In The News

Trump campaign aims to raise $1 billion as Dems battle for liberal dollars

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
April 17, 2019

“The lesson of the first-quarter totals is that, yes, Democrats should not underestimate Trump’s ability to raise wads of money and energize his base and, just as clearly, Trump should not underestimate the ability of Democrats to be competitive and energize their base every single day between now and the November 2020 election,” Varoga said.

Sanders conecta con los jóvenes

El País (Spain)
By Amanda Mars
March 9, 2019

“Muchos votantes estadounidenses, pero los jóvenes especialmente, están descontentos con la política en el país y quieren un candidato que les parezca auténtico”, reflexiona Craig Varoga, estratega demócrata. “Bernie Sanders, lo ames o lo odies, es auténtico, no esconde en lo que ha creído a lo largo de toda su vida adulta. Además, muchas de sus ideas, como la sanidad garantizada o ayudar a los jóvenes a pagar su formación, tienen el apoyo de muchos demócratas, independientemente de la etiqueta política que se le quiera dar a esas posturas.”

Gillibrand struggles to get N.Y. delegation on board for 2020

By Elena Schneider & Laura Barrón-López
March 7, 2019

“Just by virtue of how large and diverse the New York and California delegations are and how complicated their internal politics can be, it will be harder for any presidential candidate to lock them down,” said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist who’s worked on presidential campaigns. “It's a credit to Booker that he could get New Jersey, but it’s still easier to get New Jersey than California or New York — those just aren’t as realistic.”

Dem long shots crash 2020 debate stage

By Elena Schneider
March 6, 2019

Allowing long-shot candidates to debate “has the potential to diminish everyone on stage,” said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist, “but on the other hand, it’s a temporary phenomenon that’ll be dealt with by the brutal economics of running for president.”

Egy hét alatt egymillió önkéntest és tízmillió dollárt gyűjtött be Bernie Sanders kampánya

Mérce (Hungary)
By Weiler Vilmos
February 27, 2019

A független demokrata stratéga, Craig Varoga a megdöbbentően jó eredményről azt mondta: „Úgy gondolom, hogy a Sanders által összegyűjtött hatalmas összeg sokakat elrettenthet attól, hogy egyáltalán elinduljanak az elnökjelöltségért”

Governors eyeing White House may struggle to raise money

Associated Press
By Brian Slodysko
February 26, 2019

"The traditional argument for electing a Democratic governor is they have proven records and appeal to independent voters. Those are all valid points," said Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic strategist who has worked for several governors who ran for president, including former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. "But you have to have enough money just to be able to show up in Iowa and New Hampshire. And traditional fundraising is going to be exceptionally difficult."

Bernie Sanders Raises $10 Million in Less Than a Week

New York Times
By Shane Goldmacher
February 25, 2019

“I think the fact that he has raised so much, so fast, so early should be concerning for anyone else who wants to pick up the liberal flag in this nominating contest,” said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist who is unaligned in the race.

Joe Biden is highly popular but his third presidential candidacy would face big hurdles

Toronto Star
By Daniel Dale
February 4, 2019

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said such a message could easily win a general election but “will be challenging in the primaries when Democrats see the Republican Party as completely deranged after four years of Donald Trump.”

“Kudos to Biden for playing the long game and keeping his eyes on the general election, but that’s a steep hill among primary voters,” he said.

Trump addresses US for first time from Oval Office

CBC News
By Matt Kwong
January 9, 2019

Democrat strategist Craig Varoga says the president tried to "scare" the public with his speech while Republican strategist Ryan Williams says the President is "feeling pressure" to deliver on a campaign promise.

Biden's strengths and weaknesses have grown since 2016, experts say

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
January 7, 2019

"Joe Biden is uniquely qualified, but the race is also wide open," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. "Democrats should nominate someone who offers a positive vision, in addition to being strong enough to stand up to Trump, without becoming whiny or stooping to Trump’s level."

