Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Burke is putting some distance between herself and Debbie Wasserman Schultz after she made comments that diminished the suffering of women victims of domestic violence.
In Schultz’s attempt to criticize Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, she minimized the suffering of women victims of domestic abuse, drawing a contrast that even Burke cannot condone.
“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. I know that is reality,” Wasserman Schultz said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “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.”
The Republican National Committee quickly pounced on the comments and called on Burke to denounce the DNC chair’s comments.
“This is a sad attempt to gain political points that’s offensive to victims of abuse and well beneath the chair of a major political party,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a statement. “It’s a new low for an already flailing Democrat Party. Mary Burke should denounce the leader of her party or explain why she’s standing by as Democrats mislead Wisconsin voters.”
Republicans have ramped up their efforts to combat the typical Democrat attack lines geared at targeting women voters, as Schultz’s comments hardly represent a one-time occurrence. In July, RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day kicked off what the party dubbed the “14 in ’14” women’s initiative event in Oakland County, Michigan. It was the beginning of a massive effort to recruit and train women under 40 to be a part of the political process.
“Between women losing their doctors due to ObamaCare and feeling the anemic Obama economy every day, it’s important the Republican Party has female messengers across the country heading into November,” said RNC Co-Chair Day. “14 in ’14 will encourage women to stand up for Republican candidates and principled values.”
Schultz claims her comments attacking Walker were meant to underscore their supposedly negative impact on women, rather than minimize the truly harmful impact domestic violence has on women victims.
“Domestic violence is an incredibly serious issue and the Congresswoman was by no means belittling the very real pain survivors experience,” said Lily Adams, a spokeswoman for the DNC. “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.”
Walker and Burke are in a contested contest for Wisconsin governor, which is rated “Likely Walker” on the PPD’s 2014 Governors Map Predictions. Recent polls show the contest is close with Walker holding on to a slight lead on the average of polls. But Walker has been here before, and Democrats are hoping they can defeat the man they launched a failed recall effort against after his initial election victory in the 2010 midterm elections.
“That’s not the type of language that Mary Burke would use, or has used, to point out the clear differences in this contest,” Burke spokeswoman Stephanie Wilson told FoxNews.com. “For the last 11 months of this campaign, and in the final 9 weeks left to go, Mary is committed to pointing out those clear differences — there is plenty that she and Governor Walker disagree on — but those disagreements can and should be pointed out respectfully.”
Despite the tightness of the race, the Wisconsin State Republican Party has a slightly better midterm ground game than the Wisconsin State Democratic Party, which is expected to give Walker the edge.