Top Dem on GOP overhaul: 'You can't put lipstick on a pig'
February 11th, 2013
03:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Top Dem on GOP overhaul: 'You can't put lipstick on a pig'

(CNN) - Republican attempts at honing their message to become more inclusive are merely superficial ploys, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee declared Monday.

"You can't put lipstick on a pig," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on a conference call prebutting Tuesday night's Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.

The response will be delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican hailed on the cover of Time Magazine this week as "The Republican Savior." Rubio has been the leading Republican voice for comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, adding his name to a bipartisan framework unveiled last month.

But even Rubio hasn't grasped the take-away from last month's election, Wasserman Schultz argued Monday, saying his continued support for spending cuts to entitlement programs reflected a disconnect with voters.

"What's particularly unfortunate is that Sen. Rubio, along with the leadership of the GOP, has not gotten the message of voters from the election," Wasserman Schultz said. "They've seen the aftermath of the election, with the top to bottom review, and they don't think there's anything wrong with their polices, they just think they have to package them better."

Among those policies is the House GOP budget proposal advanced by Rep. Paul Ryan, last year's GOP vice presidential candidate. The DNC chairwoman honed in on Rubio's support for the plan, which includes the provision that Medicare-approved private insurers would one day compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange.

The plan's opponents, including Wasserman Schultz, say that would increase the financial burden on senior citizens. The DNC chairwoman said Rubio in particular was vulnerable because he represents a large number of senior citizens in Florida.

"I think because Sen. Rubio has been asked to do the rebuttal to the State of the Union, and he's from Florida, and the major policies of the Republican Party - which they have not shied away from since the election, despite the election results - makes him particularly open to criticism," she said.

The "lipstick on a pig" phrase has been thrown around frequently in politics, including on Sunday, when Rep. Keith Ellison used it to describe the same GOP revamp that Wasserman Schultz was criticizing. Former Vice President Dick Cheney told a crowd in 2004 it was his "favorite line."

Obama's use of the phrase during the 2008 presidential election had Republicans demanding an apology. The campaign of then-rival John McCain said Obama's remarks were offensive and a slap at Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, despite the fact that the Arizona senator himself used the phrase a year earlier to describe a policy proposal of Hillary Clinton's.

Palin put her own spin on the line during her 2008 convention speech, asking what the difference was "between a hockey mom and a pit bull."

"Lipstick," she said.

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Actually, Palin is the biggest Marxist-Socialist of the bunch, and she does it while singing tbe praises of " rugged individualism". Hypocritcal POS, but, what do you expect of the wacko fringe Right, that cannot keep basic historical facts straight and worships Ayn Rand and the "Virtues of Selfishness"? What an abomination the conservative movement has become.

    February 11, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Wilson

    The "fundamental transformation of America" effort continues in Texas. Is it any wonder to anyone that has read "Atlas Shrugged," the book is being used as the blueprint for re-creating America as a third world country?
    In its quest to turn America's youth against America, the Left seemingly forgot the admonition not to mess with Texas. As the Star-Telegram reports, a web-based curriculum used by more than 70 percent of school districts in the Lone Star State is asking 6th grade students to help design a flag for "a new socialist country." The lesson plan reads in part, "Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag. ... What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?"

    On the other hand, other Texas students are being taught that the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism. Texas state legislators are looking none too kindly on the lesson plans, with one state senator noting, "It's amazing that when you all called our Founding Fathers terrorists, in Texas, that you thought that wasn't going to cause problems." Clearly, this should cause problems not only in Texas but also everywhere in America. Of course, with Democrats' strategizing to turn Texas into a blue state, better government school brainwashing is surely one way to do it.

    February 11, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. freedom

    I think she should be careful using that term.....

    February 11, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. critical thinking

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said; 'You can't put lipstick on a pig'

    Really Deb? I've seen pictures where you had lipstick on.

    February 11, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Michigan patriot wrote:

    I agree exactly with the last comments. She is a Socialist/Marxist and ... ... ...
    ------------
    Do you even know what Karl Marx believed in? Remember, Ayn Rand read Marx' "Das Kapital" when she was young. Her "Atlas Shrugged" is in fact a fictional story about living in the type of society that Marx aspired to, Imperial Capitalism.