Trump presidency & US politics are about to change dramatically now that Democrats have the House

National Post
By Tom Blackwell
January 3, 2019

Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic strategist, said his party is planning to pursue goals American voters recently demanded, like improving health care. But he said Trump’s impulsiveness, crises of various sorts and outside investigations of the president will combine to make for an unpredictable two years. “Needless to say, the world is watching and history will begin judging all of the people involved,” Varoga added.

Craig Varoga on US Politics 2019: “We’re going through a very difficult time in the United States”

The National
Canadian Broadcast Corporation
January 2, 2019

Clintons aren’t going away yet, as upcoming speaking tour shows

Boston Globe
By Annie Linskey and Jess Bidgood
October 11, 2018

“Trump will rub his fingers raw tweeting about the Clintons and will use their tour as yet another distraction for whatever firings he undertakes after the midterms,” predicted Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist. “But only a very cold heart would begrudge a former president and secretary of state the opportunity to be heard.”

Ask the Campaign Doc: What Can I Do About My Unsupportive Family?

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
October 2, 2018

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): Q: My family isn't supportive of my campaign and has been publicly critical. Should I address their criticism directly or try to ignore them? A: We’re going to channel Tolstoy for a moment: "All happy families are alike.” (That would have gotten you off the hook.) “Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." You need to customize your response based on the vehemence of your family’s criticism. If a bunch of your relatives go on the record saying you’re a moral reprobate or lend their voices to your opponent’s paid advertising, you won’t have any choice and must deal directly with their accusations.

Republican candidates are competing to sound the Trumpiest

Toronto Star
By Daniel Dale
September 2, 2018

“I think they’re in a ‘damned if they do, dammed if they don’t’ situation,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “If they don’t pivot, they’re completely out of tune with the electorate. If they do pivot, they’re just proving that they’re a typical politician, probably alienating the Trump base. And they run the risk of having his Twitter account turned on them in a negative way.”

Trump continues to threaten shutdown despite pushback from GOP leaders

Circa News
By Stephen Loiaconi
July 31, 2018

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga dismissed the president’s rhetoric as an attempt to change the subject from a fairly steady stream of negative headlines. “Trump is just trying to distract attention from the many ongoing investigations, everyone else be damned, including the Republicans in Congress who have failed to exercise their constitutional duty of checks and balances,” he said. “The only certainty is that his tweets, threats and tantrums will get more frequent as we all get closer to Election Day.”

Ask The Campaign Doc: Talking About the Economy in 2018

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
July 2, 2018

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): Q: I’m a first-time Democratic candidate, and I hear a lot of frustration on the campaign trail. How should I be talking about President Trump? Also, in the same vein, how should I be talking about the economy? A: What didn’t work in 2016: Sixteen inept, weak, waffling, complacent, enabling and now mostly forgotten primary opponents who didn’t deal with the 800, now 8,000-pound gorilla in the room. Ditto (read between the lines) for the fall of that year.

Republican social media bias hearing overshadowed by disputes over 'Diamond and Silk'

The Hill
By Ali Breland
April 26, 2018

“This must be what it was like a hundred years ago watching politicians who came up in the 19th Century try to come to terms with radio — the technology exceeds their communication skills,” said Craig Varoga, a Democratic political strategist. “Combine that with knee-jerk grandstanding, witnesses who can’t keep their own facts straight, and a political culture of excessive accusation, and it’s not surprising that today’s hearing blew up the way that it did,” he said.

Ask The Campaign Doc: Is 2018 Going to be a Wave Election?

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
March 19, 2018

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): Q: Is 2018 going to be a wave election? A: Yes, but even wave elections have riptides and cross-currents. In a political environment in which chaos is a strategy and government dysfunction is a pre-existing condition, some “done deal” candidates are going to lose and some jokes with awful campaigns are going to win. Take nothing for granted, no matter who or where you are.

