Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the congresswoman in charge of President Barack Obama’s reelection bid, has been slammed as “a Chihuahua in high heels,” by former adversary Mark Foley.
And Foley said he can fully understand why fellow Florida Rep. Allen West got upset with her, calling her “vile” and “not a lady” after she attacked him.
“I didn’t like the way he responded to her, but I know exactly why he got mad at her, because she’s the kind who kind of sticks the finger in your chest and keeps belittling you,” said Foley, who sat with Wasserman Schultz in both the Florida House and in Washington.
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In a wide-ranging interview with Newsmax.TV, Foley, a Republican who resigned from the House in 2006, did not mince words over politics and the state of the country. He said:
- Dozens of incumbents in Congress will be booted out next year as voters hate both parties equally;
- Mitt Romney would be a better presidential candidate if he stopped running away from his record as governor of Massachusetts;
- He is not sorry to see Tim Pawlenty quit the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and;
- If he had still been in Congress, he would have voted in favor of raising the debt ceiling.
He also addressed his own cancer, saying he is now in recovery after the removal of his prostate gland just five weeks ago.
Foley said Wasserman Schultz has a habit of “sticking her foot in her mouth” which could come back to hurt her.
“She claims Americans don’t support the auto industry because they don’t buy American cars and she has two foreign cars,” he said.
And her latest claim that Obama is in good shape going into the next election is another example of her saying things that are not backed up by reality. “He dipped below 40 percent approval rating, the worst presidential approval rating in recorded history. If she thinks that’s a benchmark for launch, good luck to her.”
Foley said Wasserman Schultz’s role as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee involves trying to put West out of a job as a Congressman so he can understand why he got angry with her.
“I’ve known Debbie a long time. I served in the state House with her,” he said. “She’s a Chihuahua in high heels. She’s nip and tuck and I can see why Allen West got mad.
“When someone’s day job is to eliminate your job, which is what she’s supposed to do, that can rile you, but he should not have responded in the way he did.”
On the presidential race, Foley, now a real estate agent and radio talk show host, said a “business-inspired candidate” such as Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry or former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman would have the best chance of beating Obama.
“He has presided over the worst economic mess and amplified the mess,” Foley said of the president. “He can go ahead and blame George Bush and the Republicans all he wants – we deserve some blame for the economic misfortune we find ourselves in – but there’s a point where he has to stop and play leader of the free world.
“My gut tells me Perry’s going to be a pretty quick star. He’s managed a state that’s a border state and has had to deal with immigration which will be the top tier issue facing America. He has more job starts in America than most any state and Austin, Texas is one of the most enviable places to live in the country, so most of the things he has done he seems to have done well.”
Foley made it clear he was not endorsing Perry, but added, “Someone like him, who has managed in an economic turmoil and has proven after 10 years as governor that he can lead us to the promised land and create jobs – that’s a pretty good message.”
He said front-runner Romney would be better served if he stopped trying to pretend he was not responsible for things that went on in Massachusetts when he was governor.
“If Romney would honestly own his Massachusetts record and stand up and say, ‘Yeah, I voted for those things, I was governor of the most liberal state in America and here’s why I can be president based on that notion,’ I’d admire him a lot more. But he seems to distance himself from where he was in Massachusetts.
“He was a great governor, great leader of the Olympics, a great business mind and could instantly bring credibility to the White House effort to create jobs in America.”
Foley said that Pawlenty’s withdrawal from the field was no bad thing, and suggested others struggling in the polls should soon follow. “It clears some of the wood and allows people to say, ‘hey there’s a good set of candidates we can choose from.’ “
Foley predicted that the 2012 election will be another watershed as voters express their dissatisfaction with incumbents from both parties, and the prolonged battle over raising the debt ceiling was a prime example of the malaise in Washington. “I would have voted to raise it,” with spending reforms, he said.
“People are frightened. They are frightened for their own survival. They are worried about their jobs, they’re worried about their mortgages, worried about their kids’ future.
“They look at their 401(k)s, look at their bank statements, look at job security and they’re frightened. Then they see our political leaders arguing as if they are schoolchildren in a fight. It’s permeated the psyche of people unlike I’ve ever seen before. They now hate both parties universally. They hate members of Congress be they are men or women.
“They distrust the president for not providing solutions, they are tired of him just constantly blaming someone else – if he had his way he would be blaming Reagan for the problems today. So they sense a lack of leadership, a lack of optimism and clearly a lack of focus on the direction out of this problem.”
On his cancer, Foley urged men around his age, 56, to have annual prostate checks and not make the mistake he did. “My father had prostate cancer and I should have assumed that it would be hereditary. That being said, I missed a couple of annual physicals,” he admitted.
“I feel great but there are a lot of things that had I been more aggressive at the front end, they could have planted a little seed in the prostate and it could have killed the cancer, but instead I ended up in a radical prostatectomy, which is a removal. That’s not fun.”
Foley, who quit near the end of his sixth term in Congress, said he often thinks of returning to politics.
“I enjoyed the job. I love helping people solve problems…I miss the debate. I miss helping seniors and veterans. I loved finding a problem and solving it for people.”