Senator responds to 'running mate' talk

Ms Warren has called Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump a "loser" and "small, insecure money grubber", and criticised his recent attack on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel because of his Hispanic heritage.
Ms Warren has called Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump a "loser" and "small, insecure money grubber", and criticised his recent attack on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel because of his Hispanic heritage.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • After endorsing Mrs Hillary Clinton for president of the United States, Senator Elizabeth Warren asserted that she felt confident in the former secretary of state's ability to serve as commander-in-chief, a position traditionally held by the president.

She was responding to a question on Thursday night on mounting speculation over whether Mrs Clinton would choose her as her running mate, said the Politico news site.

Ms Warren said she had not spoken with Mrs Clinton about the job.

When asked by MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow if she believes that she herself could be commander-in-chief, Ms Warren, whom many had urged to enter this year's race, said: "Yes, I do."

The former Harvard Law School professor's endorsement came after she withheld support for months during the Democratic presidential contest between Mrs Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Her move sent a strong signal to progressive Democrats - many of whom have been supporting Mr Sanders - to rally around the party's presumptive nominee.

It also gave Mrs Clinton a boost after a protracted campaign against Mr Sanders that exposed her vulnerabilities as a candidate and sparked divisions among Democrats.

Ms Warren's crusade against big financial institutions is particularly helpful as Mrs Clinton has been accused of being too close to big banks.

Clinton aides had been pressuring Ms Warren for an endorsement, and the senator decided to do so after talking with Mr Sanders at the weekend, aides close to her said.

She shares Mr Sanders' dislike of superdelegates, who are typically long-time Democratic officials and activists. She waited until Democratic primary voters across the country had their say - but before the superdelegates formally cast their votes - to weigh in.

Mrs Clinton's decisive victory in the California primary on Tuesday and President Barack Obama's endorsement earlier on Thursday provided additional impetus.

"She maintained her neutrality in the primary and that gave her a special space," said Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois.

While putting her support behind Mrs Clinton, Ms Warren told The Boston Globe that she would make "sure that (Republican) Donald Trump gets nowhere near the White House".

Ms Warren, who has called the businessman a "loser" and a "small, insecure money grubber", took him to task for his recent attack on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel because of his Hispanic heritage.

"Race-baiting a judge who spent years defending America from the terror of murderers and drug traffickers simply because, long ago, his family came to America from somewhere else. You, Donald Trump, are a total disgrace," she said.

NEW YORK TIMES, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2016, with the headline 'Senator responds to 'running mate' talk'. Print Edition | Subscribe