Charleston, SC – Today the Democratic National Committee (DNC) held its final Executive Committee Meeting of 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, in conjunction with a meeting of the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC). Below are excerpts of DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s remarks to the Executive Committee. In addition, the Executive Committee proposed and adopted a resolution condemning the anti-Muslim rhetoric of the 2016 presidential campaign. The resolution is available HERE.
Find excerpts from DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as prepared for delivery:
“…And we’re looking forward to coming back to Charleston next month for our fourth Democratic presidential debate, in partnership with NBC, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and the South Carolina Democratic Party.
“We Democrats continue to stand in solidarity with South Carolinians and the citizens of Charleston as the Emanuel 9 families and friends, and indeed, wider community heal, recover, and – remarkably – find the strength to forgive the carnage that was wrought on them just two blocks from here earlier this year.
“The victims are in our hearts, and inspire us to keep fighting for laws and services that will keep communities and families safe. That also means fighting to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them and continuing to sound the alarm when our voting rights are in jeopardy because we must have people in elected office willing to fight for our values!
“I regret I wasn’t able to make it to ASDC’s gathering yesterday; I was stuck in Washington working to avoid yet another government shutdown.
“Like usual, we’ve gone right up to the line and passed a days-long continuing resolution in order to complete the job next week and keep the government funded through Sept. 30th of next year.
“This is what Republican leadership looks like, folks. And we’ve got our work cut out for us the next 11 months if we want to change the dynamics in Congress and keep the White House in Democratic hands.
“Congressional dysfunction is one thing, and it’s a real problem. But the outlandish and frankly terrifying rhetoric in the Republican presidential field has reached a terrible new low this week in front runner Donald Trump’s despicable, abhorrent comments about Muslims.
“He then doubled down on his plan right here across the river in Mount Pleasant, and has continued to do so throughout the week, even waffling on whether he would have supported Japanese internment during World War II.
“This is demagoguery, plain and simple. I’m reminded of that moving poem written after World War II:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
“Well we will be speaking loudly and clearly about these hateful policies because the Democratic Party will not allow are values or our people to be trampled upon. We are the party of opportunity, inclusion and equality for all.
“Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States, and his fellow candidates who do not unequivocally state that they will not support him as their nominee are not fit for the office, either.
“Thus far, we’ve mostly seen rote, mealy-mouthed reactions from Republican presidential candidates and their party’s Chairman, who say they don’t agree with Trump’s comments.
“But until they remove their names from the pledge to support him as their nominee, I don’t believe them.
“What Donald Trump is espousing is in essence a return to the McCarthy Era, in which fear and intimidation were used to divide us and make people suspicious of one another.
“Donald Trump is playing right into the most basic fears and aspirations of fringe right wing voters and, by the way, terrorists who wish to do us harm, who take glee in watching us tear each other apart from the inside with ugly rhetoric and horrifying plans.
“I’m not going to rest until I do every, damn thing I can to ensure we will never have to utter the words, ‘President Donald Trump’ or President ‘Anyone with an R next to their name’ for that matter. This isn’t just political. This is about who we are as a people - our morals and values.
“And let’s be clear. Donald Trump can be distracting, but the rest of this Republican field is not any better.
“Let that be your motivation these next few months.”