Dem leaders: GOP using 'vitriol' in debt debate by showing Affleck clip

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"When we set out to get our country's deficit problem in order and under control, we knew that it would be a difficult debate," Wasserman Schultz said at a press conference at the DNC. "But I don't think anyone anticipated that our disagreements would lead to the type of vitriol and negative tone that this clip was clearly meant to incite."

"Not only did the Republican leadership apparently think this clip appropriate for their meeting, those in attendance seemed to embrace its message," she added.

Wasserman Schultz didn't call for an apology, and suggested it would've been more appropriate to use clips from the sports movies "Rudy" or "Hoosiers," or the World War II series "Band of Brothers."

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) use of the clip to rally divided GOP lawmakers around House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) plan to raise the debt limit became a tempest in a tea pot on Wednesday.

The Washington Post first reported the clip, noting at Tuesday's GOP conference meeting, McCarthy began his pitch by showing this scene:

One character asks his friend: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later.”

“Whose car are we gonna take,” the character says.

After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.

“I’m ready to drive the car,” West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full-throated support for the plan.

The film is about Boston bank robbers trying to thwart federal investigators who are on their trail. Left out of the first quote was the line that ended the character's speech: "We're gonna hurt some people."

Clyburn and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) decried the clip as an example of bad manners by the GOP.

But Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, conceded that Democrats had once watched "Braveheart," which features violent battle scenes, at a caucus meeting. Then-Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.) showed that clip after Democrats lost control of the House. Clyburn said that clip was a "metaphor for maintaining our own faith in the process; it had nothing to do with any opposing view." Clyburn said he had shown clips of victories by the University of South Carolina's sports teams in recent months' caucus meetings as well.

Affleck, who has considered running for office as a Democrat, said he didn't know whether to take the incident as "a compliment or the ultimate repudiation" in a statement to The Huffington Post.

"But if they're going to be watching movies, I think 'The Company Men' is more appropriate," Affleck added.

The 2010 movie "The Company Men," also starring Affleck, portrays the effect the economy has on the lives of corporate businessmen.