Democratic Vice Chair R.T Ryback Calls Debbie Wasserman Schultz A Liar

On Thursday, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Vice Chair R.T Ryback accused DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of making statements that were “flat-out not true” regarding her feud with Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard over the Democratic debates. The former Minneapolis Mayor, who is usually regarded as a team player, took the gloves off on Thursday, and publicly expressed his dismay with Wasserman Schultz’s leadership.

The Democratic Party’s inner turmoil over how many presidential debates to include on the schedule has been simmering for weeks, but Ryback apparently reached a boiling point on Thursday, rallying to Gabbard’s defense, as he leveled criticism at Wasserman-Schultz.

Wasserman Schultz began the week on the offensive, arguing that Vice Chair Gabbard was causing an unwelcome distraction by focusing on the dispute over the number of debates, and that her dissension was drawing attention from the presidential candidates. Wasserman Schultz also insisted that she had consulted with all the party officers prior to scheduling the debates.

Ryback, however, disputed those claims and argued that Wasserman Schultz was “knowingly” saying something “that is flat-out not true.”


Ryback went on to say:

This is not a back-and-forth between a chair and a vice chair. This is a chair of the Democratic Party wrongly stating that she consulted with all of the party officers. I was not consulted. I know that Tulsi Gabbard was not consulted. And this is becoming about much more than debates.

The Democratic National Committee staff has never been stronger. The one thing that could stop us from having a great election coming up is if the chair continues to create these self-made dramas that are below what a chair should be doing…

I am seriously questioning whether she has the capacity to do what has to be done. And that’s why I’m doing what I wanted not to do for a long time, which is go public with my serious questions of whether she can lead this party.

While there is no doubt that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is sincere in her commitment and loyalty to the Democratic Party, what is not clear is her ability to lead the party. She has badly bungled the scheduling of presidential debates, and rather than admit to making tactical errors she has engaged in feuds with the party’s Vice Chairs. Furthermore, she has not been inclusive or consistent in her dealing with the candidates, essentially freezing out Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig, even though he is arguably polling better than Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb.

Her seemingly imperious leadership over the DNC might be tolerable if she could demonstrate that her autocratic tendencies had led to unprecedented Democratic electoral success during her tenure. However, just the opposite is true. The 2014 midterm elections were a political disaster with Wasserman Schultz at the helm. With the presidential election just a little over a year away, the DNC needs to come together and direct their energy towards battling the Republicans, rather than continuing to fight with one another. If Wasserman Schultz can’t unify her party, it might be time for a change at the top.

26 Replies to “Democratic Vice Chair R.T Ryback Calls Debbie Wasserman Schultz A Liar”

  1. From Charles Pierce

    There is no greater mystery in politics right now than the continued employment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chairperson of the Democratic National Committee.

    Despite her constant presence in the nation’s Green Rooms, I’m damned if I can see what she’s accomplished as a national chairperson. She’s presided over a catastrophic midterm election cycle that produced the worst Congress in the recent history of the Republic. And now, on at least two occasions in the past year, DWS has gone out of her way to break with the president on important foreign policy initiatives. First, she took a dive on the opening the president made with Cuba, because she is from Florida and very frightened. And now, it appears she has decided to play shenanigans with the Iran nuclear deal, both as a congresscritter and, worse, as DNC chairperson.

    Back in 2008, when she was running the DNC’s “Red to Blue” project, she famously abstained from supporting three Democratic challengers to incumbent Republicans – the Diaz-Balart brothers and the ever-insufferable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen –friend to terrorists who blow up passenger jets – because she was friends with all three of them.

    “I can’t say enough good things about Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; she has been my friend since I was first elected to office,” Wasserman Schultz said

    And this is not to mention the long history that DWS has with the Fanjul family, the premier sugar dynasty in Florida, or her longtime support from the private prison industry. I mean, seriously, what has this person done to benefit the Democratic party since she took the job in 2011?

  2. As Will Rogers said:

    Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.


    The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the Democrat is a cannibal they have to live off each other, while the Republicans, why, they live off the Democrats.

  3. I already posted on another thread what I think of Debbie. She is pitiful. She could not even answer on National TV what is democratic socialism. Free air time for the democrats and she delegates it to 6 just to try and favor Hillary while republicans get to define the democratic party.

    Most issues Democrats are on the populist side, yet for some reason we decide populist is not centrist and do not push those facts and figures.

    When issues are taken piece by piece most people lean towards liberal, yet we got shellacked in 2014 when republicans are voting no on veteran bills, shutting down the government, cutting taxes for the wealthy, red states are struggling, they continued their bigoted spewing, etc. There is absolutely no excuse for us getting shellacked in 2014. Democrats are doing a terrible job of messaging. Republicans have done a great job of demonizing the poor. They are doing a better job with hate and fear than we are messaging facts and reality.

  4. Unca Joe live off of Democrats, this is very true, Republicans do live off of Democrats. A Republican administration crashed the economy, then a Democratic president fixed and left $86B surplus. Then Supreme Court of Florida put a Republican, a governor’s brother, into the White House. Less than four years later, $86B surplus was turned into a $419B deficit, thanks to “:deficit don’t matter” administration.
    In 2009, A Democratic administration started cleaning up the mess left by Dubya. A $1.4T deficit is now less than $500B and the Democrats are still cleaning up the mess left behind by “deficit don’t matter” administration.
    Republicans don’t know how to govern. they can’t even elect a house leader.

