Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the Republican National Committee summer meetings in Chicago on August 8, 2014.
Kamil Krzaczynski—AP
September 3, 2014 6:31 PM EDT

Update at 2:46 p.m. on Sept. 4

Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz took the War on Women metaphor to its outer limit Wednesday, ripping Republican Governor Scott Walker over women’s issues at the Milwaukee Athletic Club.

“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand,” said Wasserman Schultz, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I know that is stark. I know that is direct, but that is reality.”

“What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back,” she added. “It is not going to happen on our watch.”

A Walker campaign spokesperson declined to comment, but did point to Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch’s Journal Sentinel response urging Walker’s Democratic opponent Mary Burke to denounce Wasserman Schultz’s statements. Stephanie Wilson, a spokesperson for Burke, indicated that Wasserman Schultz should have used different language in describing differences in policy.

“That’s not the type of language that Mary Burke would use, or has used, to point out the clear differences in this contest,” says Wilson. “For the last 11 months of this campaign, and in the final 9 weeks left to go, Mary is committed to pointing out those clear differences—there is plenty that she and Governor Walker disagree on—but those disagreements can and should be pointed out respectfully.”

Wasserman Schultz admitted on Thursday that she had made a mistake.

“I shouldn’t have used the words I used,” said Wasserman Schultz in a statement. “But 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. As for the issue of domestic violence, it’s unacceptable that a majority of congressional Republicans opposed this critical legislation [The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013], of which I was a proud cosponsor, after blocking its reauthorization for more than a year.”

A compilation of polling conducted by Real Clear Politics shows the Burke-Walker race statistically tied.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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