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. ang

    I read more about her. She endorsed the Democrat because she thought he knew more about the local issues and the needs of her district. Also, why would she endorse an outsider who knows nothing of her district and who participated in such slanderous, disgusting tactics toward her?

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

    I was raised in a Republican household-My whole family (with only two exceptions) were all republican.
    I learned long ago that the party of Lincoln had turned into the party of the rich, the ultra conservative, the party of of fear & smear, of hate and NO- That's why I switched parties- Something I'm sure Abe Lincoln would have done too.
    For those who feel their party has abandoned them- come on over to the other side-

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

    I think this article is missing the point, Dede was not supported by the base of Republicans in the Ny 23 District.

    Hoffman should have been the candidate in the first place.

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

    Turn Coat!

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

    What else would you expect from the Republicans?

    They are just Vicious people now, even with their own...

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

    You republicans can go extreme all you want, but just remember people like Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin, are taking you down, there are a lot of smart americans that see right thru their hate and fearmongering, we want a United States not a divided states.

    November 11, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Doesn't she understand that as a republican she is only allowed to be a yesman (or yeswoman) to Rush Limbaugh? Whatever he spouts she has to parrot?

    November 11, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Cile McNeese

    You lie down with dogs, and you come up with fleas. Welcome to the Repbulican party of bush, palin and limbaugh! Kind of makes your skin crawl.

    November 11, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. South Shore

    IIt was not the GOP that did this it was the right wingnuts. Not only did they hurt her they cost the GOP a seat and who knows how many more in 2010

    November 11, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. cjr


    Democrats are more ethical and a whole lot more fun. The republicans of today are mean, racist and self centered. They are a dying breed and won't be missed.

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

    She quite and endorsed the Democrat. She favors the Union card check over secret ballots. Exactly what is it that makes her a Republican, cuz there's very little that matches the right ideologically. If you walk like a Dem, talk like a Dem, vote like a Dem, and endorse Dems, then you are NOT a Republican.

    November 11, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Joe in CT - not Lieberman!!!

    OK, so here is a local politico who is familiar with the district and she gets the nod from the local party bosses to be the Republican Candidate.
    The NeoCons aren't happy with her because she doesn't pass their purity test, so they get some goombah Carpetbagger who doesn't even know where the district is, or what they produce to run as a Conservative. In comes Rush, Glenn and Sarah and all of a sudden, Dede is a poison pill to the party! At least the Liberal Democratic Carpetbaggers (RFK, Hillary) who came in to run had the courtesy to run for statewide office instead of a congressional district!
    Get with it, folks! I grew up in New York! Our Republicans have pretty much always been moderates. Look at Teddy Roosevelt, Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller! For those without a sense of history, Barry Goldwater's followers pretty much forced Nelson Rockefeller off the stage in '64! The state Republican party has never really forgiven the national Republican party for that one!

    November 11, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Mike Syracuse, NY

    OK liberals, this is no different than what you did to Leiberman, so stop acting so morally superior. If you didn't need their votes you do the same thing to the Blue Dogs.

    November 11, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Bob Reynolds

    I am a socially minded disabled veteran who believes in a strong US military, and a proud member of the Republican party, which I believe in enviromental issues, civil rights, and support social causes that help those who are less fortunate. As a native New Yorker I can understand the divide between abortion which I am opposed to, but that's not the sole issue here. What gets me is Skazzafava who claimed to be a Republican candidate whining about vicious attacks and accusations from conservatives and Republicans is no different then the family of the Palestinian Army Shrink who already had a perpensity to be a terrorist, came out in the media saying that he is a good American.
    Let's get real....Skazzafa who threw her support behind the Liberal Democrat candidate is a Yellow Belly Liberal Democrat herself from a very politicly liberal state of New York, and the Army shrink who slaughtered his fellow soliders not because he was taunted by fellow soliders after 9/1/1, but because he is a Muslum terrorist who wears the very Army uniform that symbolizes freedom against those whom he openly threw his support behind as Muslum Jihadists. Wake up New York, and wake up America!

    November 11, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Frozone

    Scozzafava shouldve known better than to run as a Republican. If you're not a white male or an Alaskan blogger, there's no place for you in the GOP.

    November 11, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Ken

    Good for her. I am so sick and tired of the low blow vicious attacks by the ultra-conservatives who claim to be Christian! They wear the label when it's convenient, but do unChristian acts whenever it is to their advantage. I will never vote for someone who acts this way and neither should anyone else. Let's send them a message to change their ways or do not serve us in office. Since the Democrat got a gift, I hope he realizes that people crossed party lines to vote for him and that he should remember this when voting on issues. He needs to represent all of his voters and not just the Dems!

    November 11, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Sea.gem

    She is a republican in name only...she needs to switch parties like Specter...leave the self-loathing and lying to the Left...

    November 11, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Johnny K

    Republican party like to eat their own. They have no shame and no credibility. No wonder only 20% of the American people consider themselves Republicans. The party of No.... is totally irrelevant
    Asta lavista........ and don't slam the door on the way out...

    November 11, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. Peter E

    This whole story is blown out of proportion. The only reason it ever got a foothold is because Foxnews was desperate at showing the 'referendum' on Obama on an off-year election. Once they realized that in this one congressional district their wishes will not come true they started demonizing the GOP candidate, trying desperately to find a scapegoat why their predictions on the 'referendum' hold no water whatsoever! Had Foxnews not jumped this one, trying desperately to discredit Obama, nobody would have paid any attention to any of these candidates whatsoever. Foxnews is just trying to cover their embarrassment.

    November 11, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. I am the flaccid and bloviating Wizard of Rush

    Party purity demands that all members of the RebirtherTea Party pledge alligence to the destruction of anything Obama.

    The less RINOs the more pure.

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

    This vicious form of Republicanism is reprehensible. It is driving moderates right out of the party. One used to refer to this element ( every political party has some) as the lunatic it's become the main body of the GOP. After 47 years as a Republican in NY's 25th district, I will be switching to an independent status tomorrow.

    November 11, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. CW

    I think a lot of you hard core GOPers are missing a piece of the big picture here. You just lost the 23rd district which has been held by Republicans for over 100 years. How is it that you don't realize that not every Republican/Conservative is a card carrying member of a mega church. Not every Republican is a hard core social conservative. You people are destroying your own party and hurting America in the process. Whatever happened to the "Big Tent"? That is what you'll have to get back to on a national level; this Rush Limbaugh/Sarah Palin/John Beck party will only make it in the redest of red states. This country is in a lot of trouble without a viable 2nd party, and I agree with others that it's time for a 3rd party. At this rate, the GOP is going to turn into a regional and marginalized party. Very sad.

    November 11, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. NH Independent

    She is a closet democrat......she should just join the democrats socialist , marxist agenda and call it a day and stop whining...for God sake Acorn supported her.....

    November 11, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. NH Independent

    She is a closet democrat...........for God sakes Acorn supported her......she should just join the democrats socialist , marxist agenda and call it a day and stop whining

    November 11, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Indiana Pagan

    Small government? Seriously? Since when has the GOP spent little and kept their noses the hell out of our private lives?

    November 11, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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