WASHINGTON -- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is raising money off the fact that she is running a campaign against five children -- well, at least five adults behaving like children -- in her bid for re-election.
In a Tuesday campaign email to supporters, Wasserman Schultz said her re-election boils down to a choice between her record of fighting to protect children versus "a bunch of radical Republicans who prefer to act like children."
"Actually, sorry. That's insulting to children," she says. "I know my own kids would never Photoshop someone into a dog collar like one of my opponents did to me."
Wasserman Schultz, who is also chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was referring to one of her Republican challengers, Ozzie DeFaria, who called her President Barack Obama's "attack dog" and depicted her in a studded dog collar on his website.
She also takes aim at Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.). He's not running against her, but he drew attention to himself in July 2011 by sending her and other lawmakers an email calling her "vile" and "not a lady" after she questioned his stance on Medicare during a House debate on spending.
Even "the world's brattiest 11-year-old would have better manners than to say I was 'not a lady' for speaking out to protect Medicare," she says. "Republicans in Washington love nothing more than to throw temper tantrums, holding their breath and stomping their feet until they get their way. And Republicans here in South Florida are hoping they can defeat me with a campaign rooted in playground taunts and childish name-calling. Enough's enough -- it's time to give the GOP a time out."
The Florida Democrat asks supporters to donate to her campaign in the name of being represented in Congress by a full-fledged adult. She says her Republican opponents, like naughty children, are "just desperate for attention" and the best way to "punish them" is by helping her get re-elected.
"I’d do anything to protect children and families in South Florida," Wasserman Schultz says. "But if the five Republicans running against me are going to act like children in this campaign, we’re just going to have to put our collective foot down."
The five Republicans running for Wasserman Schultz's seat are DeFaria, Joe Kaufman, Karen Harrington, Juan Eliel Garcia and Gineen Bresso. Kaufman, for one, recently made news after he accidentally shot himself.