With a tough primary election just days away, Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Saturday avoided talking about recently leaked emails that led her to resign from the Democratic National Committee and instead focused on the emails’ impact on party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“When you talk to me about emails, I’m not sure which ones you’re talking about,” the six-term congresswoman told a reporter during an event in Miami Lakes, Florida, headlined by Democratic vice presidential nominee Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.
WikiLeaks released a trove of emails in late July — before the start of the Democratic National Convention — that showed DNC staffers appearing to support the nomination of the front-running Clinton over challenger Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The controversy led to Wasserman Schultz’s resignation as chairman of the committee and created more headwinds for her in the primary.
Sanders has endorsed and fundraised for challenger and law professor Tim Canova in the race Tuesday.
And Canova has further sought to bring national attention to his long-shot bid by filing a federal complaint that argues the leaked emails show Wasserman Schultz used DNC resources to track his campaign.
A South Florida Sun Sentinel/Florida Atlantic University poll released earlier this week shows Wasserman Schultz ahead of Canova 50-to-40 percent.
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“If you mean (Clinton’s) emails, … I’ve been campaigning all over this community, all over the state and all over the country,” Wasserman Schultz also told the reporter Saturday. “There is not one person, (when) I go and campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton that asks me about emails.”
Wasserman Schultz also said voters instead want assurances that the economy will be stronger and want to know what she and Clinton, if elected, will do to expand and strengthen Social Security.
“That’s what they care about,” she said before staffers arrived and the interview ended.
The main issues in race, in the state’s 23rd Congressional District, a largely Democratic-leaning community in South Florida with a significant Jewish population, have been a mix of local concerns like the future of Social Security and national interests — including Wasserman Schultz’s support for the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal.
Critics of the deal, in which Iran pledges to curtail its pursuit of a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions, say it’s a threat to the national security of Israel.
“Nobody is more committed to the safety of Israel,” Wasserman Schultz said during her debate earlier this month with Canova.
Canova, who had said he supports the 2015 deal, said in the debate that he now doesn’t know how he would have voted had he been in Congress.
He has raised roughly $28 million for the race, in large part because of the national attention it has received.