Debbie Wasserman Schultz returns to questions about Israel

DNC chair asked about comments regarding Israel, GOP

DANIA BEACH, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz returned to South Florida from the Democratic National Convention on Friday to controversy surrounding comments she made regarding Israel and the Republican Party.

Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, played a prominent role at the DNC. She was one of the few Florida Democrats to speak at the convention.

"I thought it was a positive and uplifting week. I thought it drew a really remarkable contrast from the Republican's convention in Tampa," said Wasserman Schultz.

But her comments Monday to a group of Jewish Democrats have caused controversy.

"We know, and I've heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel," said Wasserman Schultz.

Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, issued a statement, saying: "I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel."

Wasserman Schultz said the quote was taken out of context by a conservative blogger. She went on Fox News Tuesday evening and denied ever saying Republican policies were dangerous to Israel.

Wasserman Schultz denied it again Friday when she spoke with Local 10's Senior Political Reporter Michael Putney after she arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"You take one line out of context, it makes it look like what I said what I was accused of," said Wasserman Schultz. "What I said was that we need to make sure that we don't suggest there is daylight between the two political parties on Israel."

But PolitiFact, the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times fact checkers ruled that Wasserman Schultz was not telling the truth about the Oren statement.

PolitiFact's ruling said: "But she did make the remark she said she didn't make, and we rate her claim 'Pants on Fire.'"

"This is a rough and tumble sport -- four Pinocchios, pants on fire. I really have a long, enduring record of credibility and hopefully people trust me, particularly when it comes to U.S. Israel relationship," said Wasserman Schultz.

Wasserman Schultz told Putney that Israel should not be used as a "political football" during the election cycle, and said that's what the Republicans are doing. The Republicans have by responded, saying they'd be better for Israel than the Democrats.

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