Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., has taken the whole "war on women" narrative to a new level – by rhetorically accusing Tea Party Republicans of attacking women.
During a roundtable discussion Wednesday on women’s issues at the Milwaukee Athletic Club, Wasserman Schultz likened those she disagreed with – specifically, Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker – to perpetrators of violence against women.
“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand,” Wasserman Schultz told the audience while wagging her finger. “I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality.”
Schultz wasn’t content to just accuse Walker of backslapping women, however.
“What Republican Tea Party extremists like Scott Walker are doing, is they’re grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back – and it’s unacceptable,” Wasserman Schultz added.
Why hasn't @DWStweets apologized for her ugly comments yet? She owes an apology to victims of domestic abuse: http://t.co/jg90CXeflB— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 4, 2014
Following Wasserman Schultz’s comments, David Haynes of the Journal Sentinel’s editorial board called the attack "unwarranted," and wrote that "to pervert the language of domestic violence for a political attack is what we expect of a third-rate talk radio host – not a national leader of the Democratic Party."
Lily Adams, deputy communications director for the DNC, tried to downplay Wasserman Schultz’s comments.
“Domestic violence is an incredibly serious issue and the Congresswoman was by no means belittling the very real pain survivors experience,” Adams said in a statement. “That’s why Democrats have consistently supported the Violence Against Women Act and won’t take a lesson from the party that blocked and opposed its reauthorization. The fact of the matter is that Scott Walker’s policies have been bad for Wisconsin’s women.”
And remember, this is the same Wasserman Schultz who after former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was brutally shot, took to the airwaves to preach civility.
Schultz told ABC "This Week" host Christiane Amanpour in January 2011 that politicians needed to be more civil in their discourse.
“It is absolutely critical that we lead by example. That we take this opportunity to – going forward – not shrink from vigorously advocating our views, but stop treating our opponents like the enemy,” Wasserman Schultz said. “And try to push the reset button on a more civil discourse because that's what Gabby was a leader on.”
Two days later, Wasserman Schultz echoed those sentiments on CBS "Face the Nation."
"I think all of us need to be more careful about the words that we choose to use," Wasserman Schultz told host Bob Scheiffer.
What a difference three years makes.
Walker's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
UPDATE: Wasserman Schultz just released a statement to CBS News. "Wasserman Schultz conceded, 'I shouldn't have used the words I used.' But, she went on, 'that shouldn't detract from the broader point that I was making that Scott Walker's policies have been bad for Wisconsin women. Whether it's mandating ultrasounds, repealing an equal pay law, or rejecting federal funding for preventative health care, Walker's record speaks for itself.'"