A Democratic lawmaker Wednesday clarified his opinion on the new head of the Democratic National Committee after some interpreted it as criticism.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said he has full confidence that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) will perform well and that he did not intend for his comments to be seen as critical of the party's choice or the congresswoman. He did reiterate that she will likely experience stress, because neither role is a "part-time job."
Democrats pushed back hard after McDermott appeared to question Wasserman Schultz's ability to work in a dual capacity, as The Hill reported.
"Well Debbie's got a lot of energy, but I don't know how in the world she's going to do that," he said on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program. "She has taken on a big responsibility, I think she'll do a good job at it, but it's going to really strain her."
The DNC spent the afternoon blasting out more statements of support from top party officials, as it had done the previous day.
One senior Democratic strategist even remarked, "Jim McDermott has never served a day in leadership in Congress, so he really doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about."
The veteran congressman chuckled when read the quote and said that a lawmaker does not have to serve in leadership to share his opinion on political matters.
"Do you have to be in the terrible job to be able to observe? I'm a physician, I've watched people under great stress for many years," he said. "You don't have to serve in order to be able to observe."