our kids are taught some morals, does not make me a racist biggot. An attitude that seems to be suggested so often by the liberals who write on this site. Obama's rhetoric is no different than the Republicans was and his true colors are showing. He was and is a puppet to the Democratic party...the perfect candidate to spread their socialistic agenda.

    October 23, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. Dale

    We have elected a bunch of 5 years old wining and spoiled little kids too run our country. Good golly miss molly, either given them all a spanking and tell them to behave themselves and act like adult, or get them all out of office.

    October 23, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Jobless Recovery

    dedee wishes swine flu on repubs.....hilarious. You Obamabots are so void of any real thought...that's what you want to bring to the discussion?

    dedee...difference is repubs can pay for health care because we went to college and work hard. have a good walk cashing your welfare check.

    October 23, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Cynthia

    I pray every day that I will wake up from this nightmare called the Obama administration. I can't believe that people don't see what is going on here. This president will do and say anthing that is politically expedient. He has thrown so many of those close to him under the bus, so that he won't be exposed. The whole thing with Deeds is very clear to me Virginians don't want to elect him. Even if he had embraced Obama that was suppose to change how Virginians think. That statement in itself tells you how egotistical this administration has become.

    Whether or not you agree with Fox News is one thing, but this president is becoming very totalitarian. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, but especially CNN and MSNBC have the same type of programming as Fox News but since they present the ideology that the President sees fit I guess they are considered networks that really put out the news and they NEVER give their opinions or spin things at all...........Sorry here I am just choking on my own rage. Politics as usual even though we were promised differently.

    October 23, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. Ben

    It's amazing how so many people have made their minds up about this President after 10 months. A lot of you are the same people that voted for a President that in return abused the American public for four years. A lot of you are the same people that voted for the same President a second time. All of this leads me to believe that the same people that are criticizing the President Obama now after only 10 months already had their minds made up before the man ever became President. We all know that 10 months isn't a long time to do anything but he has managed to accomplished some things that have benefited a lot of people. I guess we are all so selfish that we don't care about anything if it doesn't help us directly, so who cares right? For those of you out their who are against the President after 10 months, just say you don't like him, you never have and you never will...because that's ok and it's well within your right to do so. But please stop lying and making ridiculous statements. " I'm sorry, O is no different than W and i voted for the man." Really, ummmm...lets see, 8 years vs. 10 months.....what a quick conclusion. If this is true, then what provoked you to vote for him in the first place. The truth is a lot of you know President is doing a good job but you just don't like him. President Obama could literally give some of you CPR and save your life and you still wouldn't like him. I have great respect for Rush Limbaugh because he says what he feels and he stands by it. He said that he wanted President Obama to fail, and you know what, he has every right to say that. I don't agree with it but at least he told the truth. There is far too much Obama bashing and nowhere near enough Republican solutions and ideas. And the idea of just letting everything remain the same will not fly because we all know that everday things either get better or worse, things never stay the same.

    October 23, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. NVa Native

    BTW – W stands for the "W"orst.
    What a difference an election makes.
    I just hope we can recover within the next eight years from all the destruction and ugliness of the past eight years.
    But reading all the ignorant and arrogant posts by the tea-baggers and Fox followers it looks like a lost cause.

    October 23, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. skeptic1

    Unless you live in VA and/or follow commonwealt politics here, you probably have no idea what your speaking about. Deeds has run a dismal campaign – went negative and did not put up enough in new ideas. In reality, there may be a need to raise taxes to pay for Virginia needs. I'm kind of amazed he won the Democratic primary – he is center and near-right leaning. (The NRA has endorsed him in previous state elections...) I am a progressive and find it a bit though to get behind him whole-heartedly.

    That said, he is running against McDonnell who I trust as far as I can throw. His ideas are to cut taxes to raise the revenue we need (?), oh, and to sell ABC stores so alcohol sales will lead us into surplus. Not sure they taught math at Pat Robertson's CBN university... They did teach blanant discrimination and sexism. McDonnell believes a woman's place is in the home per his thesis <20-yrs ago. Homophobic also, and wanted to limit contraception sales to married people only – and now he's selling himself as a moderate, HA! (So, in ways I do agree with Deeds negative attack; I just wish he would have also put more out there on his ideas, and bashed McDonnell's idiotic policies.)

    I will vote for Deeds, and hope others do as well. Warner and Kaine have been good for the Commonwealth, while Gilmore and Allen were not so. Deeds would be better that McDonnell, unless you think the 1950's were where it's at socially. End note – a McDonnell victory is not a sign of a return to power of the GOP, but it will be sold that way if it does happen. The average talk radio listener will swallow what ever they are dished...

    October 23, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. stop it!!

    CNN is all Republician. get real people and change to MSNBC

    October 23, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Mark

    Democrats will be done with by the end of Bama's term.

    October 23, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. ashley

    WOW CNN, I a loving the UPDATE....Your COMMENT stating "not surprising" is very telling of your own bias that you try to keep hidden. The Obama Administration and the democrats did it to themselves and where where you guys when the Democrats were capitalizing on Bush's failures especially throughout the campaign??

    October 23, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Ron Feuer

    With continuous lies, big plans that never happen including bringing all troops out of two (2) downright BullS$#% wars going on right after his election (also winning Nobel Prize for Peace , never suppose to dispense more troops to Karsai on the double as Karsai wants them), I'd say any fair Democrat that speaks even half the truth should be ashamed of a somewhat juvenile approach, blown-gas president that is getting nothing done...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except throwing taxapayers' money into BAILOUTS of ASTRONOMICAL and AMATERUISH proportion and speaking out over the nation with a overly robust (Bush term eh?) attitude exhibited by most USED CAR SALESMEN.

    October 23, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Cynthia

    In response to DeeDee: I know from your comments that we probably don't see eye to eye on politics, but to wish the swine flu on those that disagree with Obama is well sick. I would never wish any illness or sickness on anyone just because my views are different from theirs.

    Tell me DeeDee do you just read news all day, you know the likes of CNN, MSNBC, you know the ones with all the liberal spin or do you take the time to research the issues yourself? Or are you just so busy wishing the swine flu on others that you can't do that yourself???????

    October 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12