Democratic National Committee Chairwoman/Congresswoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is feeling the heat from a formidable opponent, Republican Karen Harrington, in her battle to keep Florida’s 20th Congressional District seat.
Several weeks back, Wasserman Schultz was interviewed by the Spanish-language network Univision and was directly asked if she thought her congressional seat was “safe” in the forthcoming 2012 elections. Wasserman Schultz appeared unnerved by the question and it likely caused her to pivot back to her typical talking points and assert that the candidates running in the Republican primary in Florida’s 20th Congressional District are “very focused on the agenda of the Tea Party” and “that’s not a reflection of the values of this district.”
The Shark Tank removed the video in question from its site after somebody from Wasserman Schultz’s campaign or congressional office complained to the network as a courtesy to Univision. Fast forward a few weeks later, and lo and behold, the Politico runs a two-part story on who could have leaked the video to the Shark Tank. Coincidence? You be the judge. Politico: Part 1 Part 2.
That same week, Harrington was featured on the Miami-Herald/St. Petersburg Times‘ PolitiFact website in which she received a ‘False’ rating for her remark about Wasserman Schultz stating that Bush was to blame for the ‘creation’ of Hamas.
In an earlier interview in question with conservative blogger Warner Todd Huston on the Publius Forum website, Harrington misspoke when she said that Wasserman Schultz said that Bush was to blame for the ‘creation’ of Hamas. Harrington’s campaign specifically told PolitiFact that she was referencing the Shark Tank video in which Wasserman Schultz blamed Bush for the rise to power of Hamas.
Here is the PolitiFact post ruling: Read the whole post here:
Harrington said Wasserman Schultz “has blamed the Republicans for the creation of Hamas.” Harrington didn’t explain what she meant during the interview, but her campaign points to a statement Wasserman Schultz made about democracy in the Middle East.
Only, Wasserman Schultz didn’t blame the Republicans or President George W. Bush for the “creation” of Hamas, although she did suggest that Bush’s push for democracy led to Hamas taking charge of Gaza.
We are fact-checking Harrington’s words here and she has misquoted Wasserman Schultz — blaming Republicans for the creation of Hamas is different than blaming a Republican administration for promoting democracy and then charging that that led to Hamas being in charge of Gaza. When Wasserman Schultz said “the rise of Hamas thanks to ‘democracy’ ” she isn’t talking about the original birth of Hamas — she is talking about their increased role in Gaza. We rate this claim False.
Now we know that Wasserman Schultz’s campaign and/or her congressional campaign have been shopping this Politifact story around to other media outlets. How nice that they accommodated her.