Flood of legislative candidates points to enthusiasm in both parties

The Hill
By Reid Wilson
March 6, 2018

“Democrats took lessons from Virginia, where the party dramatically increased the number of seats they hold in the state House of Delegates in 2017. ‘You gotta play to win the game — period, point, exclamation point,’ said Craig Varoga, who headed the party’s House of Delegates campaigns. ‘If you don’t show up, you lose.’”

Dem Super PAC spends big on Pennsylvania special election

By Alex Roarty
February 27, 2018

“Conor Lamb is a Marine and former prosecutor, with a proven record of putting drug dealers behind bars, who will work to create good paying jobs, make healthcare more affordable, and protect Medicare and Social Security,” said Craig Varoga, president of Patriot Majority PAC and a Pittsburgh native.

Super PAC launches $250K ad buy to boost Dem in heated Pa. race

The Hill
By Ben Kamisar
February 27, 2018

"Rick Saccone has allowed lobbyists to pay for lavish meals for himself and billed Pennsylvania taxpayers $435,172 in questionable expenses, all on top of an $87,180 annual salary. Case closed," [Craig Varoga] said.

Internal division, lack of leadership could dash hopes for Democratic wave in 2018

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
February 27, 2018

Whatever internal and external hurdles Democrats encounter between now and November, Democratic strategist Craig Varoga is confident they will come together when it counts. ‘The things that unite us are greater than the differences of opinion that will be legitimately aired during primary season,’ Varoga said. ‘Democrats are united now and will be united in November. End of story.’”

Schapiro: Toscano and his muscular minority

Richmond Times-Dispatch
By Jeff E. Schapiro
February 20, 2018

“[Democratic Leader David] Toscano and others said that a memo prepared for the caucus in the run-up to the election by general consultant Craig Varoga said Democrats could win up to 17 seats, taking the House altogether, if turnout surged 5 percentage points or more from 43 percent in 2013. Turnout rose 4.6 percent, yielding a 15-seat gain.”

Ask The Campaign Doc: Is YouTube Pre-roll a risk?

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
January 25, 2018

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): Q: I have a question regarding whether campaigns should give a second thought to placing pre-roll ads on YouTube. My question involves the controversy of ads being placed ahead of objectionable content. Should we stop buying on YouTube, or keep doing what we’ve been doing? A: Make no mistake about it: Objectionable content on sites where you advertise is a brand risk with the potential of significant political fallout. But most consultants advise vigilance rather than a complete retreat, essentially arguing that YouTube is too big to ignore.

Democrats and Republicans declare victory, assign blame after shutdown deal

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
January 22, 2018

According to Democratic strategist Craig Varoga, neither side comes out of this fight looking good since none of the underlying issues that led Congress to this cliff have been rectified. “Nobody in either party should be doing a happy dance,” he said. “This is not the end of the story, and it is way too early to assign winners and losers, since the havoc and disorder in Washington will continue for months, if not years.”

Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response

The Hill
By Reid Wilson and Amie Parnes
January 12, 2018

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) stand out. Northam won his race in November by a surprisingly large margin, while Jones became the first Democrat in a generation to win a Senate seat in Alabama. Some suggested the two newcomers give the Democratic response side by side.

"Together, they'd send a message that Democrats win by offering a positive, policy-driven message, preferably one that emphasizes jobs and fairness — and that, in this current environment, can work in a lot of unexpected places," said Craig Varoga, a Democratic strategist who oversaw the party's House of Delegates races in Virginia last year.

Twitter looks for better year in DC after bruising 2017

The Hill
By Ali Breland
January 7, 2018

“Responsible companies realize that the credibility of their product relies on self-regulation of their products and self-policing,” said political strategist Craig Varoga.

Republicans predict voters will like tax bill once they see benefits

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
December 22, 2017

“The Republican politicians in Congress know this bill is historically unpopular, but they passed it to make their donors and super PACs fat and happy going into the 2018 elections,” Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said. “They’re using the tax code to fund their negative ads. Smart Democratic campaigns should hammer that point home every day of the election next year.”

