Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Popularity Takes a Nosedive

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: September 14, 2012 3:55 AM
Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Debbie Wasserman Schultz had better start getting a few things right, according to prominent Washington observers, because of late, her clout among Democratic peers has suffered a considerable blow.

They say the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee has embarrassed many high-ranking party leaders with shoot-from-the-hip misstatements, downright inaccuracies and even a charge of thuggery.

Chief among Wasserman Schultz's problems are three issues: her claims pertaining to Israel, the Republicans' platform and her personal threats to the head of the Susan G. Komen Foundation over Planned Parenthood.

"Wasserman Schultz has given the Democrats a major black eye," political consultant A. Ferris Guiletti told Sunshine State News on Thursday. "She's done it by reacting badly under fire, and building a yawning credibility gap between herself and both the national media and some important Democratic donors.

"She's blowing her status with her own party, that's the buzz, and she just might have blundered herself into trouble for her re-election campaign back home in South Florida," he said. 

Problems for the DNC chair began the week of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. In a fundraising letter Wasserman Schultz claimed that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had directly intervened in the writing of the party’s platform on policies regarding abortion.

The letter quotes its source as the Los Angeles Times, but as many media outlets and fact checkers have since pointed out, the supporting claims were misquoted and misrepresented in the article to which Wasserman Schultz was referring.

“Do you at least acknowledge that the quote you gave from the L.A. Times is completely incorrect?” asked CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Aug. 23, pressing the DNC chair on her assertions that Romney’s campaign directly wrote the GOP platform.

“No, I don’t acknowledge that. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter,” Wasserman Schultz replied. She avoided further answering the question or admitting to any fault in the quote.

Cheryl Stern, former legislative aide to Sen. Mel Martinez and now a Washington consultant for Republican clients, claims Wasserman Schultz might have survived the Anderson Cooper encounter with minimal damage if -- during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte -- she hadn't told a Democratic audience that the ambassador to Israel had voiced his own concerns on Republicans’ attitude to Israel.

"Bad timing for Wasserman Schultz to wander off the reservation," said Stern. "The Democratic Party had just taken a ton of heat for initially omitting references to 'God' and 'Jerusalem' in its platform."

What the DNC chairwoman said is this: “We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel.” Her comment was reported by the Washington Examiner newspaper -- though Wasserman Schultz denied it over and over, on CNN and to Politico.

“I will reiterate that they did deliberately misquote me,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon on Sept. 8.

But Wasserman Schultz was caught red-handed again. The Washington Post and PolitiFact, run by the Tampa Bay Times, appropriately gave her four “Pinocchios” (Post) and a “pants on fire” (Times) rating for her denial. It even caused the Israeli ambassador to publicly distance himself from Wasserman Schultz’s statements.

“I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel. Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle,” the ambassador said in a written statement.

The congresswoman was similarly criticized after she claimed that omitted references to God and Jerusalem in the Democratic Party platform were on account of  “technical errors,” she told a CNN panel. She later added that there was “no dissent” on the delegate floor when the issue came to a vote. Unfortunately for Wasserman Schultz, there was video.

Said Stern, "Can you blame Anderson Cooper for saying on air that Wasserman Schultz is 'living in an alternate universe'?"

Guiletti said that in the middle of the Israel kerfuffle, Karen Handel, a former Susan G. Komen Foundation executive released a book alleging that Wasserman Schultz is a “schoolyard thug” after her personal interventions over decisions to pull funding from Planned Parenthood last year. Handel claims that Wasserman Schultz made threatening calls, saying the organization would ultimately “regret the decision” to pull funding from the women’s health organization. The foundation is also partially funded by the government.

Wasserman Schultz did not return Sunshine State News' phone calls on Thursday.

Karen Harrington, Wasserman Schulz's opponent in the 23rd Congressional District, has jumped all over the congresswoman's recent performance, producing campaign ads and making speeches that refer to it as "lies."

At a Republican Jewish Coalition rally Monday in Boca Raton, Harrington reportedly chided the incumbent -- to cheers and laughter: "Does a liberal know it’s a lie if they believe it to be true? (Wasserman Schultz) said Ambassador Oren said that Republicans are dangerous for America. Then she lied and said she never said that; and after listening to her own recording once again, she lied and said, ‘I never said that.”

Said Guiletti, "Harrington started out as a long shot against Debbie. At this point, she's still behind. But Debbie is closing the gap for Karen all by herself."

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.



