ABC News’ Tahman Bradley Reports:
Democrats are hoping to cease on House Republicans’ use of a clip from the crime caper “The Town” to rally troops at a closed-door meeting on Tuesday. Today, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee said the GOP’s use of the clip shows that Republicans want to hurt people.
“I don’t think anyone anticipated that our disagreements would lead to the type of vitriol and negative tone that this clip was meant to incite,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters at news conference this afternoon.
“Who are they planning to hurt?,” she added.
Democrats called the news conference hours after blogs starting picking up on word that the clip was played by House Republican Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA) yesterday at a meeting of Republican lawmakers. The Washington Post first reported use of the clip.
The clip in question, from the 2010 movie “The Town”, shows a bank robber played by Ben Affleck asking his friend played by Jeremy Renner to join him in a violent crime. “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we’re going to hurt some people,” the Affleck character says. Renner character responds, “Whose car are we gonna take?”
Wasserman Schultz and The Assistant House Democratic Leader, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, played the clip for reporters at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.
“The clip they used was this one, one in which it underscores their desire to hurt people,” said Wasserman Schultz.
She accused Republicans of being unwilling to compromise in negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, and said the movie scene’s use reflects the GOP’s real intentions. “I find it to be a sad metaphor of what we’ve seen from the Republicans throughout the course of this debate — an unwillingness to compromise, a barely veiled interest in hurting the president politically, and a plan that would hurt millions of vulnerable Americans while requiring nothing of the most fortunate,” she said.
“Either they meant that in their unity they should hurt (President Obama) and hurt Democrats, or they meant that they should be unified in hurting people in America, which is what their plan does hurting seniors, hurting the middle class, hurting children, or they meant it both ways. “
Clyburn admitted at the news conference that Democrats have used movie clips in closed-door meetings to unify members — for example, Democrats watched Braveheart when they lost their majority in the 1990s, he said. But Wasserman Schultz insinuated that the “The Town” clip was meant to rile up GOP members to hurt people.
“They could have used “Hoosiers”, “Rudy”, “Band of Brothers”, but this was the choice that they made,” said Wasserman Schultz.
Wasserman Schultz had no comment when asked about a Washington Post report that Rep. Allen West, a fellow Floridian with whom she’s been feuding, told his colleagues after watching the clip, “I’m ready to drive the car.”
Republicans have not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment about use of the clip.