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. Purists

    When in the party of absolutism, you have to take the purity test... until you become a star, and then you can jost lob pot shots an everyone else.

    You can get addicted on pain killers but slam everyone else who has an addiction.
    You can make a sex tape and still hold up the banner of family values.
    You can have extramarital affairs and vote to impeach a president for the same sin.
    You can kill a doctor in the name of life.
    You can say that we all need to soldier on and then quit your service to the people who elected you.

    These are the ways of GOP celebrity. So DeDe, you haven't paid your dues yet sista.

    November 11, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    The treatment Scozzafava received from the GOP is proof positive that there is no "tent" in that party: You either line up in a very straight row or you're out!

    There are a lot of moderate Republicans out there – I know several – who believe in fiscal responsibility (and didn't like what Bush did in that regard), who are also socially progressive.

    They don't like the way their party has been taken over by the religious "right" and the fear- and hate-mongers like Beck and Limbaugh, let alone the airheads like Palin.

    Scozzafava is just a very public example of the treatment these moderate Republicans receive from their own party – no wonder people are leaving the GOP in droves!

    November 11, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Vets4Obama

    Someone eluded to republicans being pro national security? You mean like draft dodging Cheney? Or AWOL Bush? Or "Song Bird McCain"? You mean the party that ALWAYS denies our veterans better benefitis, the republicans, is somehow being patriotic in doing so?

    Morons are born every minute, you can find them all at your local GOP meeting! These ignorant fools actually believe the lies they tell themselves!

    As a vet, I can tell you, no republican has EVER done anything good for the military or the security of this nation. When the fights happen, you'll find the democrats on the front lines fighting for your cowardly butts, like Cheney.

    November 11, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. kansas

    Just be a Democrat mam. Don't play games.

    November 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Larry

    Good for you Dede

    You did the right thing

    The Republican Party Of NO ... will try to crush anyone that doesn't do as they say

    At least you have a mind of your own, unlike so many Republicans that follow whatever smelly tail is in front of them ... voters included


    November 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. victim of republican greed

    This is the way the party of hate operates. All they have is spreading fear and hate. What a sorry bunch they are.

    November 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. K

    What has this country become? We have elected officials (Republicans) that OPENLY support the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Fox News....

    I mean if you really think about the issues that effect regular Americans, and compare it to the way some elected officials behave, it's absurd......

    The Republicans care nothing about the average person, they seem to be driven by the next election, everything appears to be just a big game for them.....I haven't seen much of this from the Democratic or Independent sides, just the Republican side.......

    November 11, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. victim of republican greed

    Dede has discovered how the wingnuts and Fox operates. It is refreshing to see so many paid Fox bloggers attacking her, though.

    November 11, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Shut up! You brought this on yourself Ms. Liberal.

    November 11, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. obummer, 1 and done(if there still is a USA to salvage)

    All she does is whine.
    I guess that does make her a democrat.

    November 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. K

    What have we become as a nation that we align ourselves politically by race.....

    Republicans want only pure white people that hate any person thats not white....And for the white people that stick with the Republicans based soley on white tribal unity are bordering on insanity...

    Atleast the Democrats make up look more like the REAL AMERICA, a nation of Diversity, all types of ethnicitys and colors....

    When you look at the Republicans and how they act, it's appears all about remaining Purely White, it's as if they don't want to come into the future with the rest of the country.

    One thing is for sure, Adolf Hiltler wanted a pure white aryan blue eyed nation, seems like the Republicans have something in common with Hitler......

    November 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Gus

    Democrat in Republican clothing. Showed her true conviction when she endorsed the democratic candidate.

    November 11, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Cynthia, NJ

    Ms. Scozzafava, stay away from the bloods and the crypts(republicans and conservatives). Either switch parties or become an independent. What those gang members Palin, Limbaugh and company did was terrible. Stay out of there gang sit back and watch them self destruct.

