Wasserman Schultz squares off with RNC chair in their first televised debate

As you can see if you watch their exchange, DWS got the better of Priebus when it came to the issue of NY Democratic Congresswoman Anthony Weiner.

Wasserman Schultz, like Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi came out over the weekend and called for Weiner to resign. That came after he announced he was going to take a leave of absence and go into treatment to deal with "sexting" issue that hasn't died out yet, because more information (or dirt) seems to continue to surface on a daily basis. DWS came back hard at him Priebus and called him out for being a hypocrite when it came to Republicans like John Ensign and David Vitter being allowed to remain in office.

However, when Wasserman Schultz tried to spin the fact that the economy was doing okay, Preibus pounced, as he should have:

MR. PRIEBUS: David, the chairwoman's living in fantasyland. We know that the facts are the facts, and we can't get away from that. And Barack Obama is defenseless to the truth on what's going on in the American economy. We have lost as—two and a half million jobs since Barack Obama's been president. And of that two and half million jobs, almost 45 percent of those people have been out of work for six months. That number, that number rivals the Great Depression.

REP. SCHULTZ: And yet...

MR. PRIEBUS: This, this president has been a disaster to this economy, and that's why, when you ask Americans whether or not they're better off today than they were three or four years ago, they say no. When you ask Americans, has this president followed through on his promises to cut the deficit in half by the end of the first term as he's promised...


MR. PRIEBUS: ...the answer is no. The debt is out of control. He's on pace to accumulate more debt on his watch than every single president before him combined.

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you this as, as the top Republican in the party, is there something that Republicans who control the House can do to accelerate job creation now, through tax policy, through other kinds of policies, aside just looking at the question of whether or not you're better off now than you were four years ago?

MR. PRIEBUS: Well, I mean, certainly. I mean, I think that for one thing we've all—we're all in agreement that we have a debt crisis in this country. We're all in agreement that we can't keep sending...

MR. GREGORY: I'm asking for a specific policy, not just talking points.

MR. PRIEBUS: Well, I think that we need to—I think we need to cut taxes on small businesses. I think we need to spur growth there.

REP. SCHULTZ: Well, that's great because we've done that.

MR. PRIEBUS: I think that we need, I think that we need...

REP. SCHULTZ: Seventeen times.

MR. PRIEBUS: ...to get, I think we need to get the president from stopping from whistling past the graveyard and introduce a budget...

MR. GREGORY: OK, hang on one second.

MR. PRIEBUS: ...which they haven't done in 700 days.

MR. GREGORY: Let me—on the question, Congresswoman, the issue of taxes. Is there a specific tax policy, tax cuts for example, that the Democrats would be open to, to specifically target job creation in the shorter term?

REP. SCHULTZ: Absolutely. Beyond the 17 tax cuts, if the chairman had been actually paying attention in the last two years, the 17 different tax cuts that President Obama proposed and the Democratic Congress passed to support small businesses, including a cut in the capital gains tax. The compromise that we reached during a lame duck Congress that made sure that we could give a payroll tax deduction to, to, to Americans making about $50,000 year. Excuse me. We focused on striking a balance between making the investments that we needed to make to be able to jump-start the economy again and get it moving back in the right direction and also insuring that we could reduce spending and—in the tax code so that we could give incentives to businesses to be able to create jobs and be able to make investments in their businesses again.

MR. PRIEBUS: So much so—so much so that we've lost two and half million jobs.

REP. SCHULTZ: That's been done and more needs to be done. And we need to come together. Excuse me. We need to do that

As we said, this was the first of what could be (too) many one-on-one meetings between the relatively new heads of the Democratic and Republican parties over the next year and a half. Priebus obviously is still getting his feet wet, whereas Wasserman Schultz, who is a natural fire breathing partisan (which had made her an obvious candidate in the job) is learning how to step back a bit, because though Democrats love seeing somebody from their own party not backing down an inch to Republicans (a major reason why Anthony Weiner became a start over the past couple of years), the party also wants and needs to appeal to independents.

South Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz was knocked around last week for some hyperbolic comments she's made since becoming chair of the Democratic National Committee (Politico called her first month as chair as "rocky").

But she more than held her own in the first of what will be many televised battles with her GOP counterpart, Reince Priebus on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday (a broadcast that was not aired at its original time in the Tampa Bay market).


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