The Florida congresswoman and head of the Democratic National Committee got into a spat Thursday night during a segment with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who challenged how she used a Los Angeles times article to characterize Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s stance on abortion.
At issue: a fundraising appeal Wasserman Schultz sent out that links Romney to the Republican Party’s platform on abortion. Wasserman Schultz downplayed her use of the L.A. Times article, saying that the point of the fundraising solicitation was to point out that Romney hasn't distanced himself from the party platform, even if he himself supports exceptions for women who’s lives are in danger or who are victims of incest or rape.
Cooper's pointed questioning drew raves in the right wing blogosphere, including News Busters, which wrote "there are some lies told by the DNC that even CNN can't let slide. Such is the case with a recent DNC fundraising email written by Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz which misquotes the L.A. Times in order to attack Mitt Romney." The National Review had this headline: "Anderson Cooper Nukes Debbie Wasserman Schultz."
Despite Republican efforts to pivot to economic issues, the discussion keeps coming back to abortion. The Republican platform committee met Tuesday in Tampa and adopted tough anti-abortion language. It was nearly identical to the language agreed to in 2004 and 2008, but Democrats used the vote to highlight what they called the party’s callous, even hostile, attitude toward women.
And it comes even as the uproar continues over Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin who said last weekend that "if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Akin later said he’d misspoken, and he apologized. Despite pleas from Republican leaders, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the congressman refused to leave the race.
Here’s Wasserman Schultz’s explanation to Cooper:
"Well, I think that women need to know the dramatic difference between President Obama's position on a woman's right to her own reproductive choices as well as the Democratic Party's position and Mitt Romney and the Republican Party," she said. "And so Mitt Romney's words are very nice. But the bottom line is that, his campaign just directed the Republican Party platform to include the most restrictive constitutional amendment that would say to women that you would have no opportunity to make your own reproductive choices under any circumstances even in the case of rape or incest."
Expect an even feistier Wasserman Schultz in the coming weeks.The congresswoman on Sunday will be welcoming Republicans to Florida by opening a Democratic war room to attack GOP policies while the party's convention is in Tampa. The theme will be "Romney economics, wrong for the Middle Class," according to the media invitation. Limited Cadillac parking, the invitation warns. And also notes that "Medicare vouchers not accepted."