August 26th, 2008
07:18 PM ET
13 years ago

Warner camp confused by criticism over bi-partisan speech

DENVER (CNN) - A source close to Mark Warner who helped the Senate candidate craft his convention keynote speech said criticism by senior Democrats that his planned remarks were not partisan enough were off-base – because the Virginia Senate candidate's bi-partisan reputation is precisely why he was asked to speak in the first place.
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“That is at odds with the notion that he should be the person ripping the bark off McCain,” this source said.

In a Huffington Post op-ed titled "Please, Democrats, Attack" Begala said he recognized that Warner was running this year in a traditionally Republican state, but that "Democrats should not have put Warner in this bind."

In his speech, Warner will include one of the Obama camp’s main themes – that the Illinois senator represents change versus four more years of the same - but the crux of his speech will be talking about working together with Republicans and the lessons and success he had doing that in Virginia.

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Voter

    Tsk, tsk. Barack, The One, wants you to be as nasty as possible. You will not make points with The Annointed One is you are civil and generous. Such behavior is no longer tolerated by the DNC.

    August 26, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Disgruntled voter

    If Obama doesn't win in November it is purely because of the tactics of the DNC and the rest of those who are advising him, Warner, and others, to be just like the Democrats have always been. Power hungry, do anything to get elected, politicians.
    This would hurt the Democrats big time in November if they follow that advice.
    Why attack? The only way to lose this election is to deviate from got them here in the first place. That wasn't by being an attack dog.
    If the Republicans want to take that angle then let them. I usually does good for them with those who are going to vote for them anyway.
    It won't sway the independents and that is what both sides need to win.

    August 26, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Steven

    What ever happened to the change mantra? So is it just business as usual?

    August 26, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Worst...Ticket...Ever....

    Only the DNC run by this group of idiots would be offended by a speech on bipartisanship.

    Insane when you are putting forth a candidate for president who has made that a central message of his campaign. Just crazy.

    August 26, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Was Carville on Obama's jet when the escape ramp inflated???

    August 26, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. Vegas

    Unity and Change eh?

    A guy doesn't want to slash someone so he's the bad guy...

    Obama... what a tool... new politics my 4$$

    August 26, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. Heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    Tsk, ysk, Voter. I believe the article said Senior Democratic Officials, not Barack Obama. You are making things up.

    I would prefer to hear a speech from Mark Warner talking about how he plans to work across the aisle and unite Republicans and Democrats. I am clearly in the vast minority of the voters in this country, but I would prefer that our elections be about issues and how we can improve conditions in this country, rather than about who can be the nastiest. I can't wait until this country outgrows our juvenile and divisive election processes.

    August 26, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. L. Olson

    You All have been complaining there is no teeth in this convention yet you dont let us hear the women senators speak!!! All we can hear is your constant yak, instead of the women RED Meat .. You guys talk too much let us hear the convention!!!

    August 26, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  9. Californian for Clinton!!

    The truth is Hillary will do enough attacking for everyone. GOOD TIMES DEMS!! UNITY!!!

    OBAMA 08!!

    August 26, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. Mike in FXBG

    Mark Warner is the person the Democrats should have lined up to run for president. He did a wonderful job as governor of VA (unfortunately we are now condemned with Tim Kaine – it would have been a blessing had Obama chosen him as VP, then he would not have been in a position to foul anything up). I am convinced that the DNC managed to convince Warner not to run in order to give Hillary (aka HillBilly) her opportunity to run for president. How unfortunate; the Democrats had a real opportunity to present a candidate that truely would have brought constructive change and set a vision for our nation.

    August 26, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. shannon

    Howard Dean is a loser...and he leads a bunch of losers. The only Dems that have ever won are the Clintons.

    August 26, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. the Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    hey not bad when you have two overripe bananas for the head job in the USA.

    Obama is risky
    Obama is inexperienced
    Obama has a funny name
    obama will take our guns away

    Obama is a novice at Foreign Affairs.

    So do you want to gamble with our country?

    do you want to roll the dice?

    I don't think you do, therefore a good alternative is JOHN MCCAIN.

    August 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. Big D

    CNN – are you going to be the ultra-critical when the RNC has their convention? Are you going to ask this many questions, with this much critical tone about those speakers and their topics? Are you going to go looking for controversy, and cover every delegate that originally supported another candidate? Are you going to cut away from speeches, then say the night was wasted? Are you going to say that the RNC can't pull it off unless they get their act together and get united? Are you going to cover the Ron Paul convention going on in StPaul at the same time as the RNC's and lament about why the party can't enter their bitterness and finaly unite? Are you going to look for hidden nuances between speakers, and speculate about who mightbe dissing who? Because I see the media do way too much of this nonsense for the DNC convention, but somehow I don't think we're going to be getting the same slanted tone in the coverage of the RNC next week.

