November 11th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
5 years ago

Scozzafava decries 'vicious' attacks

Washington (CNN) – Dede Scozzafava, the Republican New York assemblywoman who gave up her bid for a House seat late last month, is decrying the "vicious" attacks she underwent from people within her own party.

"The attacks were pretty vicious, especially since it was coming from people that identified themselves as Republicans," Scozzafava told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning Wednesday. "So that was difficult to overcome."

Scozzafava ultimately gave up her bid in New York's special congressional elections for the 23rd district after conservatives rallied around third-party candidate Doug Hoffman and charged Scozzafava was too liberal on a host of issues including government spending, taxes, and abortion rights.

Scozzafava, who maintains she is not as liberal as her critics claim, endorsed the Democrat in the race who ultimately went on to victory - the first time a Democrat won in that district in over 100 years.


"Hopefully a lesson can be learned and we can move forward and make the party stronger and understand that there are many voices that make a party but we can all agree around core principles," Scozzafava told CNN.

Viewed as a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, the race attracted national attention and exposed divisions within the GOP between its conservative base and the party's leadership who often back more moderate candidates with a better chance of winning a general election.

In the interview with CNN, Scozzafava said conservatives should seek to understand the local issues in each race before rushing to make an endorsement in future elections.
"I hope that races can revolve around the needs of the district that the people are running to represent," she said. "I think that's the most important thing and the focus on every race. You're never going to have perfect ideology. If you are you're never going to move forward because no one's going to think independently."


Filed under: Dede Scozzafava • GOP • Popular Posts
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. KLS

    I miss the old Republican party of the 60's that stood for strong fiscal responsibility and individual opportunity. Now big business will win over the small business owner and individual every time. They no longer support any moderate views on how to effectively governor our country. The GOP has become 'vicious'.
    Yes, the Dems have their extreme groups too but they still believe in middle class America.

    November 11, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Hammerer

    Scozzafava is the Dems new spokesperson and poster child. She has replaced Alan Grayson as their idol.

    November 11, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Tom

    Scozzafava was verbally attacked precisely because she has typical, immoral, liberal, democratic views, but CLAIMS to be a Republican.

    She accepted $ 900,000 of GOP campaign cash, and then dropped out and endorsed the democrat, and she wondes why people are angry at her ??

    November 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Jack

    If she isn't a liberal why did she endorse the Democrat?

    If she endorsed the Democrat out of spite for the Republicans she is too childish to be a responsible legislator anyway.

    They (politicians) just just large ego actors that could not make it in public life or the movies.

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom

    Poor Ms. Scozzafava! Now you know who the GOP REALLY is, Dede!

    IF you do not agree with their far-right-fringe ideology the GOP will quickly throw you under the bus.

    IF you are not approved by the Tea-baggers, you are doomed.

    The GOP is removing anyone who is not a Limbaugh-Hannity-Palin-Beck far-right-extremist.

    Ms. Scozzafava, might consider joining the Democrats!

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Laura in KS

    She sounds smart :) Maybe that's why her party threw her under the bus...

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Jim W

    Independent thinking in the Republican Party? What is she thinking? Oh, she's not a Republican, she's actually thinking.

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    Scozzafava states "...conservatives should seek to understand the local issues in each race before rushing to make an endorsement..."

    It's not about the districts and each district needs – it's about OVERPOWERING and FORCING their beliefs on everyone. If NO ONE conforms, they will be KICKED TO THE CURB!!!

    The majority of Americans do not think like that and the REPUBLI-CAN'Ts will realize that when it's too late. Eventually, they will be left out on the limb on a tree that is so FAR RIGHT, NO ONE will know they exist and their so-called FAR-RIGHT values would be NULL and VOID!!!

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Hope to Change

    Dede there are a lot of Republican's candidates that loss to their opponent but they didn't drop off the race and go endorse the Democrat opponent. It's your entire fault if you decided to commit it you have admitted. I know you were upset that they didn’t support you but you were just orange and apple in the super market that people will choose their choices. Upset can cost you big.

