Entries in Debbie Wasserman Schultz (7)


Obama Taps Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Remain DNC Chair

Vallery Jean/FilmMagic(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has tapped Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida to remain at the helm of the Democratic National Committee as the party looks toward the 2014 midterm election and an opportunity to solidify electoral gains.

“I’ve asked Debbie Wasserman Schultz to continue her excellent work as chair of the DNC,” Obama said on Twitter. “Thanks for all you do, Debbie.”  He signed the tweet “-bo,” signifying that he personally penned the message from his campaign’s @BarackObama account.

Schultz tweeted in reply, “Thank you, Mr. President. I am honored to serve. #Forward.”

Democrats will formally select their party leadership for the next cycle at their annual meeting in Washington on Jan. 22, the day after Obama’s inauguration. By tradition, members will affirm the president’s pick to lead the DNC.

While her effectiveness was reportedly questioned in some Democratic circles during the 2012 campaign, Schultz has been praised since Nov. 6 for helping to add Democratic seats in the House and Senate and keeping her home state of Florida blue for Obama.

Schultz has also been a shrewd fundraiser for Obama and Democrats and an outspoken advocate on the president’s behalf, particularly on women’s issues and in the Jewish community.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Platform Change a ‘Technical Correction,’ Says Debbie Wasserman Schultz 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told Jonathan Karl on the ABC News/Yahoo News DNC Live Show that “there was no fight at all” over the addition of “God” and “Jerusalem” to the 2012 platform.

“Essentially, it was a technical correction,” she said. “President Obama wanted to make sure, I mean we already had, 100 percent, strong pro-Israel platform that we were all really proud to support."

“But President Obama, because he personally believes that Jerusalem is, and always should be, the capital of Israel, he wanted to make sure the platform reflected his personal views and also reflect the language that was in the 2008 platform,” she added.

The platform change was met by boos from delegates on the convention floor Wednesday.


In addition, although ABC News reported that Gabrielle Giffords' spokeswoman Hayley Zachary said the former congresswoman was in Charlotte, N.C., Rep. Schultz, a close friend of Giffords, said Giffords would be watching from her home state.

“Gabby is home in Tucson, she is enjoying being back in Arizona, and I’m so proud of the progress that she has made,” Shultz said. “She’s not here.”


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DNC Chair Calls RNC ‘Crass’ for Partying in Face of Hurricane Isaac

Vallery Jean/FilmMagic(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke out on Thursday against the Republican National Convention’s handling of Hurricane Isaac, which is causing havoc along the Gulf Coast.  Wasserman Schultz said the RNC “could have taken things down a notch,” during their speeches.

“I think it probably was an example of their continued focus of winning at all costs,” Wasserman Schultz said.

While Wasserman Schultz said she gave the RNC credit for cancelling the first day to put safety first, she noted the parties of special interest groups still went on.

“The bashes were not cancelled [and] went on despite the fact that our state was getting hit with a hurricane and Tampa was still in the path of the storm,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Wasserman said even though the RNC was in a challenging situation of having a convention during a devastating storm, there are “other ways they could have handled it other than the path, the way they chose.”

When asked what she thought the RNC should have done, Wasserman Schultz told ABC News that the Republicans could have toned down their program, “certainly in the face of millions getting battered by a storm, they could have been less crass and been a little bit more muted.”

Wednesday night, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez asked for those watching the speeches to contribute to the Red Cross.

“Before I begin tonight, let’s keep in our thoughts and prayers the families impacted by the storm affecting the Gulf Coast.  If you haven’t done so already, please donate to the Red Cross,” Martinez said.

Wasserman Schultz said the RNC should have been even more sensitive to the devastation.

“I think there were adjustments in their program they could have made that would have been more sensitive to the fact the Gulf Coast region was getting pounded by a storm and yet they continued to party,” Wasserman said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Democrats Say Loss in NY Not Indicative of 2012 Election

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who once represented New York’s 9th Congressional district, dismissed a Republican victory there Tuesday as a meaningless indicator for the coming presidential election.

“If you’re looking for predictions about results in 2012, you should really be looking at the president’s standing against the Republican candidates in battleground states, not the results of two House special elections,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters on a conference call.

The other special election the DNC chairwoman was referring to was the one for Nevada's 2nd Congressional district, also held on Tuesday.

