In The News

US-North Korea tensions: What’s next?

FOX Business
Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman
April 17, 2017

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga and Republican strategist Boyd Matheson on growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Democrats reject Trump’s threats over Obamacare subsidies

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
April 14, 2017

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga called the Republican plan to blame the minority party for inaction on health care “both cynical and self-destructive.”

“Message to Trump: You break it, you own it, and voters are already disapproving of your agenda,” he said. “And message to Republicans in Congress, stop being obsessive-compulsive about Obamacare. It's harming the country and further worsening your already low approval ratings.”

Endgame unclear as Democrats rally for filibuster of Gorsuch

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
March 31, 2017

Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard and former clerk to Justice David Souter, argued in a recent Bloomberg op-ed that Democrats should holster the filibuster for now and “save it for a Supreme Court nominee who was truly terrible.”

Varoga dismissed that suggestion. “Honestly, if you’re being held hostage and told that your hostage taker will kill you either now or in the future, what’s the point?” he asked.

Dems tout FBI investigation of Trump campaign and Russia, but questions remain

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
March 21, 2017

“What happened here is not a run-of-the-mill campaign dirty trick, but rather a major national security violation in which a foreign adversary deliberately interfered in our elections in order to undermine America’s viability as a world power,” Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said.

Democrats cede the airwaves in Gorsuch fight

CNN
By Theodore Schleifer
March 16, 2017

"This is the genius of Trump's madness," said Craig Varoga, a Democratic operative who has directed spending at many of his party's top nonprofits over the years. "He and (adviser Stephen) Bannon create so many distractions that what traditionally would have been a great fight -- a Supreme Court nomination one year after Republicans would not allow a vote on a Democratic nomination -- seems like an afterthought."

Former Obama officials become aggressive voices against Trump

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
March 6, 2017

“It would be foolish for Democrats to overlook [Obama’s] political strength or the experience of his team when formulating responses to Trump,” Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said, but he added that just turning to Obama will not solve the party’s problems with its base or the disaffected Rust Belt voters who sided with Trump in November.

Texas is the Future: Can Democrats reconquer the Lone Star State?

Harper's Magazine
By Andrew Cockburn
March 2017

“Demographics are not destiny,” Craig Varoga remarked to me at the end of a long conversation. “But demographics with hard work and smart decisions are.”

Calls grow for special prosecutor on Russia meddling despite no evidence

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
February 27, 2017

Democratic political strategist Craig Varoga said Mr. Issa removed concerns about partisan motives. “A foreign power interfered in what is the fundamental freedom of the United States. The American people deserve to know the answer here.”

Russian hacks loom over race to lead Democratic Party

Politico
By Eric Geller
February 18, 2017

Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic strategist who is not running for chair, urged the DNC to make cybersecurity a priority no matter the cost.

“Whatever it is,” Varoga said by email, “it is a hell of a lot cheaper than the billions that will be spent opposing the current occupant of the White House.”

Carson adviser: Democrats ‘crippling’ Trump administration with Cabinet delays

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
February 14, 2017

“This administration should not be surprised by the response to its nominees, based on Republican intransigence in the previous Congress and the current campaign-like vitriol out of the administration,” [Craig Varoga] said. “That and various other issues, such as the Flynn scandal, are grinding things to a halt, which is terrible for folks who support Trump’s campaign promises and great for those who are concerned about the direction in which he wants to take the country.”

After rough transition, Obama breaks with tradition to criticize Trump policy

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
January 31, 2017

“It is unusual to speak out eleven days after leaving office, yes,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga, “but Trump broke all the rules as a candidate and is breaking all the rules of what a new president should be doing.”

Trump's targeting of sanctuary cities sparks debate

FOX News
America's News HQ
January 28, 2017

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga and Republican strategist For O'Connell weigh in on President Trump's targeting of sanctuary cities.

Zuckerberg moves spark 2020 speculation

The Hill
By Ali Breland
January 22, 2017

“Democratic political strategist Craig Varoga said it would be unwise to rule Zuckerberg out. ‘The wise guys said Obama couldn’t win, but he did. Then they said Trump couldn’t win, but he did,’ he said. ‘The same experts said there was no way an online platform could get almost two billion users, but we know that story. So if anybody says Mark Zuckerberg can’t happen, he or she needs to pinch themselves and wake up.’”

If Clinton wins, congressional obstruction likely; impeachment, not so much

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
November 4, 2016

“There’s a reason why voters are so unhappy, and it’s because so little gets done because of the partisanship and refusal to compromise and work together,” [Varoga] said. “If either party wants to prosper long-term, they need to stop thinking about the next election and give each other a chance to work together for a change.” He hopes voters will reward politicians and parties that are willing to rise above partisanship instead of those who cynically promote conflict. “Honestly, anyone who promises before this election to delegitimize the winners of next Tuesday’s election should be held accountable for putting their partisan agenda above the interests of the United States,” Varoga said.

Clinton fails to contain damage from email leaks

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley and Katie Bo Williams
October 28, 2016

“Everybody just needs to fasten their seat belts and get ready for a really rocky landing,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “The next 11 days are going to test everyone’s mettle.”

