November 11th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
10 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. LMC

    This is the state of affairs that the Republican Party has come to: "our way or the highway." The Republican Party is no longer the "Grand Old Party." It is being run by ultra-conservatives who can see only there own views and no one else's. My mother was Republican and my father Democrat, yet they both seemed to be moderates in their beliefs and pretty much agreed on all political views. My mother had the audacity to even believe in a woman's right to choose what to do with their own bodies–shocking! If the Republicans continue on this right-wing swing to ultra conservatism, they will lose many followers. That's totally OK with me! I sincerely believe that most people are moderates and we don't care which party comes up with a plan to provide adequate health care to all or peace on earth, as long as it happens!! The Republican leadership today does not seem to care one iota for the people of this country. They don't seem to care if people are denied insurance or health care or whether they can afford health care. The Republican Party seems to only identify itself as anti-Democrat. That's an extremely sad state of affairs.

    November 11, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. GAK

    I so enjoy watching Republicans stab each other in the back.. If Dede was not candidate for the Grand Old Party,WHY did they nominate her??? If there is no room for moderates in the party,because the small conservative section of the Repub's can't have their way all the time(just like spoiled children).Perhaps they should take a page from Palin and QUIT!! (another child like response)she has shown you they way,get out(quit when it gets tough),start your own party,Have Rush as your leader with Sarah as your spokes person..Show the rest of the nation why you lost the presidental election soo badly,You are out of touch with the mainstream!!!

    November 11, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Independent

    Yes, the Republican party is becoming more a party within a minority. They may win local elections in very conservative districts in many sections of the south and some sections of the west, but in most parts of the country on a state level or national election the Republican party does not represent the majority of americans and will not win state wide and national levels. Think about it, how many Republican Senators are left in the Middle Atlantic, England (remember the current "conservatives" don't like the two Senators from Maine), Upper Mid-West, Mid-West, the West Coast and some sections of the West. How many women and minorities are elected each year within the party?

    November 11, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Peggy

    I can't believe she is so surprised by the behavior of her party. Republicans eat their young!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. bobcat1a

    I guess Tom thinks giving someone money with one hand while you put a knife in them with the other is moral behavior...but then, he is a republican.

    November 11, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Matt

    what happened to "Compassionate Conservatism"?

    November 11, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Most "Republicans" aren't really Republicans.
    They are religious-hyper-conservative fanatics;
    existing along parallel lines to the religious fanatics
    we are fighting over seas.

    I'd endorse ANYONE other than a Republican – she did
    the right thing. The 'CONS' are just that – CONS who will
    do anything immoral to get people to join their side.

    Shame, shame. So gross

    November 11, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. jfeeney

    In the end, the Republicans lost. So their plan to insert a extreamist conservative failed again. They still don't get it. Regan conservatism is dead. King George killed it, and good riddens to it. It is a flawed political dogma, just like Liberialism. Extreamist politics doesn't work, and never will weather it be right of left.
    What this person needed is a third party, one that is centrist in nature. If the American Moderate Party AMP were to form tomorrow, I'de be there to support it.

    November 11, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Will S

    How about a "moderate" party for the majority of the voting base? Life as well as politics is painted using shades of grey, not pure black and white.

    November 11, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. CNN do you job right

    I'm just thankful she's not in, as she will be a contribute to the mess. She reminds me of liberal Bush. Big government spender. Need people who would cut spending big time

    November 11, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Jim O

    Ms. Scozzafava: I would respectfully and sincerely invite you the Democrat Party. We embrace all differing view points, as long as the well being of the nation comes before ideology. As I feel that is your creed also, and you will feel welcome because we welcome women, minorities, moderates, humanitarians, gays, centrists, and patriots. We might not be the party of "no" and "only", but our party is all inclusive.

    November 11, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Joe the Comment Leaver

    "liberal" isn't a dirty word any more. "Conservative" has become one, though.

    November 11, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Bush's Favorite Things: Blanky, Bikey & Nappy

    Republicans eating their own!

    November 11, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. heartlight3

    "Republicans do have a set of core principles that they gather around. Small government and responsible financial management are at the top of the list. Too bad for her she wasn't paying attention." Four and the Door

    No, you mean Republicans have a set of core principles that they SAY they gather around. What they actually DO is an entirely different story.

    November 11, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. seabob

    You can always expect the GOP to viciously attack anyone with a different idea. We will never have any progress with this attitude toward the opinions of others.

    November 11, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. MARK

    The truth hurts. She shouldn't have claimed to be a republican, She lied only in an attempt to get elected. It backfired on her, BIGTIME!

    November 11, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Nick

    That's what you get for hanging out with the neo-nazi party of America.

    Repubes has no shame, they already showed they're ready to angrily tear apart a Vietnam Vet (of their own party) sitting in a wheelchair and call him a loser. What do you expect?

    November 11, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. P. D.

    I can't beleive how the Republican Party hijacked this election, only to put in a inexperienced outsider who had no idea about local issues. The fact was ,Dede was picked by her own Party and has served in her district for many years. The fact Palin and Armey barged in and told her she was 'Pure' enough. Then incrediably Dick Armey blamed Hoffman for the lose when it was Armey who pushed him in. Unreal.

    November 11, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Dan in Noo Yawk

    Scozzafava has principals and is decent, so it's a little scary to see the right wing of the Republican party still clinging to the Bush-era ideal that ideology trumps decency, intelligence, knowledge and competence.

    November 11, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Paul

    GOP sure does a lot of crying these days.
    Grand Old Pouters

    November 11, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Kathy

    I find it interesting that you find 'Republican' attacks, even within their own party 'vicious'. What else would expect. If the shoe fits, wear it.

    November 11, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Jeff

    The Republicans like to think they stand for small government and financial conservatism, but the past 8 years, they did not. And anyways, the Republicans have developed a bad habit of entwining religion into too many things. They have moved too far right.

    Stuck in the middle are the poor moderates, who don't have friends on either side. Tired of Bush and Iraq, they vote for Obama. Then Obama lets power hungry Pelosi and Reed take things too far to the left. Moderates will eventually vote for a Republican, again hoping for moderation, which they won't get, since the party does it's best to purge anyone who shows an ounce of compromise or independence.

    Later, rinse, repeat. We seem doomed to swing left to right back to left back to right. I wish the parties would go away- they were never written into the Constitution to begin with, and they are damaging the country with this stupid pendulum cycle of inefficiency in which we are stuck.

    November 11, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. JD

    She is a RINO that could not take the heat, quit, then switched side to punnish the Republicans. She is no more than a petty back stabing has been. Hope we don't hear of her again.

    November 11, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. John Shore, Raleigh NC

    I did not see any story where the "dems' attacked her? Does not the article state from her own party – obviously with her positions – abortion, card ck, fairness doctrine, tarp, healthcare, etc, etc...she could not belong to any other party? Matter of fact – within the 'D'" tent – she's even considered a 'liberal'.

    November 11, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. deb0155

    Dede Scozzafava is out for only one party – the party of Dede Scozzafava. She does not have one original idea in her head. She's a loser and always will be!

    Dede – stay with the Democrats – WHINERS all of you!

    November 11, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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