Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said Thursday that she "shouldn't have used" charged language to describe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) record on women's issues.
The congresswoman ripped Walker at a Wednesday roundtable in Milwaukee for giving "women the back of his hand" by signing a bill that prevents victims of employment discrimination from seeking punitive and compensatory damages in state courts.
"What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch," she added.
Republicans quickly condemned the analogy and called on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, who has closed to within two points of Walker according to recent polls, to denounce them.
"I think the remarks were absolutely hideous and the motive behind them was despicable," Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) said.
A spokeswoman for Burke distanced the Democratic challenger from Wasserman Schultz's remarks on Wednesday.
"That's not the type of language that Mary Burke would use, or has used, to point out the clear differences in this contest," said Burke press secretary Stephanie Wilson. "For the last 11 months of this campaign, and in the final 9 weeks left to go, Mary is committed to pointing out those clear differences -- there is plenty that she and Governor Walker disagree on -- but those disagreements can and should be pointed out respectfully."
Read Wasserman Schultz's full statement below:
I shouldn’t have used the words I used. But that shouldn't detract from the broader point that I was making that Scott Walker’s policies have been bad for Wisconsin women, whether it's mandating ultrasounds, repealing an equal pay law, or rejecting federal funding for preventative health care, Walker's record speaks for itself. As for the issue of domestic violence, it's unacceptable that a majority of Congressional Republicans opposed this critical legislation, of which I was a proud cosponsor, after blocking its reauthorization for more than a year.