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Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s false accusation of a misquote

at 03:49 PM ET, 09/05/2012

“That comment was reported by a conservative newspaper. It’s not surprising that they would deliberately misquote me.”

— Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz during Fox News interview, Sept. 4, 2012

Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Tuesday denied a report from Washington Examiner columnist Philip Klein, who quoted the Florida congresswoman as saying that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren described Republican policies toward Israel as “dangerous” for the Jewish state.

Wasserman Schultz said the Examiner misquoted her, saying she never attributed the comments to Oren and that she really just said the GOP was treating the Middle East nation “like a political football, which is dangerous for Israel.” Klein defended his reporting, saying it was accurate and promising to post audio of the congresswoman’s comments.

Let’s see who was right on this one.

The Facts

The report from Klein quoted Wasserman Schultz saying, “We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel.”

The remarks came during a training session at the Democratic National Convention to instruct Jewish Democrats on how to persuade fellow Jewish Americans to vote for Obama, according to the Examiner.

Oren refuted the characterization that Wasserman Schultz attributed to him. He issued a statement Tuesday saying, “I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel. Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle.”

In a Tuesday interview with Fox News, Wasserman Schultz argued that the Examiner had deliberately misquoted her. “I didn’t say [Oren] said that,” she said. “And unfortunately, that comment was reported by a conservative newspaper. It’s not surprising that they would deliberately misquote me. What I always say is that unfortunately the Republicans have made Israel a political football, which is dangerous for Israel. And Ambassador Oren has said that we can’t ever suggest that there is any daylight between the two parties on Israel because there isn’t. And that that’s harmful to Israel. That’s what I said, and that is accurate.

Klein later posted audio of Wasserman Schultz’s comments to prove that his quote was accurate.

Here are the excerpts he shared:

“We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel.”

“They’re undermining Israel’s security by suggesting that the United States and Israel don’t have anything other than a unique and close and special relationship. It undermines Israel’s security to its neighbors in the Arab world and to its enemies. And we need to make sure that the fact that there has never been and will never be daylight between the two parties or the support for Israel that we have in the United States, that that is conveyed to Jewish Americans across this country. That’s our responsibility. It’s the responsibility we’re asking all of you to take on.”

The Pinocchio Test

Klein’s quote was exactly accurate, meaning Wasserman Schultz falsely accused the Examiner of misquoting her. The DNC chair earns Four Pinocchios.




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    About the Blogger

    Glenn Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety and Wall Street.

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