    February 11, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Wilson

    @The Real Tom Paine

    -Wilson

    @Larry L

    @Wilson

    Aaaah, now here we have a truly evil individual.
    =================================================================================================
    This is the first time I've ever seen a poster introduce themselves with such an honest appraisal. Did you have a comment?
    ---
    An observation. Liberals tend to be either looters, moochers, gullible, or evil. I would ask which you are, but from reading your posts you are one of the latter two. Debbie, on the other hand, is pure evil.
    ************************
    Strange, that sounds like every right-winger I have ever met. Condones stealing from the taxpayer, wants their industries subsidized, watches FOX News and recites every word back that Sean Hannity says each night, or just hates everyone and everything and expects to be lionized anyway, Yep, that's you. And, by the way, Palin a paraiste, from the biggest, most parasitic state of all, Alaska, where almost $2 goes to them from the rest of us while they only put back $1. Yep, she' s the embodiment of everything that Ayn Rand hated, so naturally she's a conservative. The virtue of selfishness, ee-haw!
    ------------------------------------
    Aaaah, another evil and therefore irrelevant. Don't know what happened to you Tom, but a person used to be able to have an intelligent conversation with you, now you seem to be just a typical name calling liberal. It it thanks to you, by they way, and others of your belief, that caused me to read "Atlas Shrugged." I had never heard of it until I saw all the comments dogging the author, so got curious and read it.

    February 11, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Moose

    @Real tom, what a brown noser you are. if bamman passes do you burp ???? LOL

    February 11, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -Wilson

    The "fundamental transformation of America" effort continues in Texas. Is it any wonder to anyone that has read "Atlas Shrugged," the book is being used as the blueprint for re-creating America as a third world country?
    In its quest to turn America's youth against America, the Left seemingly forgot the admonition not to mess with Texas. As the Star-Telegram reports, a web-based curriculum used by more than 70 percent of school districts in the Lone Star State is asking 6th grade students to help design a flag for "a new socialist country." The lesson plan reads in part, "Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag. ... What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?"

    On the other hand, other Texas students are being taught that the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism. Texas state legislators are looking none too kindly on the lesson plans, with one state senator noting, "It's amazing that when you all called our Founding Fathers terrorists, in Texas, that you thought that wasn't going to cause problems." Clearly, this should cause problems not only in Texas but also everywhere in America. Of course, with Democrats' strategizing to turn Texas into a blue state, better government school brainwashing is surely one way to do it.

    **********************************
    Interesting. Care to tell us who wrote the textbook, and how is it that this rather provocative new interpretation on the Boston Tea Party got past Rick Perry's appointed members of the board that reviews textbooks, the same people who allowed Creationism to be taught alongside Evolution? Your story is nothing more than another rightie fantasy. Under what circumstances is the flag-creation exercise being done, and how is it that over 70% of the school districts missed this? You seem to have a lot of holes in your story, but, that seems to be par for the course for you. Ayn Rand is imbedded in the Conservative movement and the GOP at this point, and its whole objective is to idealize greed as the ultimate virtue.

    February 11, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. They Never Learn

    @The Real Tom Paine–Thank you for your comments. Some of the people that post here are so full of hate that I just have to Pray for them.

    February 11, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Wilson

    @The Real Tom Paine

    -Wilson

    @Larry L

    @Wilson

    Aaaah, now here we have a truly evil individual.
    =================================================================================================
    This is the first time I've ever seen a poster introduce themselves with such an honest appraisal. Did you have a comment?
    -
    An observation. Liberals tend to be either looters, moochers, gullible, or evil. I would ask which you are, but from reading your posts you are one of the latter two. Debbie, on the other hand, is pure evil.
    ************************
    Strange, that sounds like every right-winger I have ever met. Condones stealing from the taxpayer, wants their industries subsidized, watches FOX News and recites every word back that Sean Hannity says each night, or just hates everyone and everything and expects to be lionized anyway, Yep, that's you. And, by the way, Palin a paraiste, from the biggest, most parasitic state of all, Alaska, where almost $2 goes to them from the rest of us while they only put back $1. Yep, she' s the embodiment of everything that Ayn Rand hated, so naturally she's a conservative. The virtue of selfishness, ee-haw!
    ------------
    Aaaah, another evil and therefore irrelevant. Don't know what happened to you Tom, but a person used to be able to have an intelligent conversation with you, now you seem to be just a typical name calling liberal. It it thanks to you, by they way, and others of your belief, that caused me to read "Atlas Shrugged." I had never heard of it until I saw all the comments dogging the author, so got curious and read it.
    ***************************************************
    Glad you actuially read something. Its a pity that Rand is used by people she openly despised, namely the religious Right. If you are inspired by her to accept greed as the ulimiate vurtue, then I pity you, since all you have done is affirmed existing beliefs, not risen above them. As far as the name-calling is concerned, its you who have degenerated. I feel sorry for you.

    February 11, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Captain Awesome

    Rep. Wasserman Schultz, yes indeed – you are correct! So stop wearing lipstick.

    February 11, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Wilson

    @Rudy NYC

    Michigan patriot wrote:

    I agree exactly with the last comments. She is a Socialist/Marxist and ... ... ...
    ----
    Do you even know what Karl Marx believed in? Remember, Ayn Rand read Marx' "Das Kapital" when she was young. Her "Atlas Shrugged" is in fact a fictional story about living in the type of society that Marx aspired to, Imperial Capitalism.
    -----------------------------------
    Have you read the book? Yes, she describes a society espoused by Marx, and the destruction such a society leads to. The end of the book has America as basically a 3rd world country, brought to such an end by very similar policies being put in place by the current administration. Boiled down, simply, as "spread the wealth." Sound familiar?