Schumer said, “I’ve never heard the ninth CD referred to as a bellwether.  It is among the most conservative districts in New York City and changing rapidly demographically as it has over the years."

“It’s become very different in terms of the Jewish population -- much more orthodox than it used to be,” he said.  “It’s also changed in terms of it’s much more of an immigrant district with a lot of eastern European immigrants who tend to be more conservative, having left the old Soviet Union.”

Both expressed unwavering optimism Obama will be competitive in the district -- which he carried with 55 percent of the vote in 2008 -- and the rest of New York next year.

“As the scene focuses from cutting [spending] to jobs, the president will do better and better in this district, in New York and in the country,” Schumer said.

Wasserman Schultz, citing the latest CNN poll that found a majority of Americans support Obama’s job-creation plan, said, “We know the president’s vision is resonating."

“We’re building an unprecedented grassroots organization,” she said.  “We’re not waiting until next year to go into the battleground states.  That’s where this campaign is going to be won.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Allen West Uses Email to Unload on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Allen West unleashed a scathing email to House leadership to raise his objections to “unprofessional and inappropriate sophomoric behavior” from fellow Sunshine State lawmaker Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after the Florida Democrat waged what West deemed a personal character attack on the House floor Tuesday.

“You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!” West, R-Fla., wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon. “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”

West sent the email to Wasserman Schultz and copied House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and his chief of staff, Jonathan Blyth, after Wasserman delivered a speech on the House floor during which she criticized West for backing the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation on the floor Tuesday.

“The gentleman from Florida,” Wasserman Schultz said of West, “who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Unbelievable from a member from South Florida.”

Wasserman-Schultz, who is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said that the measure “slashes Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas."

In his typed protest to leadership over the comments, West, a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, did not hold anything back:

“I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige,” West wrote. “From this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior...which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign [headquarters], October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.”

Asked for comment Tuesday evening, West -- through a spokeswoman -- was unapologetic. “Congressman West contacted Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz directly, as well as bipartisan House leadership to express his concern with her comments and the low level she has chosen to stoop to attack Congressman West,” said Angela Sachitano, communications director for West. “The Congresswoman's actions were unprofessional and cowardly. The constituents in Florida see Congressman West as a true leader and a man of principle while Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz is once again viewed as politics as usual, and her true character sadly shown today."

A spokesman for Wasserman Schultz declined to comment Tuesday evening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Democrats Will Retake House in 2012, DNC Chair Claims

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Six months after Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks voters have seen enough and are ready to return Democrats to power.

"The election results of the past two weeks of special elections really bode well for Democrats chances up and down the ticket in 2012," Wasserman Schultz told reporters Thursday.

The election last week of an African-American Democratic mayor in Jacksonville, Fla., a staunchly conservative city, a Democratic state representative in a conservative New Hampshire District, and a Democratic U.S. Representative from the solidly-red 26th district of New York are all indicators Democrats have momentum, she said. 

"All of those elections turned on the hardcore, radical, right-wing agenda that the Republicans have given us a preview of if they were given total control of all branches of government," said Wasserman Schultz. "And the voters have resoundingly rejected those overtures, their agenda."

"The reason that we believe that this is an indicator that we will continue to make progress and re-take majority of the House and re-elect the president is that the voters got a glimpse of what it would be like under Republican control," she said. "And they don't like it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is Mitt Romney the Republican Democrats Fear Most?

James Devaney/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- In advance of Mitt Romney’s major speech in Michigan on “Obamacare,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the new chair of the DNC, came out swinging.

“What I think is unfortunate about Mitt Romney is he doesn’t even know who he is,” Wasserman Schultz told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “The last thing that voters want in someone who wants to represent them is someone who has no conviction.

“Mitt Romney has spent a number of years twisting himself into a pretzel George, trying to figure out, you know, which voters he is in front of and decide what positions he’s going to take,” she said. “He was the author of legislation that was very similar if not close to identical to the Affordable Care Act in Massachusetts and now he says in a speech today that he plans to give that he is going to support, repeal and replace? What he’s trying to do is repeal and erase his own record.”

So do her harsh words mean she fears Romney in a general election match-up?

“It’s got nothing to do with fear. I think it’s kind of sad. I mean I think it’s kind of sad that someone who wants to represent this country and wants to lead the United States of America doesn’t have enough conviction to stand by something that he authored,” she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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