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Wasserman Schultz won’t stand up for Obama on Iran sanctions

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

We’ve tracked a revealing story lately: the refusal by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida congressperson and chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, to come out fiercely for Obama’s position against further Iran sanctions. Wasserman Schultz is on the president’s side, yes. But she is plainly fearful of alienating the Israel lobby.

Another beat in the story: Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo nails Wasserman Schultz for attacking Chris Christie for ducking the press while herself ducking the press on the Iran sanctions. Here’s Caputo. And don’t miss his last line, the assertion that Iran is a whole lot more important than Bridgegate.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz trashed New Jersey’s “scandal plagued” governor for hiding out from the press as he fundraised for Gov. Rick Scott in Florida.

“Chris Christie,” the Democratic National Committee chairwoman said Saturday, “doesn’t want to be answering any uncomfortable questions.”

The same, however, is true for Wasserman Schultz.

The Weston congresswoman doesn’t want to respond to any uncomfortable questions about a Democratic revolt over President Obama’s nuclear-disarmament talks with Iran.

Since December, Obama and Wasserman Schultz have been on defense over the bipartisan Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013. Backed by Israel, conservatives and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee the bill is supported by as many as 16 Senate Democrats…The Democratic division is notable. So is the relative silence on Israel of one of the nation’s most-prominent Jewish politicians.

“We’re not here to talk about that today,” Wasserman Schultz said before her Saturday Dania Beach press conference, following one in Orlando, that was devoted to criticizing Christie amid reports that allies exacted political revenge on a rival by shutting down a New Jersey-New York bridge….

[C]ompared to Menendez’s Iran bill, Christie’s northeast-bridge scandal isn’t as important to her party, her constituents and the nation right now.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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10 Responses

  1. Krauss on January 20, 2014, 10:52 am

    And when will we see a NYT reporter ask her the necessary question?
    Maybe on AIPAC-infested CNN instead?

  2. Kathleen on January 20, 2014, 11:46 am

    She had better start thinking more clearly. The pro war with Iran crowd is not looking good.

  3. shachalnur on January 20, 2014, 12:19 pm

    Dianna Feinstein,Carl Levin,Barbara Boxer and Ron Wyden,all “pro-Israel ,Pro -Lobby” Jewish Democrat Senators made it very clear they are against new Iran sanctions.

    Feinstein; “[Menendez-Kirk Bill would] …let Israel determine when and where the US goes to war”.

    Just in case anybody thinks there is nothing going on behind the scenes,and what we get to see is reality.

    Many influential Jews ,in the lobby and the Congress are being forced to take sides
    ending up in an impossible split between loyalty to Israel and the powers that give them their influence.

    Slowly it will become visible that those are not necessarily the same powers.

  4. Rusty Pipes on January 20, 2014, 1:35 pm

    On this issue, DWS is on record as backing the President. Since the press conference is about Christie, she is choosing not to allow message derailment — not an unusual choice for a politician. Even if a sizable percentage of her Democratic constituents are Jewish and/or Zionist and support AIPAC’s position on additional Iran sanctions, the majority of her Democratic constituents (as with the majority of Americans) support the President’s diplomacy with Iran.

  5. piotr on January 20, 2014, 3:47 pm

    Does it mean that the bill is dead and Debbie follows the principle de mortuis nil nisi bene?

  6. ritzl on January 20, 2014, 4:53 pm


    The bigger question, to me, is what DWS is doing in the background as chair of the DNC. Is she using that position to channel fundraising to pro-war, anti-war, or more hopefully and correctly, in a neutral, Dems-of-any-stripe way (letting local politics take precedence)?

    I think that her stated (or avoided/fudged) personal views as Obama administration adjunct are less important than her DNC money-politics deeds. Will any reporter ask that question?

    • traintosiberia on January 20, 2014, 7:15 pm

      Rahman Immanuel from his position ,sandbagged the Democratic Party in fielding the pro war,anti withdrawal candidate in 2006 Congressional election by showering or withholding the largesse despite overwhelming majority in demanding for withdrawal.
      The carry over effect of that successful dishonesty and misuse of authority has been evident in the robust support for war against Iran from the Democratic camp.

      • piotr on January 21, 2014, 9:03 am

        On the full side of glass, the support for war is nowhere as robust as “it should be”. We read about complains about DWS that she shirks her Jewish duties by not adding her voice to support the sanction bill and even helping to deep-six it in the House. And she did not deny it.

        I must confess that I am giving a little every year to DNC, and this time I specifically dictated my opinion that I had my doubts but I decided to give after all after reading an attack on DWS that she supports President’s foreign policy (as a little hypocrite, I did not tell that overall, there is not much in that policy to support), as opposed to too many Democrats who do not.

        In any case, what does a seasoned American politician do to kill a legislative initiative that has a considerable lobby support — a trick that works even better if another lobby opposes that. The trick, my little children, is to debate or consider the bill endlessly, offering a faint hope to the lobby — or both lobbies. Let them try to improve their persuasive skills with more donations. Remember, do not stick your fork in too early.

      • American on January 21, 2014, 11:14 am

        piotr says
        I must confess that I am giving a little every year to DNC,>>>>

        Please dont give to the DNC. Make your donations to a specific politician that is upholding what you agree with—like the individuals not going along with more Iran sanctions–and tell them why you donated to them.
        The DNC uses their campaign chest to “select’ who they want to run for offices and then puts your money behind them……thats why candidates who might be more ‘balanced’ or who dont tow the party line on things like Israel for instance cant get a fair shot in elections.
        One of my senators who was ‘handed picked’ and recruited by the DNC (and Schumer- complete with being loaned a Schumer aide for her campaign) who was an obscure nobody ever heard of state representive, to run is the worse we’ve had—and one of the 16 who signed the Iran sanctions bill–a total DNC, party tool. and money whore.
        I’ve been waiting for her to show up in NC to actually speak to the voters, so far she has only done fund raising and 90% of her fundraising is out of state…I think she has appeared twice in NC at a fund raiser for her w/ Biden in Chapel Hill and one in Charolette—the rest of her fund raisers have been NY, NJ, Boston, Palm Beach, etc.

        This is pretty typical of her fund raising and donors:….none of which share any interest with this state.
        Oct 23, 2013 – Raleigh, NC – Kay Hagan will be attending yet another of her high-dollar, ritzy fundraiser next week in New York City…..‎ Cached
        Nov 16, 2013 – Kay Hagan (D-N. … is still slated to deliver the keynote address to a fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute in Irving, Texas

        The DNC and RNC need to be starved of money—-thats the only way other than hand picked party tools will have a chance to get elected.
        You will never be able to out give the PACs and special interest to the DNC so dont even try it that way…give to the individuals. You have a better shot by keeping your money in state and in district for ‘an individual’ you think would be good as a counter balance to the “party selection and money’.

      • ritzl on January 23, 2014, 3:46 pm

        @American- Great point. I would add that by giving to individuals you get more access, and maybe even face-time and/or influence in the right circumstances. As you say, not so with the parties or presidential candidates.

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