Al Franken resigns: what does it mean for the Democrats?

Canadian Broadcast Corporation
December 7, 2017

“Today Democratic Senator Al Franken announced he would resign in the coming weeks following mounting accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct. For more on the political fallout, CBC's Andrew Nichols spoke with Craig Varoga, a national Democratic strategist.”

Trump predicts GOP will soon produce 'perfecto' tax bill compromise

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
December 5, 2017

"I’ll bet anyone, donuts to dollars, that Republicans think this tax bill is both bad policy and deeply unpopular, and are voting for it for the cynical purpose of getting the high-dollar beneficiaries of this bill to fund Republican super PACs, campaign committees and individual candidates," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

Ask The Campaign Doc: Trusting Artificial Intelligence?

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
November 15, 2017

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): Q: With all the technology changes happening, how much, if any, of my campaign should I automate or outsource to AI? A: Varoga’s Rule: Half of all predictions are accurate, we just don’t know which half. But, in the spirit of political hacks immemorial, let’s go for it. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already a factor in politics, from Google alerts to analytics-driven media buys, which is why the Centre for Public Impact (among others) is studying this buzzy future “in which everything from voter intelligence to voter targeting and conversational engagement can be automated.”

As Trump escalates feud with Corker, Bannon targets rest of Senate GOP

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
October 10, 2017

“The only way Republicans can win is if Democrats fall into their own political civil war, which is possible but not certain,” he said. “With Trump continuing to attack D.C. Republicans, the likelihood of anything happening in Congress is somewhere between remote and zero.” The dust-up with Corker comes as former White House Strategist Steve Bannon gears up for what Varoga described as “a self-destructive civil war” with the Republican establishment on Trump’s behalf for control of the Senate.

After another ACA repeal attempt fails, the GOP faces tough choices

Modern Healthcare
By Virgil Dickson
September 30, 2017

"Their base wants (the ACA) to be repealed, consequences be damned," said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. "This self-destructive behavior will only be exacerbated by Roy Moore's win in Alabama, which will provoke panic among mainstream Republicans who might face right-wing challengers in primaries next year."

Poll Finds Democratic Race For Governor "Wide Open"

WBAL NewsRadio 1090
By Robert Lang
September 26, 2017

In response, Jim Shea for Maryland chief strategist Craig Varoga issued the following statement: “Jim Shea is tailor-made for a wide-open race like this, having guided the University System of Maryland to excellence and held down tuition as Chair of the Board of Regents, while successfully building the state's largest law firm that employs thousands of people. Bring it on.”

Donald Trump is burying America in an avalanche of news (and it’s all important)

Toronto Star
By Daniel Dale
September 26, 2017

“Trump is a permanent political eclipse that blacks out good news, bad news and everything in between,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. Varoga said Democrats should try to turn Trump’s chaos against Republican candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, making a “patriotic appeal to all voters, of all political persuasions, to restore calm and stability as a prerequisite to growing the economy, creating jobs and avoiding war.”

Trump cozying up to Democrats over DACA

CBC News Network
September 14, 2017

One week after the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the U.S. president and top Democrats say they are are making headway with reaching a deal to protect 800-thousand undocumented American immigrants from deportation. National Democratic Strategist Craig Varoga, and Republican Strategist Kevin Eckery, shared their views on the issue with CBC News Network's Andrew Nichols.

O’Malley and Ex-Advisers Split on Maryland Governor's Race

Maryland Matters
By Josh Kurtz
September 10, 2017

Several of O’Malley’s ex-advisers travel in the same circles as Jim Shea and talk to him regularly. Craig Varoga, chief strategist of O’Malley’s 2010 re-election campaign and lead strategist in the 2012 push for the referendum to expand gambling in Maryland, is a top architect of Shea’s [gubernatorial] campaign. Varoga has worked for campaigns across the country, including President Clinton’s re-election in 1996.

