CHARLOTTE – Earlier this evening, in an appearance on Fox News, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused the Washington Examiner of “deliberately” misquoting her comments claiming that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren stated that Republicans were “dangerous for Israel.”
The Washington Examiner is posting the audio below so that readers can judge for themselves whether Wasserman Schultz was misquoted.
By way of background, on Monday, the Obama campaign’s Jewish outreach arm held a training session at the Democratic National Convention instructing Jewish Democrats on how to convince fellow Jews to vote for Obama by breaking through what she characterized as Republican distortions of President Obama’s record on Israel.
Here’s how I reported on Wasserman Schultz’s statement in my writeup of the event:
As she was wrapping up her remarks, she claimed that, “We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel.”
The Washington Examiner could find no such public reference by Oren accusing Republicans of being “dangerous” to Israel. The Israeli embassy would not respond to a request for comment. (Update: The Israeli embassy has responded.)
Wasserman Schultz went on to elaborate that Republicans were “undermining Israel’s security by suggesting that the United States and Israel don’t have anything other than a unique and close and special relationship. It undermines Israel’s security to its neighbors in the Arab world and to its enemies. And we need to make sure that the fact that there has never been and will never be daylight between the two parties or the support for Israel that we have in the United States, that that is conveyed to Jewish Americans across this country. That’s our responsibility. It’s the responsibility we’re asking all of you to take on.”
You can read my full post [at link].
After my report ran, the Israeli embassy put out a statement from Oren in which he said: “I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel. Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle.”
Tonight, Fox New’s Shepard Smith asked Wasserman Schultz about my story and Oren’s response.
“I didn’t say he said that,” Wasserman Schultz insisted. “And unfortunately, that comment was reported by a conservative newspaper. It’s not surprising they would deliberately misquote me. What I always say is that unfortunately the Republicans have made Israel a political football, which is dangerous for Israel. And Ambassador Oren has said that we can’t ever suggest that there is any daylight between the two parties on Israel because there isn’t. And that that’s harmful to Israel. That’s what I said, and that is accurate.”
Below, find the audio of what she said on Monday, which I’m confident demonstrates that I quoted her accurately in my story. The relevant part starts around the 28-second mark.
After listening to the audio, you can check out the clip above of her on Fox News saying she was “deliberately” misquoted, and judge for yourself.