Clinton, Obama aim to boost Democrats in tight congressional races

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
October 24, 2016

Varoga warned against presuming anything about the 2018 election at this point. “Great chess players may think several moves ahead, but nobody – and I mean nobody – has any idea about what the next cycle will look like,” he said. “Considering that everybody got 2016 wrong, it might be time for the experts to take an aspirin and go to bed early, rather than getting more drunk on crazy predictions that too often never come even close to being true.”

Trump continues claiming system is ‘rigged’ against him

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
October 17, 2016

“Trump is losing and is seeking to delegitimize the election,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. "In attacking the integrity of our country, he sounds more like a dupe of the old Soviet Union than like a mainstream American."

5 mistakes Clinton and Trump must avoid at second debates

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
October 9, 2016

“Trump was bragging about being a sexual predator, so I don’t see how it doesn’t come up, and I don’t see how he can do any kind of political repair, because sexual assault is criminal and is condoned only by deviants,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “For the good of America, Hillary Clinton should just speak up on behalf of all the normal and morally decent people who now see Donald Trump for what he is.”

Trump turns to debate to curb campaign meltdown

The Hill
By Niall Stanage
October 9, 2016

"I don’t see how he can do any kind of political repair," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. "For the good of America, [Clinton] just needs to speak up for all the people in this country who would never approve of this behavior."

The ‘Saturday Night Live’ effect on Trump vs. Clinton

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley
October 5, 2016

“Some Democrats raised the ‘false equivalency’ argument that has worried liberals from the start — the idea that the media is holding Trump to a lower standard because he’s unconventional. ‘Maybe the writers were trying to show that they are not biased for either candidate, but it did seem to be an exercise in false equivalency or somehow equating Trump’s egregious character flaws with Hillary Clinton,’ said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. ‘That’s the problem, overall, in this election.’”

Clinton’s strategy: Get under Trump’s skin

The Hill
By Amie Parnes
October 1, 2016

“Trump has an impulse-control disorder and anything that draws attention to that and his unreadiness for office is great,” said Democratic consultant Craig Varoga.

Clinton camp debates media strategy vs. Trump

The Hill
By Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley
September 30, 2016

“Clinton herself has said she wants to closer her campaign with a more positive message. ‘I want to give Americans something to vote for not just against,’ she said in a speech in North Carolina. Democratic consultant Craig Varoga says positive ads could also make a difference with independent voters. Voters ‘in the middle want to vote for someone, not just against his or her opponent.’ He said Clinton’s campaign should spend the next six weeks talking about her plan to rebuild America.”

Presidential campaign schedules show plans for battleground states

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
September 26, 2016

“This is exactly what she should do, it’s what should be expected and, honestly, it could have been reasonably predicted even before the conventions in July,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “We’re seven weeks out, it was always going to be a nail biter and most of the battleground states are the usual suspects, despite a year-and-a-half of overheated talk about this being an unconventional year.”

“The only thing somewhat surprising is, given Trump’s singular lack of qualifications, is how conventional the map right now is,” he said.

“Grave Concerns” About Trump Aide’s Russia Meetings

Politico
By Eric Geller, with help from Cory Bennett and Martin Matishak
September 26, 2016

Political operatives and former cyber-focused officials are voicing serious concerns about a report in Yahoo News that Donald Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page has met with aidesto Russian President Vladimir Putin — including a senior Putin aide “believed by U.S. officials to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election.” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, released a statement calling the news “deeply disturbing.” Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic strategist, told MC, “Trump may say that the gun isn’t smoking, but it sure as hell is pretty damn hot.”

'Showman' Trump and 'wonkish' Clinton race to lower debate expectations

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
September 23, 2016

“There is no way that Trump will perform better than Hillary Clinton,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “She is knowledgeable, she works hard, she knows the issues and she will outwork him beforehand and during the debate, and not by a little, but by a lot. The danger for her is that he will have almost certainly have one or two incendiary comments that will dominate the news coming out of the debate and obscure his otherwise poor performance."

50 days: Clinton, Trump plot paths for campaign's frantic finish

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley
September 18, 2016

Democrats vividly remember the 2000 election and still blame Ralph Nader for costing Al Gore the presidency in what turned out to be the closest presidential election in history.

“It’s entirely plausible to think that Johnson and Stein could tip one or two states to Trump,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “As disappointing as that outcome was in 2000, it pales in comparison with the prospect of an election [tipping] accidentally in favor of a guy with an impulse-control disorder.”

Libertarian Johnson Adds to Clinton's Challenges

Bloomberg
By Arit John
September 16, 2016

“In any other year, I’d say that the safest prediction would be to take Johnson’s current average of 8 percent and cut it in half by election day, giving him about 4 percent when everything is said and done, but it’s not a conventional year,” Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said.

Debate over “basket of deplorables”

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
September 13, 2016

“From the minute that Trump opened his mouth at his announcement 15 months ago,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “the only people that Trump himself has not insulted are Vladimir Putin and the very small minority who agree with David Duke and the very fringiest of the totalitarian right-wing.”

