“We own the economy. We own the beginning of the turnaround and we want to make sure that we continue that pace of recovery, not go back to the policies of the past under the Bush administration that put us in the ditch in the first place,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told host Mike Allen of Politico at his 'Playbook Breakfast' at the Newseum in Washington.
The Politico breakfast was not the only time the congresswoman has insisted that America’s economy has turned around despite economic statistics that paint drastically different picture. She first insisted on a recovery in her interview with David Gregory on Sunday's Meet the Press.
The breakfast began with attendees ushered through a breakfast line before being seated in a studio that quickly filled with around 145 people. While Allen asked most of the questions, audience members were allowed to submit questions for the congresswoman before the event began.
Perhaps the most stinging question came from CNN’s Ed Henry after the congresswoman stated that the Obama administration had inherited more problems and challenges — including the economy — than any other president since FDR. She did not agree to “own” the economy until Henry pressed her by asking if it would be 3 or even 15 years before the Obama administration would be responsible for America’s economic state.
All in all, Wasserman Schultz seemed quick to steer the conversations to some type of Republican failure rather it was Republicans being “hostile” towards immigration reform or being too brainwashed by the Tea Party.
“They know how to do it the right way,” Wasserman Schultz said. “They know how to compromise, but they can’t seem to break their fear of what the ramifications would be from their Tea Party right wing fringe if they listen to what their inner self tells them what the right thing is to do.”
Shultz also chimed in regarding the media's outlook regarding female politicians.
“Even though I don’t agree with either Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann on virtually anything,” she said as the audience chuckled and added, “I do think the unique (media) scrutiny … because of their gender” and “highlighting the potential conflict between them” versus the potential conflict between any two male candidates is “inappropriate.”
The scandal surrounding Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) could not escape the morning’s conversation forever. Allen did, however, receive a high-five from the congresswoman for waiting until nearly the end of the event to bring the topic up.
"Has there been maybe an unrealistic too harsh standard applied in this case?" Allen asked. He went on to add that under the “Weiner standard” — a term that left the audience in laughter —President Clinton should have resigned after his scandal with an intern in 1998.
“I think that particularly because there was an effort to not tell the truth (and) I think that because he has engaged in what I think is some very inappropriate conduct that has distracted from his ability to do his job and distracted from almost all of our ability to do our jobs and make sure that we can effectively serve our constituents, I think that the best conclusion is that he should focus on addressing his problems and resign from the House,” Wasserman Schultz said.
She also defended the Democrats for allowing days to pass before calling for the representative’s resignation.
"When it was revealed that he wasn't telling the truth, initially I felt like I wanted to hang back and give him the opportunity to reach his own conclusion, make his own decision with his family," she said. "When we got to the end of one week -- that's what expired, one week -- and he had not reached that conclusion, I felt it was important to publicly state what I thought his decision should be."