LAS VEGAS — Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz shied away from questions over whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account should be a topic of debate here on Tuesday night.
Asked by The Daily Caller after a roundtable discussion at the Wynn Hotel whether she agreed with President Obama’s recent characterization of Clinton’s email use as a “mistake” and a “legitimate” issue, Wasserman-Schultz acknowledged that Clinton herself has said that she should not have used a private email account.
But the Florida congresswoman declined to say that the issue should open Clinton up to a grilling Tuesday.
“The debate tonight is going to be focused on how a potential candidate for president is going to move our country forward,” Wasserman-Schultz said.
Asked whether Clinton’s trustworthiness ratings — which have taken a major hit during the email scandal — should be on the table, Wasserman-Schultz demurred.
“I think the American people are going to be making decisions based on which candidate they think is best going to continue to help move them forward,” she said.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Obama subtly chided Clinton for using a personal email account and private server, calling the decision a mistake.
He said that he did not know that Clinton used a private server.
And though Obama did dispute the claim that the system created a national security threat, he said that the concerns raised over it were “legitimate” and that federal officials should always be careful about how they handle government information.
If Clinton is questioned about her email use Tuesday, the grilling will most likely have to come from the debate’s moderators — CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Clinton’s campaign opponents have showed a reluctance to attack the front-runner about her home-brew system. Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s closest challenger, has refused to hammer her on the issue. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has subtly criticized her, saying that the email scandal has detracted from discussing other issues.