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton step out of character as tight race enters home stretch

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
September 8, 2016

“Hillary Clinton was always going to go and remain retail once Labor Day passed and the campaign entered its final nine weeks,” Mr. Varoga said. “Trump is doing, for a while at least, what his consultants are telling him to do, which is to contradict or publicly tone down his longstanding positions which have been extremely unpopular and polarizing with a majority of voters.”

11 reasons Hillary Clinton isn’t crushing Donald Trump

The Toronto Star
By Daniel Dale
September 7, 2016

“Negative campaigns have acclimated many voters to charges of extremism,” Varoga said, “so that when a truly dangerous candidate is slouching toward the White House, the warnings can seem like just another wild accusation in the middle of an ‘anything goes’ campaign.”

New Group “Hard Hats for Hillary” Targets Rust Belt Vote

The Wall Street Journal
By Brody Mullins
September 2, 2016

“Brent Booker, the international secretary of the buildings-trades union, said the new effort has ‘a clear goal: Elect Hillary Clinton as president and pass a major infrastructure program in the first 100 days of her administration.’ The campaign is being overseen by Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic campaign strategist.”

Clinton attacked over possible new Benghazi emails

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
August 31, 2016

Democrats expect the attacks from Republicans to continue. “Trump and his sniffling, servile running dogs will say the same thing regardless of whatever may or may not be in any of Hillary Clinton’s emails,” said strategist Craig Varoga. “He blew his credibility a long time ago and whatever he says, which will be predictably negative and demagogic, will rile up his base and not change anybody’s mind.”

New Clinton Foundation donation policy

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
August 19, 2016

“Hillary Clinton should be commended for this decision,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga, “whereas in contrast Trump still refuses to release his taxes, has ducked and dodged about his business relations with Russia, and almost certainly would never really recuse himself from his companies, as long as his children were running his businesses in his so-called absence.” According to Varoga, Trump’s lack of transparency about his own finances and business dealings undercut any criticisms he hurls at Clinton.

Debating government disclosure of vulnerabilities

Politico
By Tim Starks
August 19, 2016

While cautioning that he’d like to see more information than simply [one news] story, Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said this is still a national security matter first, political matter second. “It shouldn't be surprising that the Russians have cast a wide net in the hacking operations, that's what intelligence operations do,” he said. “The real question is how they used and will use any information they've acquired, including falsifying or altering content. So far they've used hacked information only against Democrats as part of a larger effort to disrupt our elections and harm the Western alliance.”

Green Party, Stein embrace Assange

The Hill
By Ali Breland
August 19, 2016

One complicating factor in embracing Assange is the sexual assault charges against him. Two women allege that Assange sexually assaulted them during a trip he made to Stockholm in 2010. Those charges are still pending.

“I find it weird that [Stein] would characterize someone accused of sexual assault as a hero for anything,” Democratic political strategist Craig Varoga.

“Other than that, it is a naive comment, perhaps with good intentions, that would serve only to legitimize the Russian efforts to destabilize the West and undermine the American political process,” Varoga added.

Seven Questions with "The Campaign Doctor" Craig Varoga

The Campaign Workshop
By Joe Fuld
August 18, 2016

Craig Varoga provides public affairs assistance and campaign services to a select group of public, private and non-profit organizations. His firm offers clients strategic guidance in analyzing public opinion and developing strategies to achieve long-term goals. He answered seven questions on his experience with campaigns.

Democrats' new warning: Leaks could include Russian lies

Politico
By Cory Bennett
August 17, 2016

Several Democratic operatives said they even expect fake information, though mixed with enough truth to cause damage. “The most powerful lie contains truth,” said Craig Varoga, a D.C.-based Democratic strategist. “Whether it’s the devil or it's Russian intelligence services, they traffic in things that are true in order to put across a greater lie.”

Security experts want to see strong action if U.S. concludes Russia is meddling in election

Politico
By Eric Geller and Cory Bennett
August 5, 2016

Democrats like veteran political strategist Craig Varoga can easily see the worst-case scenario. “In all likelihood, Russia and Assange are already planning an October surprise to influence our election and otherwise destabilize the Western alliance,” he said in an interview.

Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nod with historic speech met with tears, pride

CBC News
By Meagan Fitzpatrick
July 29, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said it was an effective speech. "She hit the ball out of the ballpark," he said by phone."It did a very good job of connecting her values to her positions and then contrasting both her values and positions with Trump," he said. She took on Trump, but not with the pithy insults such as the ones he uses, said Varoga, and her speech as a whole was "a roadmap" for the next 100 or so days until the election in November.

Dem convention draws to close

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
July 28, 2016

Democratic consultant Craig Varoga agreed.“Monday was Bernie Sanders’ night and everyone appropriately credited him for his great organizing, his victories and the fact that he generated millions of new voters,” he said. “The rest of the week has gone a long way to uniting everyone in the party in defeating Trump this November.”

