Spin Cycle

07.18.12

DNC Chief: Sununu Went 'Into the Gutter'

Wasserman Schultz says Romney camp trying to paint Obama as less than American

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic Party chairman, says Mitt Romney’s campaign says Mitt Romney’s campaign is deliberately questioning whether President Obama is less than fully American.

Video screenshot

In a video interview with The Daily Beast, the Florida congresswoman said that John Sununu, a top Romney surrogate, was “sending dog-whistle messages to the extremists” with his recent attack on the president. Sununu told reporters on a conference call that Obama should “learn how to be an American.”

“I think that choice of words was deliberate,” Wasserman Schultz told me. “It was the reaction of a campaign that feels like a cornered animal, that is desperate and flailing, to hit back in any direction.

“They’ve done their best to pick up on the Tea Party extremists who have questioned President Obama’s birth in the United States, questioned his commitment to the United States of America, and they have gone right down into the gutter. That’s what that was designed to do, apologies notwithstanding.”

Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor, who had been talking about Obama’s view of business, told CNN that “frankly I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have used those words and I apologize for using those words.”

The congresswoman continued the Democratic assault on Romney for failing to release more tax returns, calling him “the most secretive presidential candidate, I think, in modern history…Mitt Romney needs to come clean and give the voters the opportunity to look at his finances.” She denied that the 10 days of constant attacks amounted to overkill.

Wasserman Schultz also brushed aside the fact that a growing number of Democratic members of Congress are skipping the Charlotte convention, insisting that they are simply choosing to spend the time campaigning in their districts and not avoiding a close association with the national party.

Oh, and we talked about her famous hair.