- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders on Friday said “of course” 2016 Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton is qualified, two days after Mr. Sanders ticked off a list of reasons why he didn’t think the former secretary of state was qualified to be president.

“Here’s the truth: I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I respect Hillary Clinton — we were colleagues in the Senate,” Mr. Sanders said in a town hall on NBC’s “Today” show. “And on her worst day … she would be an infinitely better president than either of the Republican candidates.”

She’s qualified? he was asked.

“Of course,” he said. “But the point is I would hope that we get away from these attacks — which, by the way, the media likes very much — and start focusing, maybe we can do that today, on the real issues that impact the American people.”

Mr. Sanders said Wednesday evening at a rally in Philadelphia that Mrs. Clinton had been saying lately she thinks he is “not qualified” to be president.

“Let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton: I don’t believe that she is qualified if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special-interest funds,” Mr. Sanders had said. “I don’t think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC.”

“I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq,” he said. “I don’t think you are qualified if you have supported almost every disastrous trade agreement, which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs.”

The Clinton campaign said Mr. Sanders had crossed a line with the remarks and that Mrs. Clinton never actually said that.

“I think it’s kind of a silly statement. But he’s free to say whatever he chooses,” Mrs. Clinton said in an interview for the “Today” program taped before Mr. Sanders’ Friday comments.

Asked if Mr. Sanders is qualified, Mrs. Clinton said: “Here’s what I believe. I believe that voters will be looking at both of us. But I will take Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz anytime.”

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