Democrats dismiss criticism over lack of terror talk at convention

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
July 27, 2016

“The Republicans making these charges are desperate to change the topic away from the distinct possibility that Russia and Vladimir Putin have set out to damage Hillary Clinton’s nomination and otherwise disrupt an American election in order to create instability in the western world,” Varoga said. “Instead of making things up, these Republicans should ask themselves why Trump is so hostile to NATO and so friendly to Putin."

Democrats Link Russia, Email Leaks ... and Trump

Voice of America
By William Gallo
July 26, 2016

“The burden of proof here is on Trump to explain why he and Manafort have so many close ties to people who are around Putin," said Craig Varoga, a longtime Democratic strategist. "The plot here is potentially wilder than ‘The Manchurian Candidate,’" he said, referring to a best-selling political thriller that came out in 1959 in the midst of the Cold War.

Warren to go on attack for Clinton

The Hill
By Naomi Jagoda and Sylvan Lane
July 24, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said Warren “expresses well thought-out plans in pithy sound bites.” Her authenticity and credibility on economic issues could help energize people who backed Sen.Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary and persuade undecided voters to vote for Clinton. “She’s uniquely suited to talk about economic solutions to the problems that both Trump and Sanders have identified and talked about so far,” such as bad trade deals and the struggles of the middle class, Varoga said.

Democrats’ Speaker List

The Washington Times
By Stephen Dinan and S.A. Miller
July 24, 2016

“In one breath, he [Trump] claims to be reaching out to LGBT voters, and in the next breath he’s in favor of appointing federal judges who would overrule the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage and he’s endorsing federal legislation that would allow discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans.” Varoga noted that the platform adopted at the Republican convention in Cleveland opposed same-sex marriage and gay adoption, and called it “the most discriminatory party platform in American history” in regard to gays. “One more important constituency to join Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, women and prisoners of war, to name only a few, to be attacked by Trump and then to have him claim falsely that he wants their votes in November,” said Mr. Varoga.

Trump is right about one thing

The Hill
July 22, 2016

"Like a stopped clock that is right twice a day, Donald Trump has managed despite himself to get one big thing right: The Republican Party has grown weak and feckless.
After months of being trashed by Trump, including attacks and threats during a closed-door meeting with House and Senate Republicans on Thursday ('Trump to Capitol for frank talk with anxious GOP,' July 6), it’s not surprising that the GOP’s doyens are not coming to Trump’s rescue."

Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric, white supremacist stumbles help foes

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
July 17, 2016

“Donald Trump’s candidacy this year is the logical extreme of those past campaigns, as is the systematic effort at the state level to restrict voting rights and make it harder to vote,” he said. “But Trump is in a class by himself and has been more racially divisive than any party nominee in living memory, which is why so many Republicans have disowned his campaign or done everything they can to avoid him.”

Is Potential Clinton VP Tom Vilsack the Best-Kept Secret in Politics?

NBC News
By Alex Seitz-Wald
July 16, 2016

"In terms of skeletons, there's nothing lurking on this guy," said Craig Varoga, who managed Vilsack's presidential campaign.

Ask the Campaign Doc: Stumping on Holidays?

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
July 8, 2016

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): “We are 100 percent against negative ads on Christmas Day, and believe that normal people do not want to open presents or celebrate dinner to the sounds of why John Doe is a deadbeat and is, therefore, unqualified to be local dog catcher. But we believe that a positive ad — a holiday greeting from my family to yours — is okay. Also, secular holidays are great occasions for positive campaigning. Start planning now for your Labor Day picnic or volunteering at a local food bank in October ahead of Thanksgiving.”

As Clinton cleared by FBI, Republicans call system 'rigged'

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
By Matt Kwong
July 5, 2016

As far as Trump's claims of a "rigged system" favouring establishment Democrats, Varoga files those under the same "wild accusations" Trump has made in pushing the Obama "birther" conspiracy as well as assertions that Texas Senator Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of former president John F. Kennedy.

Polls show tight Clinton-Trump race in 2016 battlegrounds

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley
June 28, 2016

“No Democrat with any common sense or real campaign experience is taking this race for granted,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “These states are battlegrounds for a reason -- they're always, without exception, closer in polls and results than the other 35 to 40 states.”

Trump’s Struggles Ease Democratic Worries

National Review
By Brendan Bordelon
June 24, 2016

“Despite Paul Manafort’s soothing bedside manner, Trump’s starting to look like Bruce Willis’s character in The Sixth Sense,” says Varoga. “Somebody who’s already dead, but doesn’t know it.”

Obama touts own accomplishments while backing Clinton

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
June 21, 2016

“It’s good for his legacy and it’s good for Hillary’s campaign. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “It clearly fits into a narrative that’s good for her, which is that the economy has improved, and it shouldn’t be given over to someone with reckless tendencies.”

Trump loses momentum just weeks after big GOP 'endorsements'

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
June 15, 2016

"If [top Trump aide] Paul Manafort had been telling the truth instead of spinning when he said that Trump's demagoguery during the primaries was only an act," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga, "Trump by now would have moderated his language and stopped acting like a frat boy on meth."