Comments (37)

Jersey Bill
10:49PM SEP 17TH 2012
Looks like she took a nose dive down the ugly tree. Why do the Dems put her on TV? She has a face for radio. Except her voice sounds like fingernails on a blackboard.
12:29AM SEP 18TH 2012
Yes, no cheap shot, low blow, personal demonization here, now is there?

Laura Natale
8:42PM SEP 17TH 2012
The same person keeps saying she lies, but shows no proof of the lies of what the lies are. The GOP will stop at nothing to try to rake in votes. Who is this Harrington person someone we never heard of and what they stand for. The GOP trying to puch Debbie out. Don't bother we all know her record and what she has done for women in her district. THE GOP HAS DECLARD WAR ON WOMEN!!!!!!
4:02PM OCT 6TH 2012
I love it when the "uppity" liberals prove how stupid they are by mispelling SIMPLE words such as PUCH (push) abd declard (declared) - Ever heard of a spell checker - also, run-on and fragmented sentences.
Jersey Bill
10:50PM SEP 17TH 2012
Thank you, Debbie. More kool-aid?
Laura Natale
8:32PM SEP 17TH 2012
Please don’t waste your time with these negative comments. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's is popularity has always been very high in my book and always will be. She will get my vote come November 6, 2012
Michael Ackerman
11:37AM SEP 16TH 2012
Neither party is 'entitled' to my vote.
This Independent Jew will be voting for Harrington.
Wasserman Schultz is a disgrace.
10:36AM SEP 16TH 2012
Hahahahahaha - that Sunshine State News has even survived is funny. This is not a news organization but a republican propaganda tool, similar to Fox News, just on the State of Florida level.

Get a life folks.
3:35PM SEP 17TH 2012
You took the time away from the state run media (liberal biased CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, PMSNBC) to read Sunshine State News. Perhaps you should get a life.
Bud Moxon
9:25AM SEP 16TH 2012
What does Wasserman Schultz do? She's never in Washington doing the job we're paying her to do. She doesn't propose any new legislation and spends more time worrying about Israel than her own country. The only time you see her is when there's a photo op. She needs to be replaced with someone who's willing to represent the people that elected her.
Franklin Thompson
9:20AM SEP 16TH 2012
It's hard to take a nosedive when you're already at the bottom.
10:48PM SEP 15TH 2012
So let's take a look at some truth checking for those mentioned below(PolitiFact):

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
24 statements checked; 42% mostly false, false, pants on fire false

Allen West
16 statements checked; 70% mostly false, false, pants on fire false

Reince Priebus
13 statements checked; 62% mostly false, false, pants on fire false

Barrack Obama
410 statements checked; 27% mostly false, false, pants on fire false

Mitt Romney
163 statements checked; 42% mostly false, false, pants on fire false

Yes, it's the Democrats that are the big liars here - that's what the "data" shows, doesn't it?