  5. “The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.”
    ― P.J. O’Rourke, Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government

  6. R.T. Ryback: While I’m grateful you found your voice, I wish you had spoken up sooner. There have been tweets, petitions, rallies & FaceBook pages all dedicated to scheduling more debates; finally asking to be rid of this debate nazi. We’ve begged, cajoled, raged, called her names online & outright pleaded for her to step down. What do we have to do to get rid of DWS? She’s clearly not interested in a Democrat being elected; unless it’s Hillary Clinton. You are “seriously questioning whether she has the capacity to do what has to be done.” I suspect you already know the answer. While she pledged her allegiance to Israel – in defiance of our president – she destroyed what could have been the most exciting debates since Bill Clinton took the stage with Ross Perot. She is dangerous & a traitor to the party. Lessig & anyone interested should have been included in at least twice these six lousy debates. PLEASE do all you can to get her fired!

  7. when the gop is melting down, and they have a reality show carnival barker as its feature, the DNC has found a way to shoot itself in the foot. DWS is blowing it, and hillary looks bad not wanting more debates. dr. howard dean should be running the dnc again.

    If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
    Adlai E. Stevenson

  8. Perhaps it’s just a question of damage control? To cut her loose or keep her? Which decision creates the least amount of negative impact for the party? It’s a no brainer for me, specially looking at the 2012 midterms. However, I’m not considering the impact created by the media outlets. Mainly, because I can’t respect the corporations that feed their preferential opinions into their communication to the masses.

  9. Tell you the truth I have never heard of her until this dust up. Being in the DNC must be a thankless job for someone with that little experience could become a co-chair

  10. …bein’ serious {for once in my life}
    I am developing a theory that those thrust into the political spotlight before they are ready; before they get a lot of experience climbing the ladder, start thinking they are “Rock Stars” and become loose cannons within thier own party…
    {Lemme know if you don’t know the etymology of the term “Loose Cannons”}

  11. Bravo to Charlie. I’m sick and tired of the DNC refusing to back strong Dems with good chances of winning in the South and border states. It happens all too often and we wind up with ANOTHER Repub in office. Qui bono??

  12. The corporate media can certainly spin anyone they deem into a rock star these days. Long gone are the good ol’ days when politicians and journalist didn’t dine out, and socialize together.

  13. DWS responded by saying she has the skin of an alligator and has been in office 23 years. She said again, Gabbard was not uninvited. She said another group claimed DWS was in the tank for Biden and accused her of starting the debates in Oct. for his grieving period and giving him time.

    “The larger issue is a bunch of politicians with egos and they make up the DNC,” said Dr. Charles Zelden professor of history and political science”

    Zelden said the controversy won’t affect the run for the White House or Wasserman Schultz’s position with the DNC.

    “It’s building on her rep as aggressive and self-serving from people who are trying to take her place,” said Zelden.

    Wasserman Schultz says she looks forward to giving up the chairmanship after the next presidential election.

    Every 4 years.

  14. Ryback wanted to be chair 2 years ago.


    The conspiracy theories this election season are almost humorous. One candidate seems to have rather paranoid supporters and they have come up with some doozies on Kos and DU and in person here in my county too. It would be funny if it wasn’t so damn childish. The corporate media is in the tank, DWS is in the tank, the pollsters are in the tank. Hillary hired BLM to get on stage and Soros paid for it. Etc. crazy talk.

  15. As for Lawrence Lessig – that was in the rules posted in MAY. He did not qualify at over 1% in the six weeks so this article is wrong and Lessig, if he is complaining is wrong.

    “If any additional Democratic candidates decide to enter the race, they will need to meet the same criteria for participation as the existing candidates: receiving at least 1% in three national polls, conducted by credible news organizations and polling organizations, in the six weeks prior to the debate.”

  16. Interesting.

    I think there will be another shoe dropping on all this. There are two sides to it and so far these two have been loudly complaining about a drummed up problem to bring themselves some attention, perhaps.

  17. DWS should have either been fired, or should have stepped down after the 2014 election disaster. I blame her leadership style, or lack there of for not pursuing a massive get out the vote effort, or preventing centrist Dems who ran away from Obama instead of running with him which the way I see it is one of the main reasons we got hammered in that elections cycle. Now in this presidential election DWS is so consumed in coronating Hillary Clinton that she refuses to add more debates, has lied about the decision on the debate signal, and will stop at nothing to make sure Hillary is the nominee even if Bernie wins the delegate count. DWS is a disaster for the DNC and she must either step down as the DNC chair, or be removed. This Democrat gives DWS a vote of no confidence.

  18. I have to give them credit for letting Chafee and Webb on the stage at all.

    The block of granite and the block head time keeper do not belong there.

    I am surprised they weren’t locked in a closet until it was over so the dems wouldn’t look like we have some candidates who got lost on the way to the clown car.

    I am sorry 15 million people wasted time listening to Webb for 15 minutes. At least Chafee was fun to laugh AT and only wasted 9 minutes. 20 minutes is a long time to listen to wtf.

    It should require more than 1%. The clip of Wolf Blitzer eating Chaffee alive and asking him to give it up, was hysterical and it was also something DWS would never say even though we all thought it.

    I am sure she is diplomatic with them all when they deserve the “Wolf” honesty blast.

    This too shall pass.

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