Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) tersely stressed today that challengers of Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be focusing on her ethics.
Wasserman Schultz endorsed Clinton and was one of her campaign co-chairs in the 2008 election, before she was chairwoman of the DNC.
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who jumped into the race yesterday, told CNN this morning that he “absolutely” harbors concerns about Clinton’s trustworthiness or conflicts of interest.
“Anytime you run for office, at local level or any level, trustworthiness is a main concern of the voters… and that perception of untrustworthiness, it’s something you cannot sweep away. It’s something very, very important, no matter what office you run for,” Chafee said.
“I think it’s the record just going back over decades of questionable ethical practices, and people bringing up Whitewater and all these things, the Rose Law Firm record,” he continued. “It just seems like it never stops. So, now, we are in the tenure of secretary of state and the e-mails and, of course, the Clinton Foundation donations at the same time the State Department is making critical conditions that are combined with those donations by the Clinton Foundation. It’s just too close and too many ethical questions.”
When asked if Chafee’s comments were “appropriate,” Wasserman Schultz later told CNN “our candidates should stick to the ideas that draw a contrast between our party and our party’s agenda and the Republicans.”
“And those are the appropriate questions to be raised during our primary debate and that we need to make sure we continue to draw contrast with them,” she said.
Wasserman Schultz said she expects former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to possibly join the race, and “that would probably round out our field.”
“There’ll be candidate forums, debates which we previously announce. Then ultimately, we’ll have one nominee that will have the united support of the party in Philadelphia next July 25th,” she said.
Candidates other than Clinton have already complained about the DNC-sanctioned debate schedule. Wasserman Schultz said “the main candidates for president seeking the nomination of our party will be invited to participate in our sanctioned debates.”