John Lewis: I'm for Hillary Clinton in 2016

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Tuesday that he would support Hillary Clinton if she runs for the White House in 2016.

The civil rights icon made waves during the 2008 Democratic primary when he switched his support from Clinton to President Obama but made clear in a recent interview that his support for the former secretary of State remains strong.

“I won’t make an endorsement, but I will say this: If she makes a decision to run, I would be with her,” Lewis told The New York Times.

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“I think today she is the most qualified person in America to be president. No one has worked so hard or done a more effective job in representing this country as secretary of State in modern times.”

Lewis had endorsed Clinton's campaign in October 2007, but said in February 2008 that he was considering switching his support to Obama. Later that month, Lewis made the change official, saying he would cast his superdelegate vote for Obama. 

A civil rights leader who was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis told The Times it was a "tough decision" to back Obama in the primary, but said former President Clinton and his wife "understood" why Lewis felt compelled to back the candidate who would become the first black president.

Clinton has not yet decided whether to mount a second bid for the White House, although early polling suggests she is the heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination.

Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate have already signaled their willingness to support her campaign, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) saying she would be "even better" than her husband and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying she "hopes" and prays Clinton will run.