Democrats hope Social Security plans will win over voters

The Hill
By Naomi Jagoda
June 12, 2016

Social Security is another example “that Trump has been all over the place, that he’s unreliable,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

Hillary Clinton’s ‘historic’ campaign & millennials

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
June 8, 2016

Clinton supporters stressed that when she lost a brutal primary fight to Mr. Obama in 2008, she endorsed her former rival and rallied her troops behind him. “These things don’t happen overnight,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “But I’m 100 percent sure that in the final analysis, Sanders will do what is right for the country in terms of supporting her and opposing Trump. I think that many of his followers will find that quite persuasive.”

Sanders seizes momentum heading into California

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley
June 3, 2016

“Folks are forgetting that he is not really a Democrat in his heart of hearts, and that there is no reasonable scenario to expect that he would ever conform to party norms once the nomination is actually decided,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

Clinton tech aide's deposition keeps email troubles in spotlight

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
June 2, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga dismissed the latest news, though. He argued that the die is already cast for the 2016 election and these developments will not alter the choice voters have before them between Trump and Clinton. "That is an election where the choice is an erratic, unstable, demagogic narcissist versus one of the most qualified and most over-examined candidates ever to run for president," he said. "She has already said publicly that her use of a personal email server was a mistake, and pledged to improve how all government agencies handle this issue in the future," he said. "The con man behind Trump University, however, has no shame and will continue to rant about this and other non-issues for the next five months."

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman

FOX BUSINESS
May 25, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga and Republican strategist Adam Goodman weigh in on the presidential race and the U.S. economy.

Outrage from Sanders supporters may endanger Democratic unity

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
May 18, 2016

"Even though the nominating process has gone on longer than expected, Hillary Clinton continues to have strong favorability ratings among all Democrats," said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist, "a distinction that Donald Trump does not enjoy among Republicans. There is zero talk among Democrats of a third-party candidate, whereas mainstream Republicans would love for a less demagogic Republican to run as an independent," Varoga said.

Ask the Campaign Doc: "Trump Says Data is Overrated. Is He Right?"

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
May 17, 2016

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): "In May, after clearing a path to the GOP nomination, Trump declared his plan to blow off Obama-style analytics. Quote, 'I've always felt it was overrated. Obama got the votes much more so than his data processing machine. And I think the same is true with me.' This bluster was pure theatre - marketing his anti-politician brand. Have no doubt that all winning campaigns, big or small, will (and should) use data and other technology to target voters."

Is there still time for third party run for president?

FOX News
May 15, 2016

Craig Varoga and David Payne on whether “Never Trump” movement can morph into a general-election effort.

The new Donald Trump? Same as the old Donald Trump

Toronto Star
By Daniel Dale
May 10, 2016

“It’s sort of like expecting a voracious tiger to turn into a lapdog overnight. Not only is it not going to happen overnight, it ain’t going to happen ever,” Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said in an interview. “When voters are actually making up their mind about electing a president, they don’t want somebody with an anger control disorder in charge of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.”

Email Controversy (Cont.)

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
May 6, 2016

“It took years for the birther issue to go away, despite being a 100% loony tune conspiracy,” Varoga said, “and just this past week, Donald Trump falsely tried to tie Ted Cruz to the 1963 JFK assassination -- so who knows how long the email issue will remain a favored topic by Trump or his glassy-eyed apparatchiks.”

Despite polls, doubt remains about Bernie Sanders' electability

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
April 15, 2016

"If Bernie somehow won the nomination, the entire Republican attack machine would first do a happy dance and then go into overdrive," Varoga said. "Their paid communications would be brutal, unfair and demagogic beyond belief, and probably unprecedented in American electoral history," Varoga said, "but it would very quickly change his poll numbers in a way that the Clinton campaign has never once tried to do, and never will."

Superdelegates face tough choices if Sanders winning streak continues

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
April 5, 2016

"It's worth noting, obviously, that trashing superdelegates and the role they play in the nomination process is not a sensible strategy for then trying to woo them to support your insurgency," Varoga said.

Trump Sexism Expected to Be Major Issue in General Election

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
March 29, 2016

“It’s an economic extension of the many problems that Trump will have with women voters,” said Democratic campaign strategist Craig Varoga, who worked on President Clinton’s 1996 re-election team. He called equal pay a legitimate issue that he would expect Mrs. Clinton to raise to underscore questions about Mr. Trump’s attitude toward women in general. “He clearly has problems treating women respectfully, and it is something that we should talk about and it will be interesting to see the way he handles it,” said Mr. Varoga.

Bernie sweeps Saturday contests; Can he capitalize on this new momentum?

FOX News
March 27, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga on Republican nominating contest, and Bernie Sanders’ primary victories in Hawaii, Washington and Alaska.

Sanders fighting perceptions he can't overcome Clinton edge

Associated Press
By Ken Thomas
March 24, 2016

"He can't win, but he's also the Energizer bunny. He's not going to stop," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga, who is not affiliated with a presidential campaign. "He will keep on going even when it's mathematically impossible for him to win."

The battle for Wisconsin heats up

FOX Business
March 24, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga discusses the next primary battle for the 2016 presidential candidates.

