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'We Can't Take Anyone's Vote For Granted': Clinton Campaigns For Shalala in South Florida

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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – The Coral Gables Woman's Club was packed with people wanting to see Hillary Clinton at a fundraiser for Donna Shalala on Wednesday.

But that was somewhat overshadowed by all the suspicious packages being sent to prominent democrats and the home of Hillary and Bill Clinton themselves.

"It's a troubling time isn't it?" Hillary said. "A time of deep divisions."

It's the first concern she addressed while in Coral Springs, the delivery of a potential explosive device to her home on Tuesday in Chappaqua, New York.

"We are fine and we are thankful to the men and women of the secret service who interrupted the delivery of the package to us," Clinton said.

Federal authorities are also investigating the delivery of suspicious packages addressed to the Washington, D.C. residence of former president Barack Obama, to the New York home of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, to former CIA director John Brennan at the New York offices of CNN, offices for former attorney general Eric Holder and Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

"We have to do everything we can to bring our country together," Clinton said. "We also have to elect candidates who will do the same, who will set goals to lift up every Floridian and American."

Clinton was in town for a $200 dollar a plate luncheon fundraiser for Democratic congressional candidate Donna Shalala.

She is also concerned about the delivery of suspicious packages to the Aventura and Sunrise offices of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was scheduled to be at the luncheon but did not appear.

"It's particularly scary near the end of an election," Shalala said. "So, clearly we need to find out about it and assist the FBI. We know they are all over it now. You know I know about October surprises and this is dangerous. This is something we need to get to the bottom of."

Many of the packages had their return addresses listed as Debbie Wassermann Schultz's address.

"This is a brave new world for suspicious packages and possible bombs," Shalala said. "All this must be investigated. This is not the way the world is supposed to operate."

"I am worried about divisions in this country and this world," said Clinton.

Clinton also said troubling times called for experienced leaders like Shalala, a former health and human services secretary under President Bill Clinton and University of Miami president for 14 years.

"Everything she has done from being a Cabinet secretary for eight years to University [of Miami] President, she has lived and worked her heart out," Clinton said. "It is important people vote for a leader that will put them first. We can't take anyone's vote for granted. Take it from me."

"I've had vast experience with issues and being creative about the finite," Shalala said. "I know the district. I have worked with community organizations. I have worked with universal health care. My parents and grandparents have lived in this community since World War II."

Shalala also took at jab at her opponent Maria Elvira Salazar.

"I've worked in the community for a long time," Shalala said "I haven't just interviewed people on TV. I've spent a lifetime of delivering. She can't. The reason she can't is that the Republican Party won't let her."

Shalala has campaigned on her experience and knowledge of key democratic issues including immigration reform, health care and curbing gun violence.

She and Hillary Clinton have known each other for four decades. Shalala was head of the Clinton Foundation for two years.

Democrats are seeking to retake control of Florida's District 27 seat in Miami-Dade County.




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