Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, the fiery Democratic strategist, has found his latest crusade: he's a senior strategist for Wayne Powell, the Democratic challenger for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). On Thursday's The Rachel Maddow Show, Mudcat had some choice words for the Virginia Republican: he called him a "bought and paid for crook."
"Of course he's vulnerable," Saunders said of Cantor when asked if Powell could really topple a key GOP leader with a massive war chest and a national profile. "He's a bought and paid for crook. ... We're in the midst of a coin-operated government and he's the leader."
As proof of that rather incendiary charge, Saunders pointed reports that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson had promised millions of dollars to a group linked with Cantor. Adelson has also pumped tens of millions of dollars into the presidential election.
Saunders' candidate is a retired military intelligence officer, and the strategist promised that Powell's campaign would focus on "social justice for all people, that includes gays and women. And we're going to shout that from the rooftops."
"We don't want to just beat [Cantor], we want to ruin him," Saunders said. "He shorted U.S. Treasury bonds. He bet against the United States of America while he was majority leader for his own financial portfolio.. .. Cantor was taking bets against his team."
Saunders was referring to a 2011 Salon report charging that Cantor was personally invested in a fund that “aggressively ‘shorts’ long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, meaning that it performs well when U.S. debt is undesirable.”