    November 11, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Becca

    People need to examine the candidates grasp of the local issues when deciding who to vote for in a local election. Many Republicans from NY-23 were upset at the national endorsements for Hoffman because he did not have a strong grasp on the local issues. He was running against someone because he felt that she was not conservative enough on social issues and was not qualified.

    Anyone who would rather choose an inept candidate from one party because of an out-and-out refusal to consider a more qualified candidate on the other side is contributing to the downfall of this country. If we care ONLY about which party a candidate is aligned with , then we lose sight of the important issues that should be the focus in an election.

    I don't think you can fault Dede for endorsing the more qualified candidate. If more of our politicians would make decisions that are reasoned and logical, rather than a knee-jerk response, we would be in better shape.

    November 11, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Kingofva

    It's funny how democrats are rallying around this like they didn't get smashed in that last election. This seat meant nothing. CNN makes it out to be the "heart and soul" of conservatives, give me a break. Any conservative would've taken VA or NJ instead of this meaningless seat, and we got em both!!!! This last round of elections was a HUGE win for conservatives, no matter how you look at it.

    November 11, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. No Hillary = No Obama

    How do we classify people who vote or make decisions that are not in line with their own afflications – are they turncoats or independent thinking individuals who make ethical choices or are flattered because they get a personal call from Obama? Now I wonder if that lone Republican congressMAN who voted for health care reform is also the focus of vicious attacks or is this another case of domestic abuse against a woman – easy punching bags?

    November 11, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. victim of republican greed

    If the wingnuts did not have to run on stupidity and intimidation, and could face facts without claiming liberal bias, they could almost be credible.

    November 11, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Scotay

    This is so funny! Did anyone expect her to support Hoffman? I wouldn't have after being attacked by my own party. As for her being a quitter and coward, I present to you QUITTER AND COWARD #1 "SARAH PALIN". She was the governor and quit. Am I wrong? I rest my case.

    November 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Mike in MN

    She's not a liberal but she endorsed the Democrat. She was third in the polls, the voters in her own party rejected her when they had a better choice. The attacks against her were justified. She should just become a Democrat and quit pretending.

    November 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. reresparks

    Conservative who believes in small government, make sure the budget is balanced. work rewarded (no welfare to those who dont need it), helping fellowman...relishes the right to privacy( for the anti-choicers) and do not believe in the death penalty. Dede..this is what you are and most of us are too.

    November 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Eddie

    Whaaaaaa whaaaaaa what a Liberal Cry Baby......but isn't that what all Liberal Democrats do! (and yes, she is a Dem)

    November 11, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Keith in Austin

    Dede quit because she was a republican by name only. She would have been slaughtered in an election because she's a liberal!

    November 11, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. katiec

    This is typical of the party of NOthing. They hide behind the Bible, yet resort to sewer tactics, lying, distorting, inciting hate, anger, racism, division of our country, fear mongering and anything they can possibly do to destroy our president, consequently our country. They have become extremists, sacrificing the American people for their love and support of big business and greed.
    They are well on their way to becoming our country's most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    November 11, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Kate

    Republicans will attack their makes you think they will stand up for anyone else in this country that doesn't share their own ideas.......their party is the party of NO NO NO and WHINE WHINE WHINE........their party is being taken over by the Radicals, Racists, Hate, Tea Baggers, Club for Growth, the party of Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and their followers.......their is no room for moderate Republicans, or even conservative days you have to be a far right wing radical conservative......or there is no room for you in the GOP..... this will be their down fall in 2010 and in 2012.....if the REAL Republicans (what they call the Reagan republicans) don't start standing up for themselves and distancing themselves from this bunch of idiots they will lose big time in the next elections........

    November 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Tommy

    I cannot fathom how someone can be conservative! I mean, they're such insane hypocrites that I think they should all be diagnosed with psychosis. When that republicant congressman brought in that baby on the day of the healthcare vote, she's about as old as anyone the republicants make any sense to. Now you see why your party is such a vast minority? Besause people like Assemblywoman Scozzafava have been purged from your party for people like that psycho Doug Hoffman who looks like he has about a 5th grade education.

    November 11, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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