By Javier Manjarres
Congressional candidate Ozzie deFaria raises questions about the integrity of his campaign when he photo-shopped a dog collar around Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s neck for one of his advertisements, before stating on video that she “needed to be sent back to the pound.” Ozzie deFaria has now double-downed on his own ignorance by unapologetically repeating the ‘pound’ statement again.(Original post on deFaria)
At the recent Southwest Broward Republican Organization (SWBRO) monthly meeting which featured deFaria as the keynote speaker, deFaria referred to Wasserman Schultz to a “dog” and that she “needed to go back to pound.” deFaria may believe that this kind of shock-value remark will give his campaign a boost, but in reality it is a sheer lack of character on his part that could be used by the Democrat Party to paint all Republicans as “extremists” and “sexists” who are unfit to represent Americans in the U.S. Congress.
deFaria’s lapses in judgement are being talked about across the state and in Washington, D.C., as political insiders and Members of Congress have scoffed at deFaria’s tactics and are expressing the same concerns that his actions play right into the Democratic Party’s media narrative. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) placed deFaria in their ‘Young Guns’ program, but because of his actions, more members are beginning to distance themselves from the embattled congressional candidate and the race all together.
Congressman Pete Sessions, Majority Whip Eric Cantor, and Congressman Mark McCarthy did not want to comment on the matter and referred all media requests on this issue to the NRCC. NRCC’s Regional Press Secretary Nathaniel Sillin responded to our media request in true D.C. form and probably the smartest way to deal with this embarrassing situation- he punted the ball by not answering any direct questions about deFaria.
This is a smart play by the NRCC, because if they openly distances themselves from deFaria, it is essentially admitting that they made a mistake in judgement about deFaria. If the NRCC were to come out and defend deFaria, they make the case for the Democrats that the entire Republican Party is filled with those same extremists, misogynists and sexists. Needless to say, the Republican Party is in quite a pickle here- it’s a lose-lose situation for them.
We posed the following question to the NRCC:
Does the NRCC approve of such rhetoric, and is this what Americans are to expect from the new breed of Republican ‘Young Guns?’
This is Nathaniel Sillin’s official NRCC response to my question:
This race is a referendum on Debbie Wasserman Shutlz’s relentless pursuit of a job-destroying tax and spend big-government agenda. Gas prices are skyrocketing in South Florida. Rather than fight for energy independence and lower gas prices on behalf of Florida families, Wasserman Schultz appears committed to pursue the same failed policies that only benefits the anti-job interest groups who are bankrolling Democrat campaigns.” – NRCC Spokesman Nat Sillin
It will be interesting to see if the state and local Republican Party organizations will follow suit and turn their back on deFaria were he to come knocking for their support. One Florida State legislator told the Shark Tank,”What an embarrassment, does he even think that he has a chance?” The Broward County Republican Party (BREC) led by Richard DeNapoli is said to be quietly supporting deFaria’s campaign.
deFaria’s opponents in the Republican primary are Juan Eliel Garcia, Joe Kaufman, Gineen Bresso and Karen Harrington, who ran against Wasserman Schultz in 2010, and is considered the favorite to win the primary.
Since the NRCC refused to directly answer our questions about deFaria, what do you think about deFaria’s actions?