Decide for yourself: Does it seem like Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz "blames [the] Tea Party for [the] Giffords shooting" like the Republican National Committee and its chairman, Reince Priebus, repeatedly tweeted last night?
Wasserman Schultz fired back, also via tweet:
The transcript, below the cut.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: The American people are losing faith in Congress. [inaudible] because of the lack of civility. What do you think can be done to bring that faith back and then we can start thinking that they're doing their job instead of just fighting with each other?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, as someone who spent 19 years as a member of a legislative body, I really agree with you, that we need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago where my very good friend, Gabby Giffords, who is doing really well by the way, and I know everybody is so thrilled, as I am, to hear that, making tremendous progress.
But the discourse in America, the discourse in Congress in particular, to answer your question, very specifically, has really changed.
And I'll tell you, I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.
After the 2010 elections, when you had the Tea Party elect a whole lot of their supporters to the United States House of Representatives and you had town hall meetings that they tried to take over and you saw some of their conduct at those town hall meetings, you know, in the time that I've been in my state legislature and in Congress, I've never seen a time that was more divisive or where discourse was less civil.