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. rcox

    thank you palin for your psycho ways, and pushing more people away from the lunatarian right.

    November 11, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. kevin

    Americans do need a 3rd party. The Left and Right extremes are always hijacking every agenda.
    The moderates of America need to rise up.

    November 11, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Eleanor

    I like Dede, though as a proud Progressive, I am very happy that the Democrats won the election. What is remarkable, is the astonishing damage the Repugnants continue to do to their own party, by ousting moderates of every stripe as "liberal". This amazing race to bottom looks to me like the beginnings of a true 3rd party in this country...and not a moment too soon, either, in my opinion. You're young Dede. There will be other elections. Take this momentum and run with it!

    November 11, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. MiMi

    DeDe shouldn't have pretended to be something she wasn't. Her core beliefs were on the side of the Dems not the Repubs. She infiltrated the Repub party under false pretenses just so she could get elected. She does not share the Repups core beliefs; she wants to change the Repubs core beliefs. It bites but the Repub party IS going back to its conservative roots; the moderates/liberals in the Repub party that continually vote Dem need to move on over to the Dem side. The only reason they are Repubs anyway is because that was the only way they could get elected.

    November 11, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Brenda


    Dede voted in favor of the stimulous Bill, She said that she supported the health care disaster. She is pro-abortion. She was supported by ACORN. I bet that she favored amnesty for illegals as well.

    Time to find a new job DeDe!!!

    It sounds to me, like you would feel more comfortable running as a liberal Democrat!!!!

    November 11, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Stephan

    "maybe this traitor should "decry" the sleazy attack she made on Gov Palin..Palin was only doing what was best for the party" – yeah, the big tent is collapsing in on the GOP. You think the Tea Baggers were harsh on her – wait until you see the stuff they'll throw at Charlie Crist in Florida. We're just scratching the tip of the iceberg with this group.

    November 11, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Mark L.

    Wake Up People – Doesn't this tell you the story behind the GOP Republicans? The GOP is the most disgraceful and pathetic party this country ever had today !! GOP = Grand Ol' PLUNDERERS !! That's what the GOP represents !! They are NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF CROOKS – They steal from the poor to give to the wealthy. They call Democrats "Socialists" while they, themselves, are nazi-loving FACIST PIGS !!

    November 11, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Too True For You

    The republican "party uber alles" philosophy at work again, a caricature straight out of the Soviet Bloc: "You disagree with the party, comrade? Off to Siberia!"

    Can't say it any better than Paul Krugman of the NY Times did in 'The Politics of Spite': “…we learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old …The key point is that ever since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern."

    November 11, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Eleanor

    The difference "Reuben" is that Palin is an I-D-I-O-T! A quitter, and an extremist. Ms. Scozzafava does not appear to be ANY of these things.

    November 11, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Bev

    In regard to NY-23.............

    You do realize that Owens has to campaign for reelection to that seat in 2010.

    You do realize that Hoffman was a complete unknown-–up until 2 weeks before the election. Yet, he only lost by 3 points.

    Hoffman will DEFINITELY be more known by the 2010 elections-–and will thank Owens for keeping the seat warm for him over the past year.

    November 11, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. SeaWife

    Good for Ms. SoFa. She calls it like she sees it.

    The vicious attacks must stop coming from the GOP.

    November 11, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. NY

    Rebublicans will rise again as this country begins to wake up and see how the Democrats have changed into turning against true American values. Bush failed in about 7 years, Obama is failing in less than 1 year. Hopefully we can get a moderate President in 2012, not an extreme rightist or leftist.

    November 11, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. kari

    She endorsed Owens because Hoffman was unqualified, knows nothing of the local issues and was only endorsed by the right wingers because of his conservative views.
    Right wingers are so incredibly spiteful.
    Spin it however you like, but Hoffman and the right wingers are and will continue to be the losers.

    November 11, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. SeaWife

    The Dems WILL oust the GOP. Wait and see.

    The GOP is the party of NO and HATE. This is not the way American will be run.

    November 11, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Lana

    Hurry to all the SMART republicans!!! Way to go Dede!

    November 11, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. markiejoe

    My fervent hope is that the arch-conservative fringe of the Republican Party will break off and form their own Conservative Party. That way neither the remaining Republican Party nor their new Conservative Party will win an election outside the South for generations to come.

    November 11, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. cleve

    Poor thing, she only encountered the same treatment given to anyone not in alignment with the GOP Conservative base. By the way, has Bristol Palin married yet?

    November 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Flick

    She endorsed the Democrat. No, she's no liberal. What a loser.

    November 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Lana

    Hooray to all the SMART republicans!! wAY to go Dede!

    November 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Mike

    This is a perfect example of the current Republican party... both their candidates and Constituents. Heck look at what some of the Republicans on this site had to say about her... and she's a fellow republican – just a little less crazy.
    "GO away you bitter liberal. GO for a joke and help us with health care"
    "She's a mole for the liberal agenda of Obama, Pelosi and other anti-American gov't office holders."

    How can you possibly say this? Did you hear anything that came out of Hoffman's mouth?? It was nice of them to let him leave the house without his helmet! I just dont get it...

    November 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. A. Goodwin

    We'll take her in the Dem party...she wasn't really equipped for the Republican party anyway since she seems to have a brain.

    November 11, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. BB

    This 'Big Tent' is turning into a pup tent. Party purity is continuing to wreck reasonable conservatism. If the party won't buck the religious/social hot button issues that are generally a waste of time and money, then they will NEVER increase in numbers and will cede every national election.

    November 11, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Jayson

    Instead of crying about how unfairly she was treated she should be apologizing for going along with a nomination process that obviously ignored the wishes of the party members that reside in the 23rd district. If not for the choosing of a candidate that in no way represented the constituents of the Republican party in the district maybe there would have been a candidate chosen more in line with the outgoing Republican represenative. Instead you ended up with varying levels of appeal to different parts of the party.

    November 11, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. J.

    It is time for a third party. Enough with the left wing nuts and the right wing nuts. VOTE THEM ALL OUT IN 2010 AND 2012!

    November 11, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Socrates43

    Dear Dede..
    The ones that are being mean to you, from the GOP (Greedy, Obnoxious & Pathetic) are as radicals as Osama Bin Landen is.
    All of them are macho chauvinistic and self righteous. These guys have no compassion neither sensitivity.. a clear reflection of the level of IMMATURITY they are in. You are more welcome to join the party of inclusion. Democrats tend to be more ACCEPTING, TOLERANT, UNDERSTANDING, COMPASSIONATE, SENSITIVE, FORGIVING & NON-JUDGMENTAL. These traits are the 8 basic elements of MATURITY. How many of them do you think these so called conservatives/republicans, believers in God practice? You guess...
    Myself.. I think any one that belongs to the GOP doesn't have the capacity to practice any of the above elements...

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