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DNC's Wasserman Schultz on Critics: 'I Have the Skin of an Alligator'

Image: DNC's Wasserman Schultz on Critics: 'I Have the Skin of an Alligator'
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 21 Jan 2016 06:58 PM

Embattled Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she is striving to "block out" the increasingly strident voices excoriating her over her job performance, emphasizing that she plans to serve her "full tenure."

"The party chair is going to absorb criticism from any candidates, partisans, and it's just the way it is,'' Wasserman Schultz said Thursday following an appearance to promote gun control legislation at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, the Miami Herald reports.

"These are people that simply are expressing the normal, understandable frustration over what they think is a sinister thing over every corner. I have to just block that noise out and focus on doing my job. I'm from Florida. I have the skin of an alligator."

Wasserman Schultz has served as DNC chair since 2011, and her term ends in January 2017.

She has been a lightning rod for criticism almost since the moment she assumed the post, and the hostility towards her from all sides has only increased as the 2016 presidential elections approach.

Last month, the Bernie Sanders campaign filed a federal complaint against the DNC for suspending its access to a shared voter database, with campaign manager Jeff Weaver saying "the leadership of the Democratic National Committee is now actively attempting to undermine our campaign."

In September, Wasserman Schultz was accused of showing favoritism to Hillary Clinton by scheduling only six debates for Democrat contenders at a time when Clinton was the clear front-runner in the race.

On Thursday, she denied any Clinton bias.

"If I wanted to favor a candidate, I would not be DNC chair and I would support that candidate,'' Wasserman Schultz said, the Herald reports. "It's a pretty convoluted way to help a candidate when I have to actually function neutrally as the DNC chair."

When asked what she thought of Sanders' chances to win the Florida primary, Wasserman Schultz begged off, citing her impartiality.

"I'm neutral and my job is to make sure we are getting our party ready,'' she said.

But the criticism continues to grow.

A progressive group ripped her earlier this month for saying she saw "complacency" among young women born after the Supreme Court's 1973 abortion ruling.

"You have lost the trust of grassroots progressives and Democrats. Please resign immediately," a petition drawn up by the group Credo Action reads.

In November, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called her a "highly neurotic woman" and "a terrible person" who was actively supporting Clinton's campaign.

And now Wasserman Schultz is facing her first primary challenge since winning election to the House in 2005.

Law professor Timothy Canova has announced his intentions to challenge the DNC chief, accusing her of being corrupt and out of touch.

"People here on the ground — I hear left and right, you name it — are just dissatisfied that she's not responsive, she takes people for granted, and it's becoming evident in the way she votes on an awful lot of issues," Canova said.

"She takes a lot of corporate money, and she votes for corporate interests contrary to the interest of her own constituents."

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Embattled Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she is striving to "block out" the increasingly strident voices excoriating her over her job performance, emphasizing that she plans to serve her "full tenure."
dnc, chairwoman, debbie wasserman schultz, critics, skin, alligator
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2016-58-21
Thursday, 21 Jan 2016 06:58 PM
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