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. Ken

    I fear this nation will fall when I see people spouting off that they will vote for Palin in 2012. She quit!!!! She cannot handle an unstaged interview to save her life! Come on people vote with your heads and not your parties wishes!!!!! She does not have the experience to be our President! In time she might have had she remained Governor of Alaska, but SHE QUIT!!!!!!!!!

    What makes you think she won't quit as President if the going gets tough? She's already done it once!!!!!

    November 11, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. cowboys61

    People who don't stand for anything shouldn't go into politics. They are too easily swayed by which way the wind is blowing . We need people in Washington who know the difference between right and wrong , have morals ,common sense, and are willing to fight for their beliefs. This lady wasn't one of those people.

    November 11, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Bye bye Dede......

    you quit......you lost......you're a loser....big time......

    Go join the Democratic Party......

    Sarah Palin/Liz Cheney 2012'

    Obama is ONE and DONE.

    November 11, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. John Van Ness

    Dede , you are lucky. Talk to some of the fine people , including two Senators who come to mind immediately – one from Georgia and one from Mass. – whom they did their best to crucify . With Max , their lies were believed . John held his head high and lived with it. Our country is much the better for these two. You survived. Now have a happy and productive rest of your life. May we all survive the extremists ! OF ALL KINDS.

    John in Kentucky

    November 11, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Marc L

    I love the short term memory libs here talking trash about the GOP. It was not too long ago that a certain Democrat from Connecticut was pushed out by his own party for voting Republican on some issues. If you highly intellectual libs remember correctly, since you are all such geniuses, you might recall the revenge the Democrats planned for him, if it wasn't for the President stepping in. You want to talk like an intellectual, know your facts and leave the subjective opinions at the door.

    November 11, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Craig in Washington

    "...Scozzafava was too liberal on a host of issues including government spending, taxes, and abortion rights...." Apparently she wasn't for her constituents who elected her or the guy she ended up endorsing. Maybe her detractors should look at the district's demographics before they make bigger fools of themselves.

    November 11, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. A.B.

    Dede Scazzofava's decision to remain a Republican is a gross mistake in light of the fact that she was stabbed in the back by the party leadership and hacks, stripped of her position in the party. There is a big bulls eye target on her back and she seems to be ignoring that fact. If Dede has any sense, she will leave the republican party. Arlen Spector had the sense to do just that after he saw the writing on the wall and realized that he was being set up for defeat by the Republicans. If Dede stays in the Republican Party, she will stay there at her peril.

    November 11, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Carlton Desmoney

    Obviously, her critics were right, since she endorsed the democrat and left her name on the ballot. If she had taken her name off the ballot, the republican/conservative candidate would have won the election. Her defunct name on the ballot received more than enough votes to secure the conservative candidate's win. She was not interested in a conservative (republican) idiology win. She is where she should be - nowhere – and should stay that way as she is nasty spirited toward her own people. Had she stayed in the race and won, she would have been just another liberal vote in the congress; phooey on that!

    November 11, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. brian

    Basically this all comes down to her not being bigoted and homophobic enough, if at all, for the GOP.

    November 11, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. rosslaw

    Hopefully the Repubs will continue to gather in a circle and start shooting each other-should do wonders for the country's DNA. For those Repubs who think the world is more than 6,000 years old, is not flat, who are queasy about participating in a political party which is a wholly owned subsidiary of K Street, where sleaze is the contemporary version of conservatism, and will raise questions the next time a draft dodging, deserting chickenhawk promises a cost-free war that another country's oil will pay for, look to the middle, Democrat or Independent-you'll sleep better.

    November 11, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Edwin

    You can't have it both ways. If Scozzafava was a traitor for endorsing outside of her party, then everyone who endorsed Hoffman (including Hoffman himself) was a traitor as well - they endorsed the Conservative candidate over the Republican one.

    If betraying your party is so bad, why are the conservatives not attacking other conservatives? That is truly as treasonous as what Scozzafava did!

    November 11, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. John D.

    This woman was just another ploy By the Democratic Party. She was a Liberal trying to disguise herself as a Patriotic Republican. I say good ridiance to her. It was well worth loosing the seat temporarily to get rid of her. Can you say COMRADE?

    November 11, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    Welcome to your party....

    November 11, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Linda from Minnesota

    What did she expect from her party? The party of No, the party of exclusion to everyone but rich, white Americans and I can say that, I am a white American although not rich and definitely not in that party.

    November 11, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. susanj

    Just the way Hoffman looked, would have made me not vote for him. Goofy looking.

    November 11, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. John P.

    Vicious attacks? The only thing anyone ever called her is what she really is. A Democrat in a Republican's clothing. What is the point of having a Republican in the seat if she sides with Democrats most of the time (see Olympia Snow). She is the epitome of the acronym: RINO. How else can you explain her supporting the Democrat after she voluntarily withdrew from the race?

    November 11, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Debbie in VA

    She is a RINO but seriously how can any believe that she is a Republican. She doesn't stand for anything Republican she is a Democrat and deserved to lose in that district. I cannot understand her at all.

    November 11, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. renobill

    This women has no place in today's GOP. She seems to care about people.

    November 11, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Jim O

    >b<Palin/Bachmann 2012*****hooray*******
    Now we are talking !!!!!!!!!!
    Who needs minorities, gays, centrists, women, limburger, humanitarians, moderates, or Scozzafava, when we have these two.
    GO GOP'ERS..

    November 11, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. normajean

    Bless her sweet heart. Who knows, maybe she'll vote Democratic from now on as will a lot of former Repubs. They just don't get the obvious, that they are alienating their own.You can't just continue to push people around,spread lies and refuse to act like mature adults without turning those around you away.Keep it up Repubs, it's going to cost you in 2010.

    November 11, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Eric

    Thanks for helping us get a liberal Democrat elected Dede. Really classy of you. "Oh, they were so mean to me, they wouldn't support me just because I'm pro abortion and pro gay marriage." Earth to Dede, those are kind of bedrock issues for the party. You're a RINO and now you've proven it by getting a liberal Dem elected. Nice touch.

    November 11, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Henry

    Dede says she is a good Republican and believes in less government control of our lives. Republicans want to tell us who we can marry (not a member of our own sex) when we can choose to have an Abortion. How can you say that Republicans believe in less government control of our lives?

    November 11, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. True colors?

    "Former Republican candidate." When will you be announcing "Former Republican?" You and Cao should join Specter, at least you will be with your "own" and they won't make you cry. Did you get money for your district like Cao did? He really made out like a "bandit." He got 1.2 billion dollars of taxpayer money that does not have to be paid back for his vote.

    November 11, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. Dex Houston TX

    Oh Dede, don't you know that Republicans prefer their women dumb and meaningless.....haven't you learned anything from Sarah Palin!

    November 11, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Rick, ex marine, liberal

    Did anyone notice that Hoffman looks like a cross between Jindal and Sarah Palin??

    November 11, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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