Wasserman Schultz Erupts on Andrea Mitchell for Asking About Hillary Marine Tale; ‘Why Are We Talking About This?’

‘With all due respect, why on Earth are we talking about this?’


MITCHELL: “That said, she had worked for both George McGovern and gene McCarthy, she was actively against the war in Vietnam. Why on Earth would she go to a marine recruiter in 1975 and try to -- and she was a lawyer, professor in Fayetteville, Arkansas, married to bill Clinton or engaged to marry bill Clinton? It doesn't make sense.”

SCHULTZ: “With all due respect, why on Earth are we talking about this?”

MITCHELL: “If she hadn't brought it up it would not be an issue in this campaign.”

SCHULTZ: “Andrea, Andrea, what the story illustrated was that we have made a lot of progress in America. Secretary Clinton is absolutely right. Back then, you did have a much tougher time for women to be able to make it successfully through the recruitment process and move up in the military and we have made tremendous progress since then. Same thing with the number of women that serve in Congress. We have a record number of women serving in Congress today but even during the time that I have been in office, we have come a long way. It is absolutely important that we talk about during this presidential campaign the issues that are important to women, not just that we need to make more progress when it comes to opportunities for women but that we need to make sure we get equal pay for equal work, where there's a very stark contrast between our three candidates for president and the Republicans. All of whom oppose enforcing equal pay for equal work. When it comes to –“

MITCHELL: “Congresswoman, with all due respect, I won't defer to anyone in terms of people who have done stories over the decades about the challenges of women in the military.”

SCHULTZ: “I agree. You have been remarkable.”

MITCHELL: “I don't think that's the point. I think the point is did this happen. You have a presidential candidate saying something happened which is quite strikingly dissonant to people who knew her back then. The bottom line is the campaign, her campaign spokesman put out a statement saying her interest was sincere and it is insulting but not surprising that Republicans would attack her for this, too. So he is not saying she was doing it to make a point. He says her interest in being recruited was sincere. I think.”

SCHULTZ: “I just find it really unreasonable, and I know you have done stories and I certainly don't question your track record of making sure that those types of issues are raised publicly, but this is a personal story that Hillary Clinton has told, and it's not the first that told it. It didn't come out of the blue. But using it as an illustration is an important way to jump off so that you can talk about the topic of making sure that we continue to make progress for women in this country in a variety of ways. Where democratic candidates for president are fighting for that and Republicans want to take women backwards. Republicans have brought us to the brink where they were willing to shut the government down over Planned Parenthood funding and access to health care for women. This is a personal story of Hillary Clinton's and it is one that I have heard over the last few days is not where you can go back and ask a recruiter whether that happened. She was using it as an illustration and it's not the first time she raised it and it's an appropriate illustration and a personal experience. Do we need every single experience in a person's life to be written in stone and blood and verifiable? There are things that happen to people all across America that can't be verified and I know your next question's going to be about Ben Carson. I think quite frankly, the same goes for stories about Ben Carson. The issues that are important to Americans in this race are who is going to go to bat for them, have their back and make sure they can build those cornerstones of the middle class life.” 

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