Broward News

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Half-Apologizes For Saying Republicans Like Jim Crow Laws

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn't very good at retracting statements.

Wasserman Schultz was on CNN Sunday when she said Republicans want to bring states back to Jim Crow-era laws, drawing the ire of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

She responded by saying it wasn't the right analogy to use, then immediately made the same analogy without mentioning the name "Jim Crow."

Here's what Wasserman Schultz said to CNN contributor Roland Martin on Sunday:

"You have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally-and very transparently-block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates.

"Photo I.D. laws, we think, are very similar to a poll tax. Just look at African-American voters as a snapshot. About 25 percent of African-American voters don't have a valid photo I.D ... the reason it's similar to a poll tax is because you've got the expense. You've got the effort."
The NRCC released a statement in response on Monday -- titled "Wasserman Schultz will 'literally' say anything" -- calling the congresswoman's statements "absurd accusations" and "offensive remarks."

Wasserman Schultz' response came later in the day, and started off as a retraction of her statement: "Jim Crow was the wrong analogy to use."

Then she immediately reiterated her point that Republicans like voter-suppression laws that target minorities: "But I don't regret calling attention to the efforts in a number of states with Republican dominated legislatures, including Florida, to restrict access to the ballot box for all kinds of voters, but particularly young voters, African Americans and Hispanic Americans."

Hey, at least she didn't produce a revisionist history story that included Paul Revere warning the British.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley