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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama sticks up for Debbie Wasserman Schultz: 'She's had my back'

President Barack Obama is greeted by, from left, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez as he arrives Friday at Miami International Airport.

Andrew Harnik | Associated Press

President Barack Obama is greeted by, from left, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez as he arrives Friday at Miami International Airport.

President Barack Obama at a fundraiser tonight in Miami stuck up for Debbie Wasserman Schultz and praised Charlie Crist and Patrick Murphy:

DWS: "She's had my back," the president said of DWS, "I want to make sure we have her back."

Crist: "A great friend ... Charlie Crist is in the house."

Murphy: "I think he's going to be outstanding in the United States Senate."

From pool reporter Patricia Mazzei:

POTUS gave particular praise to Wasserman Schultz, a Weston congresswoman whose primary challenger, Tim Canova, was recently endorsed by Bernie Sanders. POTUS called her "somebody who I don't know how she does it, because she's everywhere all the time, non-stop, and she's a mom and a wife and has been just incredibly supportive of my agenda."

"She's taken tough votes when they're the right thing to do, and she's somebody who I have counted on consistently," POTUS said. "She's had my back. I want to make sure we have her back."

The room gave her a standing ovation.

POTUS also referred to violent protesters at Donald Trump's rally in San Jose, California, Thursday night.

"We saw in San Jose these protesters trying to pelt stuff," he said. "That's not what our democracy is about. That's not what you do. There's no room for violence. There's no place for shouting. There's no room for a politics that fails to at least listen to the other side, even if you vehemently disagree."

POTUS made one reference of Trump by name, recounting speaking to staff as they rode to the fundraiser.

"I don't watch television as a general rule, except sports, but they were explaining how Mr. Trump occupies about 70 percent of the news today," POTUS said. "So it's just constant. And celebrity and fame is such a driver in this culture."

POTUS wrapped up after 17 minutes, starting at 7:18 p.m. and ending at 7:35 p.m.. As pool was ushered out, she overheard POTUS saying he was going to take a sip of tea to soothe his throat.

"I'm a little out of practice here," he said. "I haven't campaigned in a while."

[Last modified: Friday, June 3, 2016 9:05pm]

    

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