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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Are Democrats shooting selves in foot in trying to oust David Rivera?



Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is disputing claims from Democratic state Rep. Luis Garcia who accused her of being mean and unhelpful in his congressional campaign to unseat Republican Congressman David Rivera.

Garcia said Wasserman Schultz called his campaign "pathetic" for only raising $100,000 throughout the spring and summer -- and he was particularly offended that she and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have urged former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas to hop into the race. (Background here)

Wasserman Schultz said she never used the word "pathetic" and that she had only urged him to pick up the pace.

"His accusation is ridiculous. I would never speak to someone that way," she said. "I’ve had many conversations with candidates who struggled in their fundraising. My approach with any of them is encouragement, cajoling, hey pick up the pace, you’ve gotta put in more call time. Those are the kinds of conversations that I have. So his accusation is ridiculous. And it doesn’t merit a response more than that."

So you can’t say if you’re excited about Alex Penelas?

"No," Wasserman Schultz said with a smile.

Wasserman Schultz briefly discussed the issue at the Florida Capitol where, despite her reputation as a partisan pitfighter, she was greeted warmly by many of her old Republican colleagues in the Florida Legislature and by scores of well wishers from the Republican-leaning lobby corps.

-- Marc Caputo, Miami Herald

[Last modified: Friday, March 9, 2012 6:20pm]


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