“Walker has given women the back of his hand:” Comment creates political firestorm

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Controversial comments from one of the nation's top Democrats likens Governor Walker's policies to the domestic abuse of women. What's followed in the aftermath, is a political firestorm.

"Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand," said DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The comments were made Wednesday, September 3rd in Milwaukee during a round-table discussion on women's issues. Topics like minimum wage, and abortion restrictions.

"What Republican Tea Party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they're grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back and it's unacceptable," said Wasserman Schultz.

Comments Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz now appears to regret.

"I shouldn't have used the words I used. That shouldn't detract from the broader point that I was making that Scott Walker's policies have been bad for Wisconsin women, whether it's mandating ultrasounds, repealing an equal pay law, or rejecting federal funding for preventative health care -- Walker's record speaks for itself," said Wasserman Shultz.

During a campaign stop in Fond du Lac Thursday, September 4th, Governor Walker called the comments "outrageous."

"To use that kind of language is just completely inappropriate.  I would hope my opponent and others would denounce that.  People just shouldn't be using that kind of language," said Walker.

Earlier this year, Walker signed three bills into law to strengthen domestic violence policies. The laws establish a process for seizing an abuser's gun, mandate tracking of non-arrests, and require police to inform victims of their options.

For her part, Democrat Mary Burke addressed the topic at a women's event in Wausau on Thursday.

FOX6 News reached out to several local abuse shelters and domestic violence prevention programs for their take on the comments.

FOX6 News was told by a spokesperson from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence that most shelters are federally funded. This is just too much of a political "hot potato" to comment on, and doing so could jeopardize their funding.