Clinton puts crosshairs on offshore tax deals

The Hill
By Naomi Jagoda
March 9, 2016

Craig Varoga, another Democratic strategist not working for either campaign, said Clinton is able to talk about inversions in a way that the Vermont senator can’t because of her international expertise. Her focus on the topic also “sets her up nicely” to criticize Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for hiring non-Americans to work at some of his U.S. properties, he added. “I think this issue is perfect for her,” he said.

Clinton hopes to rally minority voters to her campaign, but Sanders puts up a fight

Washington Times
By Kelly Riddell
February 10, 2016

“I expect the Clinton campaign to make a very aggressive case, over the next several weeks, that her experience and tenacity will be used as president to fight on behalf of the values and policies that motivate the progressive base of the Democratic Party — namely, ending economic inequality, protecting voting rights and stopping Donald Trump or whoever ends up as the Republican nominee,” said Craig Varoga, campaign strategist and longtime Democratic Party political operative.

Final two Dems go head-to-head

The Hill
By Lisa Hagen
February 4, 2016

Appealing to independents, strategists say, will come down to Sanders’s case for a political revolution versus Clinton’s experience. “If I was advising the Sanders campaign, I would make the argument that politics is broken and if you want to fix the political system, come vote for Sanders,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “If I was advising Clinton, I would make the argument that politics is broken and we need somebody who can walk across party lines … equipped to be president on the first day in office.”

A new battle brewing between Trump, Cruz?

FOX Business
February 3, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga on Donald Trump’s latest tweets, John Kasich and Bernie Sanders.

President Trump? President Sanders? Iowa gets first say

Toronto Star
By Daniel Dale
January 30, 2016

“Everybody in America, left, right and centre, is dissatisfied with the deadlock in American politics,” says Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic strategist. “The Republicans are expressing that dissatisfaction as anger and demagoguery and hate. And Democrats are expressing the dissatisfaction with that deadlock in far more ideological terms, with Bernie Sanders advocating for a much more liberal, left-leaning agenda than maybe anybody in America has done since like 1948.”

Clinton, liberals pile on Sanders over ‘establishment’ remarks

The Hill
By Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley
January 22, 2016

Sanders might have crossed a bridge too far in arguing that Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign had backed Clinton because they are all “part of the establishment.” Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said it “was a mistake” for Sanders. “It will be used against him as I am sure his consultants are well aware,” Varoga said. “I expect to see his campaign try to soften those remarks and walk them back in the next couple of days.”

Which candidate has the best chance to win Iowa?

FOX Business
January 18, 2016

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga discusses the battle for Iowa between the 2016 presidential candidates.

Race tightens between Sanders, Clinton

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes
January 11, 2016

Democrats are nonetheless impressed by how competitive Sanders has been in taking on a candidate who began the cycle as the presumptive nominee. Even if Sanders’s success only endures through early February, they say, he has made a lasting impression on the race. “Hillary Clinton still remains a prohibitive favorite for the nomination, although it sure looks like some Democratic activists in the early states want to send a message that they want the party to move to the left,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

Email questions follow Clinton into 2016 as document release falls behind schedule

KUTV.com
By Stephen Loiacani
December 31, 2015

Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist, pointed to three developments that he believes have deflated the email issue as a political problem in the....

Has Trump alienated too many people to win general election?

FOX Business
December 22, 2015

The Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes and Democratic Strategist Craig Varoga on the 2016 presidential race.

Dem rivalry takes nasty turn

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley
December 19, 2015

“For voters, it’s a process issue that’s difficult to explain and that probably won’t change many minds in either direction,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

“It is worth noting that this is what passes for an intra-party blow-up in the Democratic party, as opposed to the Republican Party’s complete dysfunction, death spiral and total inability to deal with Donald Trump’s pro-Fascist campaign.”

Sanders rips Trump, but Dems say problems run deeper

The Hill
By Jonathan Easley
December 14, 2015

Last week, the Sanders campaign instructed reporters not to ask about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or terrorism at a press conference because the campaign wanted to focus on his meeting with community leaders in the neighborhood where the death of Freddie Bray sparked widespread protests. “If he wants more news coverage, his press secretary probably shouldn’t try to stop reporters from asking questions about ISIS, which is the number-one news story in the world,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

Terror attacks test mettle of 2016’s presidential hopefuls

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
December 6, 2015

For Republican candidates, said Mr. Varoga, the reluctance of most to confront Mr. Trump’s bombast and insults has projected an image of weakness. “They are flunking the test that Michael Dukakis flunked in 1988, which is if you can’t defend yourself, how are you going to defend the rest of the country?” he said. “Because they have responded inadequately to the Trump campaign — you know, if you can’t handle Donald Trump, how are you going to handle ISIS?”

Politics In Focus Ahead Of Clinton Testimony, But Benghazi Questions Remain

WTVC News Channel 9
October 22, 2015

Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist, argued that the committee's work is already tainted too badly by partisanship to be of much value. "If the House Republicans had any brains, and I'm not holding my breath," he said, "they would hold the hearing tomorrow and then shut the committee down, since their own investigators and congressional leaders have said it is targeting Clinton to make her go down in the polls."

