CNN "Piers Morgan Tonight" - Transcript


By:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Date: Aug. 21, 2012
Location: Unknown


Well, joining me now for more on our big story, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She's the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

I guess you're probably rubbing your hands with glee, aren't you? Mr. Akin is going nowhere despite almost every single human being alive including on his own party demanding that he stand aside.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (R), FLORIDA: Well, that decision on whether or not to stay in the race for the United States Senate in Missouri is Todd Akin's. I would say that the sentiment that I'm feeling really tonight as a woman is incredible disappointment. Disappointment in the fact that Todd Akin on Sunday actually suggested that there was something called legitimate rape. And that biologically somehow victims of legitimate rape were able to block pregnancy, which is absolutely ludicrous.

But then you saw dozens of Republicans rushing to condemn those comments. And, Piers, those condemnations, they ring pretty hollow. When so many of them, including Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney's choice to run for vice president, over 200 Republicans co-sponsored the policy that reflects Todd Akin's sentiment.

When they co-sponsored HR-3 last year that would have changed into law the definition of rape to only mean forcible rape. And so, you know, forgive me if I'm less than -- I have not much belief in their protestations about Todd Akin's sentiment. When Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and dozens and dozens of their Republican colleagues have embraced that sentiment by co-sponsoring legislation that would do just that in the law. And then --


MORGAN: I mean there are people saying -- let me jump in there, Debbie. I mean, there are people saying, OK. Look.

SCHULTZ: No problem.

MORGAN: This is -- this was clearly a ridiculous thing for him to have said. He's made a fulsome apology. All right. He's decided to fight it out. He may or may not win.

But what people are saying is that President Obama rushing out to talk unannounced to the media, jumping on this issue, is because he was worried about the way that the debate was going over the economy. That Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan was actually doing quite well for them. And that this is a great way to get it all back to conservative social issues where Mitt Romney is more vulnerable.

SCHULTZ: I wouldn't say that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had a very good week. They started the week having to defend themselves on their plan to end Medicare as we know it. To shred the health care safety net for seniors, turn it into a voucher program, and instead of talking about be jobs and the economy which is the number one issue on voter's minds right now, they've been forced to talk about and defend their really terrible policy on Medicare which would turn Medicare into a voucher program, and increase health care costs for seniors by $6400.

And then at the end of the week, they had to defend Paul Ryan's hypocrisy on the stimulus, where he voted against it, but then really got caught not being truthful about the fact that he'd asked for stimulus funds for projects in his districts in which he said the reason he thought that they should be funded is because they created jobs.

All while saying he opposed the stimulus plan because it did nothing and created no jobs. So they had a tough week and now they -- week two is a little bit even more tough because it's been very clear that the Republican Party led by Mitt Romney after today, they issued their Republican Party platform that will be adopted at the convention next week.

Fully embraces a human life amendment to the constitution with no exception for rape, incest or the life of the mother. And so we've got a sentiment expressed by a Republican member of Congress. We've got legislation co-sponsored and embraced by the Romney-Ryan ticket that would actually put that sentiment into statute.

And now we have a Republican Party platform that was designed by Mitt Romney, that says that there is no -- there should be no exception for a woman when she wants to terminate a pregnancy.


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