DNC chair: Republicans are ‘mired in a civil war’

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) fought back against speculation that Democrats would lose seats in a midterm election that would be a referendum against President Obama, but she said each race must be run in a way that best benefits the candidate.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Democratic National Committee chairman said Republicans are fighting among themselves, giving Democrats an opening to grab more seats.

"Republicans are mired in a civil war where the tea party has won, and they are consistently nominating the most extreme candidates," she said. "And we're on offense in states as well. So you've got Georgia, and Kentucky, and even Mississippi, where we have a very good chance to pick up those seats."


Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) takes batting practice during a congressional softball team scrimmage on May 9, 2012. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

But when asked about Democrats running for office who have been critical of Obama, in particular his signature health-care law, Wasserman Schultz said a candidate must run the race that is best for him or her.

"What's the case is that each of these candidates have to run their own race," she said. "They have to talk about and focus on the issues that are important to their constituents."

Both Wasserman and host David Gregory cited former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, who is running for Senate and has been both complimentary and critical of the health-care law, which encountered a bumpy rollout in the state, and Sen. Mary Landrieu, who criticized the Obama administration's decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Wasserman Schultz said the Keystone decision was not political and aimed at the midterms.


 

Obama has rallied the Democratic base in the past few months, reiterating the importance of showing up to the polls in November. Wasserman Schultz said participation will be key.

"Every election it is critical that we turn out," she said. "And I would, and will, match up ground game and our turnout operation, which ran circles around the Republicans in 2012 and in 2008, any day of the week."

Katie Zezima covers the White House for Post Politics and The Fix.
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