Dems step up to debate Tuesday

San Antonio Express News
By Bill Lambrecht, Washington Bureau
October 12, 2015

Hearst: Biden may be nearing a decision on a move that would dramatically alter the dynamic of the Democratic contest if he, at 72, were to become a candidate. Whether he’s serious — he turned down a CNN offer to take part in the debate — what plays out on the Las Vegas stage could have a bearing on his decision. “For all five of them up there, there’s an audience of one,” said Craig Varoga, a Washington-based Democratic strategist, referring to Biden.

Email Scandal May Cast Pall Over Democrats’ Debate

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
October 12, 2015

“President Obama talked about Clinton’s emails over the weekend, so all of the candidates, including Hillary, need to be prepared to talk about it,” said Craig Varoga, a Democratic campaign strategist who previously worked on President Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection team and on Mr. O’Malley’s gubernatorial reelection run. But he warned that using the email scandal against Mrs. Clinton would be risky. “If one of her Democratic rivals raises it, however, they better be very sure that they do not live in glass houses and don’t have any similar vulnerabilities on either ethics or national security,” said Mr. Varoga. “If they do, the Clinton campaign already knows.”

Debt Ceiling Disaster Looming

Fox Business News
Closing Bell with Liz Klaman
October 12, 2015

"Shutting down the government and acting like that's a normal course of business is foolish and it's bad for business," said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist. "The more the government is dysfunctional and the more we play these games of brinkmanship the more we're going to endanger the economy."

For Martin O’Malley, First Democratic Debate Means Time To Put Up Or Shut Up

The Washington Post
By John Wagner
October 11, 2015

“If all three of them give a credible performance, it’s not going to propel O’Malley forward,” said Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic strategist who advised O’Malley during his 2010 reelection campaign for governor but is no longer working for him. Varoga said he is skeptical that the debate will prove a game-changer for O’Malley, in part because the overarching narrative of the Democratic contest has already been set as a contest between Clinton, the wobbling front-runner, and Sanders, the insurgent challenger. What would be more likely to change that dynamic would be a late entry into the race by Vice President Biden, Varoga said.

Here’s How Underdog Martin O’Malley Plans to Win the Democratic Debate

Time Magazine
By Sam Frizell
October 10, 2015

Craig Varoga, a former advisor to O’Malley who worked on his 2010 gubernatorial campaign said one important goal will be drawing a marked distinction with the other Democrats, whom he has plenty in common with. “The challenge for him in this context is it’s been a very long time since he has been on stage with Democrats,” Varoga said. “I think for a challenger, which O’Malley is, you need a sharp issue distinction, rather than an issue distinction of degrees.”

Hillary Clinton Vows Executive Action on Gun Control If Elected President

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller and Kelly Riddell
October 5, 2015

Democratic campaign strategist Craig Varoga said the gun issue will help Mrs. Clinton more than it will hurt Mr. Sanders. “Clinton’s position will help her with primary voters and allows her to differentiate herself with President Obama, Bernie Sanders and every single Republican, but it may not hurt Sanders a lot if he uses other issues to outflank her,” he said. “Howard Dean had a similar Vermont-friendly record in 2004, and there was a decent amount of behind-the-scenes chatter about it, but that’s not why he lost both Iowa and the nomination.”

Hillary Raises Huma Abedin’s Profile Within Campaign As Controversies Swirl

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
October 1, 2015

“Here’s a little secret: The more some people get attacked and trashed, the more effective they are at raising money,” said Craig Varoga, a campaign adviser to top Democrats. “The best defense is always an offense, and it’s also a good fundraising tactic.”

How GOP candidates are targeting Trump

Fox Business News
The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan
September 16, 2015

"This is so bad right now that I actually feel sorry for all the other candidates," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. "Trump is a narcissist, he's taken over the dialogue here, and everyone else is attempting to respond."

Sanders tops Clinton in Iowa poll amid doubts about her campaign strategy

WJLA TV
By Stephen Loicani
September 10, 2015

"This has to feel like Groundhog Day for Hillary Clinton and the people who have been the most loyal and with her the longest time," said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist. "An opponent, almost out of nowhere, is again surging against her."

New Emails, New Poll May Signal Trouble For Clinton Campaign

WJLA TV
By Stephen Loicani
August 31, 2015

"The Republicans have done zero to document any kind of harm to national security which, normally, would be enough for the issue to wither and go away," said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist. "But for whatever reason, Hillary's campaign has not succeeded in in flushing this story and, fair or unfair, the story is slowly but steadily beginning to be seen by some voters as a character issue."

Varoga suggested that Clinton needs to get "third-party validators" to argue her case in the media, such as former prosecutors or national security experts who will say she did nothing wrong.

"Having politicians or campaign strategists make these points will not satisfy voters who are skeptical of anything that has even the whiff of politics to it," he said.

Are GOP Candidates Trying To Out-Trump Trump?

KEYETV.com
August 25, 2015

"I think that Trump's making them all look pretty weak," Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said, although he cautioned, "they're making a mistake by trying to replicate his rhetoric and be Trump-like."