    February 11, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. This Guy

    "It's amazing that when you all called our Founding Fathers terrorists, in Texas, that you thought that wasn't going to cause problems."
    One Man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Depends on who's doing the writing. Remember, History is written by the victors–if the UK had won the Revolutionary War, I'm pretty sure History would remember great men like Jefferson and Adams as "traitors" and "terrorists" rather than enlightened revolutionaries.
    Besides, any intelligent person reads many accounts of history to develop an informed view. If you're a bad enough parent to not discuss their education with them, then what they learn is ON YOU, not on the school system. Maybe you should be upset with the Texas School Board for resorting to outsourced online learning materials rather than real people to teach their classes.

    February 11, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    "......It it thanks to you, by they way, and others of your belief, that caused me to read "Atlas Shrugged." I had never heard of it until I saw all the comments dogging the author, so got curious and read it."
    -------------------
    ....and you found the thought of living in such a society, as described in the book, thoroughly appalling. Didn't you? What most right wing ideologues, like Paul Ryan, either don't know or choose to ignore is that "Atlas Shrugged" is a pretty accurate description of what Karl Marx had envisioned as the perfect socio-economic model in his classic "Das Kapital".

    They run around calling people Marxists totally ignorant of the fact their economic beliefs actually coincide with those of Marx.

    February 11, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Rick in OP

    Was the combination of the headline of this story and the photograph meant to be be a joke?

    February 11, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    -@Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    "......It it thanks to you, by they way, and others of your belief, that caused me to read "Atlas Shrugged." I had never heard of it until I saw all the comments dogging the author, so got curious and read it."
    -------
    ....and you found the thought of living in such a society, as described in the book, thoroughly appalling. Didn't you? What most right wing ideologues, like Paul Ryan, either don't know or choose to ignore is that "Atlas Shrugged" is a pretty accurate description of what Karl Marx had envisioned as the perfect socio-economic model in his classic "Das Kapital".

    They run around calling people Marxists totally ignorant of the fact their economic beliefs actually coincide with those of Marx.
    ************************
    Don't confuse him. He's been trying to push some babble about TX school texts describing the Boston Tea party organizers as terrorists: can't cite a source, can't cite the book, can't cite the author, but he treats it as gospel. He forgets that we read these books years ago: I read Rand and was appalled that anyone took anyone who talked about selfishness as a virtue, and then spent the last years of her life living of of her husband's Social Security. He's nothing more than a parrot. He loves the idea of a society like that: TX is the closest thing we have to it. I just hope he never takes "Brave New World" seriously.

    February 11, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick in OP

    Was the combination of the headline of this story and the photograph meant to be be a joke?
    ***************
    If it were a pic of Palin, yes.

    February 11, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. WHY NOT

    Most people will belive what they see–so if the repub want to be viewed as inclusive–act as you were the president– and treat him the way you would want to be treated–stand up more than three times, make some positive noise at least 12 times, shake his hand–
    This part is borderline RUDE: most of all keep John McPain silent and no interviews, cantor muzzled with a can and Paul Ryan nodding even if he's sleeping in agreement from time to time– and John nobrainer looking like he is not hung-over.

    February 11, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Penobscot

    Speaking of putting lipstick on a pig...Ms. Schultz.

    February 11, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Wilson

    @The Real Tom Paine

    Glad you actuially read something. Its a pity that Rand is used by people she openly despised, namely the religious Right. If you are inspired by her to accept greed as the ulimiate vurtue, then I pity you, since all you have done is affirmed existing beliefs, not risen above them. As far as the name-calling is concerned, its you who have degenerated. I feel sorry for you.
    --------------------------------------------
    It depends on your definition of "greed." Do I believe I should be able to keep as much of what I earn as possilbe? Yes.
    Do I have a problem having what I earn taken from me to be given to someone capable of work but choosing not to work, but to take money from me (via taxes) instead? Yes
    If that is what you mean by "greed," then color me greedy. To me, the person capable of working, but choosing not to, because they can get money from the government, are moochers and not worthy of the oxygen they use.

    February 11, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Wilson

    @Rudy
    ....and you found the thought of living in such a society, as described in the book, thoroughly appalling. Didn't you?------–Yes, I sure did. What was even more appaling is that the same policies the government in the book implemented, that led to the destruction of America, are quite similar to what is being implemented by the current administration, not only this one, but some past administrations as well.

    February 11, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. MeapersoninUS

    How about she is correct, the repuks are not going to 'change' they only are going to work hard at DECEIT and hope the American people won't remember the 2012 political race (all chocked up with repuks LIES after LIES after LIES).

    February 11, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    @this guy. Ask the senile old man from AZ. He answered the same question years ago at some college then he sicked joe the plumber on candidate Obama.

    February 11, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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