Tampa, Florida (CNN) - The woman working to ensure President Obama's re-election entered the political equivalent of the lion's den - and pounced on a debate moment to blast the Republican presidential candidates late Monday.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stood in the "spin room" at the Florida State Fair Grounds in Tampa following the Republican Tea Party Debate broadcast by CNN and countered the Republican candidates' slams of President Obama with some aimed back at them.
Wasserman Schultz painted the GOP candidates as disciples of an extreme political movement. Saying the eight assembled candidates "worship at the altar of the tea party," Wasserman Schultz used an incident from the debate to underscore her point.
At one point, debate moderator and CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked Texas Rep. Ron Paul what should happen to an employed young man who chose not to buy health insurance and then suffered a terrible accident.
"Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?" Blitzer asked Paul.
Part of Paul's response: "What he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself," adding, "That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks."
"But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?" Blitzer pressed.
Paul responded, "No." But some audience members cheered that idea.
Speaking to reporters after the debate, Wasserman Schultz said: "...Like the audience that shouted out "Yes!" to the question asked of Ron Paul - which was, would we let a 30 year old die if they were sick for six months and had no health insurance - that's how dramatically out of touch all of the Republican presidential candidates and the tea party are with what moderate mainstream Americans want."