September 21st, 2009
07:38 PM ET
13 years ago

Source: White House not looking for 'soft landing' for Paterson

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Polls show that Paterson is low in the polls - and dropping fast."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An Obama administration source denies reports that the White House has been looking for a 'soft landing' for embattled New York Gov. David Paterson - but says Paterson hasn't flatly refused to remove himself from the race, though he is being coy about his plans.

Informed sources tell CNN that White House political director Patrick Gaspard met early last week with the Democratic governor to let him know about the administration's concerns he could not win the governor's race next year - a problem that could affect races down-ticket, not the least of which Senate seat now held by Kirsten Gillibrand. The White House decision to approach Paterson, says one source, "was driven by the poll numbers. There doesn't seem to be any way he can recover."

CNN has also learned that New York Sen. Chuck Schumer met with the president last month, and that the fate of the governor's race may have been one topic of conversation.

Polls show that Paterson's approval numbers are low - and dropping fast. In recent polls, just one in five voters approved of the job he'd been doing as governor. The same surveys indicated he'd lose in a matchup against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo - who has assiduously avoided weighing in on the Paterson controversy - is clearly waiting in the wings, his approval ratings skyrocketing as he aggressively takes on Wall Street. "Every banker Cuomo indicts, the more popular he gets," says one Democratic strategist.

Even so, New York Rep. Jose Serrano told CNN, "if the White House has issues with a Democratic governor, there are ways to do that. Going public and embarrassing our governor doesn't make any sense." Particularly, Serrano adds, since the two met had to meet in New York today. It must be, he added, "the most uncomfortable situation either has faced in a long time."

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Don't give in to the President. Lose the race, let Rudy rule and deprive the arrogant Ds of their 60 votes and thgen some. Be a hero. Thanks.

    September 21, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. jon

    I can't believe New Yorkers opted for this loser over Eliot Spitzer.

    September 21, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. the Film Professor

    I'm sorry, but Paterson needs to go – quietly and quickly. There just is no way that this man wins reelection, and his presence in the race could do a lot of damage to the Democrats. Sometimes you need to get past your own ego for the good of your party and your ideals.

    September 21, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    Run David Run. Tell Obama to stay out of NY.

    September 21, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  5. obama the liar

    liberals...shun them

    September 21, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. Steve, Columbia SC

    You're next Schumer.

    September 21, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. Samantha Groening

    President Obama: Don't you have enough to worry about already? Please don't meddle in our affairs even more! Let Patterson run!

    September 21, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Jamie-NY

    Please let David Paterson make a decision by himself. The fact which President Obama asked Paterson to get out from race of NY Gov. can prove that Obama is cold-blooded politician as well as dictator who controll from A to Z. GO PATERSON IN 2010.

    September 21, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  9. aware

    As Alinsky says, "the end justifies the means" – get power any way you can! Obama learned well! 🙁

    September 21, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  10. Ken, Arizona

    To any of you who think that the President should stay out of this, please remember that he is the head of the Democratic Party and every political race that involves a Democrat is his business.

    September 22, 2009 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. Matt

    This guy is incompetent. Give me Cuomo any day.

    September 22, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  12. Preston kath

    Preston and kathy give the man chance

    September 22, 2009 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  13. Preston kath

    Preston and kathy only the voters of ny should decide no one else

    September 22, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  14. Preston kath

    Prestm and kathy by golly who will be next a person who does hear or can not walk they are pulling the wool on poor james

    September 22, 2009 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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