Presidential Candidates Weigh In On China, US Economy

FOX Business News
August 24, 2015

"I don't think that the America people want to listen to a candidate who has foreign investments and has done business in China lecturing us about China," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

Hillary Clinton Courts Blacks, Slams GOP Over Civil Rights On Al Sharpton's Radio Show

The Washington Times
By S.A. Miller
August 6, 2015

“I expect her to remain strong with minority voters during the primaries, as none of her current opponents has shown much ability to cut into that support,” said longtime Democratic political operative Craig Varoga. “But turnout for her and other Democrats will be more of a challenge, in the primaries and general election, than it was for President Obama in any of his elections.”

Is Hillary Sliding In The Polls?

Fox Business News
July 29, 2015

"She's not falling in the polls, she still leads all the Republican candidates and she still leads Bernie Sanders," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

How Will Clinton Email Scandal Impact Race for White House?

Foxnews.com
July 26, 2015

"Her campaign is doing a pretty good job of handling it," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. "One, they have released it, two, a lot of these things wouldn't be discussed if she hadn't released it and three, they are trying to talk about other things."

Is Hillary Clinton 'Likable Enough'?

By Danielle Kurtzleben
NPR
July 23, 2015

Varoga adds that there is one other important thing to remember when looking at any poll about how voters feel about 2016 candidates.
"This is in many ways a completely lousy time to run for president," he said.

Ask the Campaign Doc: Reeling in Rogue Staffers

By Craig Varoga
Campaigns and Elections
July 6, 2015

Q: We have a rogue staffer who pushes the envelope. How do we channel this energy in a positive way?

A: I do not like rogue staff in a box, with a fox, in a house, here or anywhere. Bozo exhibit: a staffer from New England who sent a hoax email claiming the opposition candidate had dropped out of the election. Can you say felony charges, $7,000 bail and, if found guilty, up to seven years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines?

Write it down: All campaigns should have an official code of conduct that all staffers and consultants are required to sign; all staffers should receive mandatory instruction in obeying the law; and all members of the campaign team should operate by the standard that rogue behavior is not charming, it is dangerous.

Sanders emerges as top Clinton challenger as liberal agenda resonates

By S.A. Miller
The Washington Times
June 28, 2015

“Sanders certainly seems to be consolidating the non-Hillary vote,” said Craig Varoga, a Democratic campaign strategist who previously worked on the 1996 re-election campaign of Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“Sanders has a Yoda thing going on, and his dishevelment makes him appear authentic, whether you agree or disagree with what he actually believes,” he said.

Martin O’Malley hammers Hillary Clinton in bid to sway liberals, Hispanics, young

By S.A. Miller
The Washington Times
June 1, 2015

Democratic campaign strategist Craig Varoga, who previously worked on Mr. Clinton’s 1996 re-election team and on Mr. O'Malley’s gubernatorial run, said that attracting young voters would help, but that what Mr. O’Mally really needed was luck.

“He has to run a perfect campaign, raise a lot of money, get around Bernie Sanders and then get very, very lucky before he becomes a direct challenge to the Clinton campaign,” he said. “That’s true of all voters, not just specific groups of likely primary voters.”

Bernie Sanders surges in Iowa

MSNBC.com
June 1, 2015

Democratic challengers Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley chip away at Hillary Clinton's lead in Iowa. Ed Schultz, Harry Smith of NBC News, Craig Varoga and Mercedes Schlapp weigh in on the widening field of candidates.

Martin O’Malley Looks to Future But Can’t Escape the Past

By Sam Frizell
Time Magazine
May 30, 2015

On paper, O’Malley is a candidate ready-made for Democratic caucus-goers. But in a year dominated by Hillary Clinton, he is struggling to establish clean policy distinctions with her on make-or-break issues. “He’ll have to find something where he and Clinton have a different position,” said Craig Varoga, a top consultant on O’Malley’s 2010 reelection campaign for governor. “In order to win he’d have to be a perfect candidate, and then get very lucky.”

Will Baltimore’s troubles handicap O’Malley’s White House hopes?

By David Lightman
McClatchy Washington Bureau
The News Tribune
May 29, 2015

An opponent could have an easy time ripping into O’Malley on this issue. “This is a ready-made TV ad,” said Craig Varoga, chief strategist for O’Malley’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, now a Democratic consultant not aligned with a presidential candidate.

Ask The Campaign Doc: Targeting Staffers On Social Media?

By Craig Varoga
April 27, 2015

Q: What about staff as targets of political attacks? I’m starting to think we need to be aware of the possibility, and may need to preemptively hit the other side.

A: Attacks against associates have been part of the game since, well, forever (e.g., Caesar’s associates were always subject to suspicion and assault). But as The Wall Street Journal recently noted, staffers have new vulnerabilities—“personal brands” and “provocative” online voices that can embarrass a candidate. It’s why research firms are now marketing their ability to screen the social media accounts of new campaign personnel. Get used to it and get prepared—or suffer the consequences.

Hillary Clinton’s White House bid fires up Republicans as liberals shrug

By S.A. Miller
The Washington Times
Ap