    August 26, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. White, female supporter of Obama

    It wasn't Obama who wants anger and attacks...he picked Warner and obviously knew what the tone and content of his speech was.

    It is Carville who is pushing the "red meat" agenda. He is a disgruntled Clinton supporter who has lost his voice in the Democratic Party. He is pathetically yelling and screaming to try to regain lost relevance and has been trying to stir things up since the primaries ended.

    CNN seems to be the only one who cares what he has to say to keep the controversy going.

    By all means criticize but make sure you know who the criticsm should be directed to.

    August 26, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. United democrats

    CNN why do you go to commercial breaks when the 'red meat' speeches are given?? You talked about the lack of these 'red meat' speeches, yet you won't let them be aired in their entirety. I swear, if Wolf Blitzer interrupts a speech one more time, I'm turning my tv straight to MSNBC or PBS.

    Oh wait! I'm already tuned into MSNBC, watching Rendell's speech in full, while CNN is still at commercial...

    August 26, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Griff

    We! Obama Idiot! Supporters, want Hypochracy? He's Black! He's ????? He's????? He's????? . Just Black, and he aint even American. Where America. Where??? because you so paranoid you may upset the Black-African-American. You would allow a Complete None-American into your History?? You want to go down in the ages, as the Super-Power, who didn't know the difference; between the enemy!!! And their own Children....

    August 26, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. NG in DC

    This is the most screwed up off message Democratic convention.
    Barack can give a speach but he sure can't throw a party.

    Too bad the Dems have botched this easy election up - Hillary was the no brainer candidate and I can wait for her election in 2012.

    August 26, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. John's conscience

    Senator Warner,

    Do you think John McCain is going to throw cotton balls at Obama next week? He is going to do his best to vaporize the Democrats and Barack Obama in particular. Jez, if you are not up to it, let me give the speech!

    August 26, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Rodham Democrat

    Putting Mark Warner in this high profile spot is a good strategic move to win VA for Obama in Nov....

    and of course flipping John Warner's Senate seat to the Democratic column (although, based on the polls now, the Senate seat should be a giveaway)

    August 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. zachactor

    Please, lighten up partisans! This election is all ABOUT uniting to settle our differences! Mr. Warner, you have the absolute right give a speech as bipartisan as you like, and I encourage it!

    August 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. Brad

    There is a difference between going on the attack and pointing out the basic truth that the GOP has become a criminal enterprise.

    August 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. Laura

    Are keynotes usually negative attacks on the other party? Obama's certainly wasn't four years ago...I don't remember other conventions so I can't say. Isn't the role of the keynote speech usually for an up-and-coming leader in the party to get to introduce him/herself and give a positive speech that defines the party? I don't get why Warner is being criticized....his commitment to bipartisanship is in line with Obama's, and probably why Obama chose him.

    August 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. Lee

    Jeez, can we actually here the speeches or are we forced to listen to Wolf remind us that Hillary Clinton is speaking tonight. I expected better from you CNN! Give the American people a chance to listen to the Democratic message!

    August 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. LGG

    Hey CNN, Lose the banner and the factoids, PLEASE! It's a good thing I have a large flat screen TV so the 50% of the screen taken up by your GAVEL TO GAVEL, SOUND FROM THE FLOOR (who cares?!) and Banner leaves enough area to see what's going on....
    And then you add insult to injury with the speaker's name in very large type on top of the banner – A bit much, guys!

    Just my opinion

    August 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  25. Susan, Pgh PA

    The Democratic Committee are their own worst enemies. No one wants a wimpy President. When Obam needs a Vice President for his Attack Dog he lost a lot of credibility. The PRESIDENT needs to be his own Attack Dog. With the exception of Jimmy Carter, all the recent Presidents elected were Attack dogs: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Bush, Clinton, Bush. Apparently, no matter what they say, Americans like to feel SAFE. Democrats lost their last two chances by putting up candidates like Kerry and Gore. They will also lose this one, because like it or not, Hillary is more of an Attack Dog than Obama. I have been a life long Democrat and I am not happy with the decisions of my Party.

    August 26, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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