Democratic leader compares Walker policies to slap

File photo.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz compared Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's policies effecting women to a slap Wednesday in language evoking images of domestic violence.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's campaign quickly distanced her from Wasserman Schultz, as Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch leapt to Walker's defense, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality," Wasserman Schultz said during an appearance in Milwaukee. She added, "What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch."

The Florida congresswoman criticized Walker for opposing a minimum wage increase and for signing a bill that would limit damages in employment discrimination cases.

Kleefisch said she was "shocked" to hear Wasserman Schultz use domestic violence language in discussing political disagreements.

"I think the remarks were absolutely hideous and the motive behind them was despicable," Kleefisch said.

Burke spokeswoman Stephanie Wilson said Burke would not have used such terms.

"There is plenty that she and Governor Walker disagree on — but those disagreements can and should be pointed out respectfully," Wilson said.

DNC spokeswoman Lily Adams said later that domestic violence is a serious issue and Wasserman Schultz "was by no means belittling the very real pain survivors experience."