Joe Kreisberg
1:31PM SEP 15TH 2012
the naysayers are all republican hacks no doubt. They hate it when the truths come out. She has been as President Obama has always been a strong supporter of Israel. Note all the defensive equipment suppllied to Israel. Actions speak louder than words not like George W. and that fowl mouthed Dick Cheney. They left this president a hell of a hole to get out of and they know it. These two lied and got us two wars unpaid for and 6000 dead and 50000 wounded and you pick on Wasserman-Schulz for being a damn good Democrat. Shame on you people.
Franklin Thompson
10:32PM SEP 16TH 2012
The dems have had the budget years of 2009 and 2010 with obama leading them. He has had everything his way, got everything he wanted, sent our tax dollars across the U.S. to GM, Solyndra, his brother-in-law's university, et. al. Everthing from June 2009, according to him belongs to him and he has failed. The FED keeps propping up the stock market (with QE number whatever) which is no longer a measure of the economy and we are 6 trillion dollars in additional debt because of the purposeful actions of this marxist puppet of George Soros. The unemployment rate is around 20% when you measure it as it should be measured, businesses that supported families are closing their doors while the very government their taxes supported No longer) screw them unmercifully. He is following the Saul Alinsky and Cloward-Piven playbook to the letter. The world is in the sorry economic condition it is in because of government debt not private debt. We cannot take any more of obama's fast track to hell. No President can get this thing under control but he's not even trying.
1:23PM SEP 15TH 2012
The very definition of "liberal" suggests that there is no clear line between right and wrong. And Shultz is as liberal as they get. Lying is only one tool she uses to acheive her agenda. Anything she does is always justified because her agenda is so important. Pathetic. Sad. Not justified.
10:14AM SEP 15TH 2012
A very poor role model for young girls, sends the message women can get ahead just on their good looks.
10:57AM SEP 15TH 2012
Are you blind?
10:00AM SEP 15TH 2012
DWS LIES. Even after getting caught red handed, she doubles down and tells even more lies! Pathetic.
11:57PM SEP 14TH 2012
"A couple of missteps"?????? SHE IS NOTHING BUT A LIAR.......
10:31AM SEP 15TH 2012
This woman is a shameless liar. Plain and simple.
7:59PM SEP 14TH 2012
Debbie may have had a couple of missteps, but it's nothing compared to the utter lunacy and lies coming from Reince Priebus. See Politifact for a comparison of who really tells the truth. Needless to say, Mr. Priebus struggles with the truth.
10:33AM SEP 15TH 2012
Missteps? Wow!! This woman has been lying so long, she doesn't even recognize the truth anymore.
6:36PM SEP 14TH 2012
Hope she someday runs for Gov
5:16PM SEP 14TH 2012
I live in the Congresswoman's district and I wholeheartedly support her. She is brilliant, tough-as-nails and superbly serves her constituency. How do you expect her to fight against a party responsible for "swift boating," and leading a modern charge against women's equality? Not to mention a party who routinely dismisses science. You can call it "lying," I say it's fighting fire with fire. Love her!
10:36AM SEP 15TH 2012
We call it lying because IT IS lying. How can you support that?
10:12AM SEP 15TH 2012
You're just a typical liberal...its ok for her to lie, lie, lie, lie. Every time I point out what liars Democrats are...the liberal always say...oh, they all do it...like that makes it alright. In people like you...there is no right or wrong, no moral or immoral...you and people like you have no soul.
4:20PM SEP 19TH 2012
Typical tea bagger, no common sense.
3:48PM SEP 15TH 2012
Yes, far right Republicans never get "Pants on Fire" ratings, and never, never lie, now do they?

Shall we do this by the number of lying comments, or how big.

Either way, far right Republicans win hands down for the politics of the "Big Lie", and unlike you, I can provide the actual quotes, facts (and lies) to demonstrate that.

Want to have that debate?
calvin Howe
4:33PM SEP 14TH 2012
If Mitt is elected we will only have two classes, the very rich and the poor.
The democrats might not be perfect but they address the needs of the americans better than the rich republicans.
Linda W.
3:05PM SEP 14TH 2012
What happened to courtesy and humility in our elected representatives. This woman obviously feels she is above the law and can say and do anything she likes with the protection of her "elected" office. Hopefully, Karen Harrington will win and we won't have to put up with her anymore. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the most arrogant excuse for an elected public official that I have ever seen. She could take some lessons from a real politician like Allen West!!
5:45PM SEP 14TH 2012
Courtesy and humility - you have the gall to use "courtesy and humility" and "Allen West" in the same comments. Unbelievable!

Courtesy and humility to you must be Allen West:

(1) Emailing to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady”

(2) Calling Debbie “the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable” member of the House

(3) Declaring, without proof that “there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party”

(4) Demonizing President Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders and declaring that they should “get the hell out of the United States of America”;

(5) Pronouncing that anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker is “a threat to the gene pool.”

Yes, Allen West is all about "courtesy and humility" and everyone should take lessons from him to learn how to be a real politician.

You're pathetic.
9:26AM SEP 15TH 2012

12:13PM SEP 15TH 2012
And what does your ALL-CAP hysteria have to do with my comments? Absolutely nothing. You seem incapable of making a coherent, reasoned dialogue on the issue at hand - if you want to discuss Allen West, let's have at it.

Otherwise, please refrain from your emotional outbursts, or learn how and where to place your comments in the place they belong.

1:54PM SEP 14TH 2012
This is great news. she hasn't listened to her constituents for years now. I know, because I live in her district. Time for a change!
10:34AM SEP 15TH 2012
Agreed! Time for her to go. She's a disgrace.
1:49PM SEP 14TH 2012
Most of the libs I know (and being Jewish, I know a bunch!) are fed up with her and have abandoned her. The only question that remains is whether they will check the box for Harrington or just leave that choice blank! These are people who are still supporting (although not as enthusiastically) Obama. All I can tell you "undecideds", is that Karen is not a hard-liner. She is a humble, hard working woman who will gladly sit down to discuss an opposing issue with you, respect your point of view, even if it's different from hers, and focus on where there is common ground. Don't believe me? Call her!
6:38PM SEP 14TH 2012
Tea time is over Esther.

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