Politics

Scott Walker’s Democratic Challenger Distances Herself From Debbie Wasserman Schultz ‘Backhand’ Comments

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

Scott Walker’s Democratic gubernatorial opponent Mary Burke is backing away from Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s comment that Walker has “given women the back of his hand” and is “grabbing us by the hair.”

Wasserman Schultz said Wednesday in Milwaukee that Republican Wisconsin Gov. Walker assaults women with his policy positions, including opposing a minimum wage hike.

“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand,” Wasserman Schultz said. “I know that is stark. I know that is direct. I know that is reality.”

“What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch called on Walker’s 2014 gubernatorial opponent, Mary Burke, to denounce Schultz’s remarks. Burke’s press secretary, Stephanie Wilson, then offered a statement backing away from Schultz.

“That’s not the type of language that Mary Burke would use, or has used, to point out the clear differences in this contest,” Wilson said. “There is plenty that she and Governor Walker disagree on — but those disagreements can and should be pointed out respectfully.”

DNC Deputy Communications Director Lily Adams issued a statement trying to play down Schultz’s remarks, but not apologizing to Walker or Republicans in any way.

“Domestic violence is an incredibly serious issue, and the congresswoman was by no means belittling the very real pain survivors experience,” Adams said, before pivoting to talk about Democratic support for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act more than a year ago.

Women’s groups are outraged.

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz owes an apology to all victims of domestic abuse,” Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance told The Daily Caller. “It is degrading and outrageous to make false accusations rather than discuss the real tenets of economic policy, conflating violence with a political disagreement.”

Women’s group The UP Project, meanwhile, launched a petition demanding Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.