Gorka applauds Trump for putting 'a massive hole in the hull' of GOP leaders

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
September 8, 2017

According to Democratic strategist Craig Varoga, Democrats will not make the mistake Republicans have of convincing themselves Trump will suddenly become a normal, reliable politician. “If the country is lucky, there might be two or three examples in the next several years of Trump and Congress agreeing enough, even if accidentally, to do what’s right for the American people,” he said. “But I wouldn’t advise that anybody, regardless of party or profession, hold their breath waiting for that to happen.”

Trump Train Back on Track?

FOX Business
Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman
August 21, 2017

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga and Great America Alliance co-chairman and Republican strategist Eric Beach discuss Afghanistan, health care and White House staff turnover.

Country's Infrastructure in Need of Improvements

Fox 5 News Morning (WTTG TV)
August 13, 2017

Craig Varoga and Fox 5 News Morning political reporter Ronica Cleary discuss ReBuild USA's efforts to address America's infrastructure crisis.

Ask the Campaign Doc: Is Anything Possible Now?

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
August 3, 2017

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): Q: With the election of President Trump, is anything possible in American politics? A: Here’s how crazy the possible now is: We were about to submit this column with a reference to Anthony Scaramucci – remember him? But Trump’s potty-mouth communications director lost his job before he had even gone on the White House payroll. It makes 2016 seem like the dawn of pre-history: 16 primary candidates humiliated by and losing, one by one, to a reality-TV star. And then there’s the crazy speculation about 2018, including – this is our flavor of the month – Kid Rock, “known for writing songs about prostitutes and using copious amounts of drugs” who may or may not be running for Senate in Michigan.

Trump proposes new immigration reform policy

FOX Business
Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman
August 2, 2017

Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce, Democratic strategist Craig Varoga and Fox News strategic analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters weigh in on the White House immigration reform policy.

Kelly in, Scaramucci out as Trump denies reports of 'WH chaos'

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
July 31, 2017

“Robert E. Lee was arguably the most competent general and best strategist during the Civil War, but he joined a lost cause and failed in his mission,” Democratic strategist Craig Varoga said. “General Kelly, for whatever reason, has signed up for his own lost cause, and there’s no way that he will ever succeed in changing the character or impulsive behaviors of the 71-year-old who currently inhabits the White House.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
July 3, 2017

“The only folks on the planet who have never once been attacked, ridiculed, mocked or disavowed by Trump are Ivanka and Vladimir Putin,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “Live by the sword, die by the sword. He has no real allies, only Republican politicians afraid to say in public what they whisper to each other in private.”

Ask the Campaign Doc: What aspects of campaign chum – t-shirts, lawn signs, mugs – should you open up for a design contest?

Campaigns & Elections Magazine
June 12, 2017

Craig Varoga (C&E's "Campaign Doctor"): “We love this idea and think it’s a great way to jazz volunteers and supporters. You could extend it to party invitations, posters, bumper stickers, lapel stickers, hats, you name it. We have only four caveats: make sure you have enough supporters to generate a significant response (a statewide or mayor’s race might have a population big enough to reach critical mass, whereas a state rep race may not). Two: dedicate sufficient staff time to process the contest entries. Three: process all material goes through the proper legal and expenditure approvals, and four: be prepared to keep so-called losers invested in your campaign by engaging them in other ways (honorable mentions, responsibilities, candidate time) so that they remain enthusiastic supporters. But yes, go for it and have a great time."

Are there tapes of Trump and Comey’s conversations?

FOX Business
Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman
June 9, 2017

Democratic strategist Craig Varoga and GOP strategist Adam Goodman on President Trump’s reaction to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday.

Trump lashes out at Democrats, congressional rules as health care fight continues

Sinclair Broadcast Group
By Stephen Loiaconi
May 2, 2017

“Tax reform is dead on arrival unless Trump releases his taxes, which ain't ever going to happen, for whatever reason, so take that off the table,” said Democratic strategist Craig Varoga. “And the Republicans can't corral themselves on repealing Obamacare, so that's also dead.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 impr