The Democratic National Committee chairwoman who has drawn criticism from many liberals for allegedly trying to tip the scales toward Hillary Clinton with the primary debate schedule has gotten the backing of President Obama in her re-election effort.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who first won her seat in 2004, is getting her first primary challenge.
Law professor Tim Canova, a Bernie Sanders supporter and former aide to late Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), is challenging Wasserman Schultz and got the endorsement of National Nurses United, which also endorsed Sanders over Clinton.
In his endorsement, Obama declared Wasserman Schultz to be “a strong, progressive leader in Congress and a hardworking, committed Chair of our national Party since I proudly nominated her to the role in 2011.”
“She always stands up and fights for what is right for her district while passionately supporting middle class families,” Obama said. “Throughout my time as President I have seen Debbie bring an unwavering commitment to her family, her constituents, and our shared goals of protecting seniors, supporting working families, and expanding economic opportunity for more people.”
“I strongly endorse her reelection to Congress and look forward to her future service on behalf of the people of South Florida.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he didn’t know offhand how often the president picks one Dem over another in primaries.
“Obviously the president has a political team here at the White House that can take a look at individual races and sort of assess what sort of impact the presidential endorsement would have. Obviously, that includes careful consideration of their records and agendas that are put forward by individual candidates,” Earnest said.
Wasserman Schultz, he added, “has been a staunch ally, an advocate for the kinds of priorities that President Obama has put forward.”
In fact, it looks like she’s getting a reward for voting for Obama’s nuclear deal despite pressure from pro-Israel individuals and entities.
“And we’ve been pleased to have her support on important issues including protecting the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Earnest continued. “She is somebody who has been a leader in advocating for a strong relationship between the United States and Israel. She understands the consequences of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, not just because the impact on U.S. national security but also the because the impact on national security of our allies in the Middle East, Israel. So having her support for a proposal like that for the international agreement obviously was important.”
“And that’s why — that’s just one example of why the president felt it was important to announce his strong support for her re- election.”
Wasserman Schultz said in a statement that Obama’s endorsement “means so much to me, and inspires me to work even harder for the people of Florida’s 23rdCongressional District.”