“You know, he’s an unpatriotic guy,” Democratic political strategist Dave “Mudcat” Saunders said of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in an interview in The Daily Caller’s offices. “We’re going to attack his patriotism.”
The “we” Saunders is referring to is he and his “horse” to take on Cantor for his Virginia congressional seat, lawyer and retired Army Colonel Wayne Powell. Asked to defend his dramatic charge against Cantor, Saunders — who served as a campaign strategist for Southern Democrats like Jim Webb, Mark Warner and John Edwards — threw out all sorts of allegations.
“First, anybody who bets against the United States economy, bets against their own country, as far as I’m concerned, is unpatriotic,” Saunders said.
“He did that when he shorted U.S. treasury bonds. I mean, he bet against his own country for his own personal portfolio for financial gain. Then you look at what he’s done to the veterans. The Iraqi and Afghani war veterans association of America gives him a D rating. I mean, the guy voted against the new G.I. bill. I mean, you can just go on and on. His association with Jack Abramoff.”
Besides attacking Cantor for being unpatriotic, Saunders is also fond of taking shots at Cantor’s association with billionaire casino mogul and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson, who has donated millions to a Cantor-backed super PAC. But asked whether his candidate will take money from outside the district, Saunders said Powell would be happy to accept money from “Rodeo Drive.”
“We’re going to accept money from outside the district and we will accept money from Rodeo Drive,” he said. “And I think Rodeo Drive is a better address, you know, more politically sound place to accept money from than Wall Street and the Las Vegas Strip. I mean, what in the world does the 7th District of Virginia have in common with the Las Vegas strip? Is it the casinos, is it the brothels, is it the crime?”
As for the issues, when Powell isn’t lambasting Cantor for “subsidizing slave labor in China” and suggesting Adelson may support brothels abroad, he tells TheDC that he doesn’t think entitlements like Medicare and Social Security are a serious issue in terms of our long-term budget problems.
“I don’t call them entitlements, I call them the safety net,” Powell told TheDC.
“You’ve got to the look at the entire picture,” he added. “But mainly it’s these, for example, subsidies to oil companies, a tax code that is almost incomprehensible … but we need to simplify and we need economic fairness for everyone paying taxes.”
When TheDC pointed out how oil subsidies were insignificant to our long-term budget deficit, especially when compared to the unfunded liabilities of America’s entitlement programs, Powell responded, “I totally disagree with your assessment and your actuarial conclusion.”
Asked whether he stood by President Obama, Powell provided what can generously be described as a tepid endorsement: “As far as standing beside him, I’m a Democrat, he’s a Democrat. As I said, I think for myself, unlike my opponent.”
But he does stand by the president on his decision to support gay marriage.
“I think all people are created equal, just like The Declaration [of Independence] says, and I think marriage equality is part of that,” he said.
Cantor’s campaign said that Powell and Saunders’ campaign message won’t be received well in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.
“Wayne Powell underestimates the people of the 7th District,” Cantor campaign spokesman Ray Allen told TheDC.
“The people of the 7th District are fair-minded, decent people who aren’t going to tolerate outrageous profanity, attacks on people’s patriotism. This is just a symptom of that Mr. Powell has nothing positive to offer the voters of the 7th District.”