Top Dem on GOP overhaul: 'You can't put lipstick on a pig'
February 11th, 2013
03:18 PM ET
1 year 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. Ed1

    I guess that's why she isn't wearing any.

    February 11, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Wilson

    Aaaah, now here we have a truly evil individual.

    February 11, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. PatheticCNN

    Yes You are right. Not on GOP But Surely on Obama. Just Look at him what you and liberal media is doing on his lip for last Five Years.

    February 11, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. BigTBone

    SOTU address should hang an enormous albatross around the neck of the righties in Congress. I hope he mentions the filibusters, the blocking of appointments, the numerous attempts to defund/destroy the ACA, the legislation put forth against women and the complete failure to assist in getting our economy moving forward faster.

    He should label them by name, party and state for all history to remember as the lowest approved, most dysfunctional and least productive Congress in our nation's history. He should bring up "you lie" and "waterloo" as demonstrations of republican contributions to the betterment of the country...

    February 11, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. HTT

    Yes, you can and they keep trying again and again and again as if the public is as stupid as they are.

    February 11, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Louis Grue Jr.

    I'll tell you one thing and this is for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, I would rather kiss a pig with lipstick than to kiss a Socialist/ marxist liberal who has a peanut for a brain and thinks she is relevent !!!

    February 11, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Gee

    Oh yes you can...look in the mirror Debbie...

    February 11, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. lovespandas

    Talk about a PIG – this woman is the epitome of one!

    February 11, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    That's what the GOP has been trying to do, and with some success, since 1968 Nixon Campaign; the first Madison Ave. Campaign in US History. Paul Lutz, Lee Atwood & Karl Rove are the Masters.

    February 11, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Glad to see all my conservative chums came out to air their misgyny here. How's history's dustbin workin' out for ya, guys? The Whigs making enough room for you yet?

    Hint: Giving your "pig" a "tan" won't work either.

    February 11, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. 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?

    February 11, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. yolanda

    @BigTBone...I didn't realize that this congress was comprised of only Republicans. Perhaps you should take the time to recognize that the Senate has a Democratic majority and it has been less than stellar in it's accomplishments. Maybe a little less finger pointing from both sides, as well as a bit of civility, would lead to our country regaining some stature and credibility. Your post is no more constructive than the blather that you admonish the Republicans for....

    February 11, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Michigan patriot

    I agree exactly with the last comments. She is a Socialist/Marxist and has a peanut for a brain, and YES she can look in the mirror, its possible to put lipstick on a pig. All she wants is to see this great country destroyed. Obama and his crew are doing this job with her help and the stupid media. Unfortunately we don't have real reporters anymore!

    February 11, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Larry L

    The GOP is looking for new marketing gimmicks – not a new ideology of tolerance, compassion, pragmatism, and logic. Republicans need to find ways to make people BELIEVE they are changed but nothing indicates that is true – especially moronic comments from the Fox News drones we see here.

    February 11, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. bcrunner

    @Louis Grue Jr: You're trying to say that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not relevent, but you are trying to tell us that Rubio and Rand Paul are?? Really?

    February 11, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. 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.

    February 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    Michigan patriot

    I agree exactly with the last comments. She is a Socialist/Marxist and has a peanut for a brain, and YES she can look in the mirror, its possible to put lipstick on a pig. All she wants is to see this great country destroyed. Obama and his crew are doing this job with her help and the stupid media. Unfortunately we don't have real reporters anymore!
    ---

    your tri-fold hat and powdered wig are a little too tight there "patriut" The mooslum prezident be wanting to roooin this here grate country with hiz soshulist/marksist (whatever stupid label du jour it is for you clowns) and there ain't nuthin' yous can do 'bout it. That lame stream media don't do nuthin' but kiss his backside evury day.

    February 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Bill from GA

    Ah, but Debbie, they've got marc rubio, and he knows who Tupac is!!!

    Don't underestimate them.

    (That's sarcasm, for those who aren't quite sure.)

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Prez, 2016!

    (That's not sarcasm)

    February 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Wilson

    @Larry L

    I have never considered Sarah Palin to be completely useless. Many nations supply their military with comfort women and of course our Defense Department would never, at least in modern times, sanction such activities. Still, nothing prevents a dedicated patriot from providing comfort of a purely voluntary basis. However, I recommend she actually finish that job...
    -------------------------–
    Make that evil, and irrelevant.

    February 11, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Louis Grue Jr.

    hey BigTBone, You call what you are " PROGRESSIVE " ? You know that progressive in politics in a synonym for communism. Who do you think you are fooling ? Is that what you are? We are not a communist state yet . Don't expect any help from conservatives !!

    February 11, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -Michigan patriot

    I agree exactly with the last comments. She is a Socialist/Marxist and has a peanut for a brain, and YES she can look in the mirror, its possible to put lipstick on a pig. All she wants is to see this great country destroyed. Obama and his crew are doing this job with her help and the stupid media. Unfortunately we don't have real reporters anymore!
    *************************
    And you proved her point. A person with a peanut for a brain is an improvement on the predictable mindless name calling that is par for the course from the conservative media-trained lemmings that post here. Any exchange on FOX News shows a complete lack of interest in civility. @ Yolanda, if the House gave the Senate something worthwhile that was not driven by ideology, then they would move it through. The House spent more time trying to screw over the President and the Democrats than in working with them. Now, the GOP doesn't have the skills needed to get the job done. They are trying to cover up their failures with an insincere marketing campaing that convinces no one. Performance on the job will, but they can't perform. Like the lady said, its putting lipstick on a pig.

    February 11, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Jake from Canada

    Anybody who believes that either party is out to "Destroy America" is clearly an insane person and should be put away. If you have an honest disagreement about a policy that's fine, feel free to disagree and post about your disagreement. But don't resort to ridiculous hyperbole. It only makes you look dumb, and you lose credibility.

    February 11, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. yolanda

    @Bill from Ga
    We can tell the difference between sarcasm and stupidity, thanks.

    February 11, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. 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!

    February 11, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Jim Hahn

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, those of you who complain that the Senate Democrats haven't done much, don't really understand the cloture process at all. In the Senate it takes at 60 votes to invoke cloture which is the closing of debate. Unless that happens, a bill cannot be voted on, thus it takes a super majority or at least some cooperation to get anything done in the Senate. If the Democrats had 60 senators and they worked together (not always the case), yes we might have gotten more done, but the minority party in the Senate can still stop progress cold.

    February 11, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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