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Robert J 1

    So whats new? How could anyone (even a republican) expect anything more from the party of no – no ideas / no thinking / no ethics / no morals / no leaders. Just war mongering / fear mongering "broken records" driven only by money without caring.Maybe she should consider chnaging the party of good and progress? If nothing else it gets her away from ding dong Palin and co!

    November 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. George Bush - Worst President Ever

    What did she expect? Maybe she should spend a few days watching Fox "We make it up, You decide" Views to see what her party is all about. If she thinks that a lesson will be learned by the GOP, then she isn't smart enough to hold office.

    November 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Jake

    The Republican party, vicious? You don't say!

    when the number 2 on last election's party ticket self-describes herself as a "pitbull"...you know your party has problems!

    November 11, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Dimslie

    No, of course she's not liberal, she just endorsed her leftist Dim opponent because ................................ Fill in whatever you want. Anyone that's stupid enough to believe her won't care.

    November 11, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. David

    If ever a group of people got what they deserved, that group would be the defeated conservatives who flocked to NY-23 to impose a conservative candidate on the electorate.

    May they not learn from their mistakes.

    November 11, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    Have you noticed all of the new HOT COMMODITIES for GOP hopefuls are MEN!!! White MEN!!! The ONLY woman they have running around making a FOOL out of herself is PALIN!!!

    Scozzafava you should be GLAD the REPUBLI-CAN'Ts treated you the way they did. They are and always will be the Party of NO sense, NO solutions, NO suggestions and................ NO WOMEN!!! (except the GOFER Palin who is being used by the Republican Men to set the stage for them and eventually, she will be KICKED TO THE CURB!!!)

    November 11, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. STAND AS ONE

    Way to go Dede!!!!! Come over to us Dems.. We would love to have you.

    November 11, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Dimslie

    "Hopefully a lesson was learned ......................." Thank you, Lefty, it may not be the lesson you think but yes, a lesson was certainly learned.

    November 11, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. ross berg-buffalo ny

    My guess is that Hoffman had a real chance of winning until he recieved the backing of Sarah Palin. That was his kiss of death.

    Swing voters in the exit polls of the 23rd. gave Palins endorsement of Hoffman as a major reason they voted for Owens. As swing voters always are the deciding factor in every close race you'd think the Republicans would get the message regarding Palin...but I guess not yet!!

    November 11, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Wise Latina

    Liberal Repubs lose every time, unless in a Dem stronghold. The wave of overwhelming support for conservatives is here. Pay attention, RINOS, for 2010 is upon us...

    November 11, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. It'smetodd

    She wasn't even a Republican. She is more liberal than her Democrat adversary. She should shut up and hope the Republicans don't sue her in court for the $1million they gave her for her campaign...she then flipped them the bird on her way out the door endorsing the Democratic candidate. She needs to just go away!

    November 11, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. trustisearned

    The last paragraph illuminates that she is "all over the place". In the context of the issues facing the US, the people are looking for concrete not nuances.
    People, also, "kinda" like politicians to do what they say. Owens, who won this race, voted "yes" to HCR after saying he wouldn't.

    November 11, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. a health economist

    The only positive thing I can see coming out of the way the GOP is turning on anyone that strays from the herd (i.e. right-wing ideology) is the formation of a viable third party. As an independant I hate the fact there are only two viable parties. The only the worse than a two party system is a one party system. If the GOP isn't careful with its action that is an outcome that could happen too.

    November 11, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Former Republican

    It was reprehensible the way my former GOP treated Scozzafava, while the party continues to push out moderates in its ridiculous appeasement of the far right with narrow-minded social politics and hypocritical fundamentalism.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    November 11, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Marion/Alabama

    She is a Democrat in sheeple clothing,she supported the Democratic canidate,she is for card check,and a union supporter.She had no real attacks on her,nothing like Sarah Palin endured.

    November 11, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. sissy

    Why did she take Republican money and then endorse a Democrat? Probably because she is basically dishonest which is what really caused her downfall.

    November 11, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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