WH: Clinton qualified to be president

WH: Clinton qualified to be president

The White House on Thursday said Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDems flip New York state seat that Republicans have held for nearly four decades Dems win majority in New York Senate, but won't control it Chelsea Clinton hits back at NYT reporter over details in new book MORE is qualified to serve as president, rebutting comments from her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWebb: Bernie Sanders announces his ‘new’ communism jobs, health-care plan A new progressive standard on campaign cash: It can't come from corporations Senate Health panel approves opioid bill MORE.

“The president has said that Secretary Clinton comes into this race with more experience than any other non-vice president in recent campaign history,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One.

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Schultz added the president was “fortunate” enough to have Clinton as his secretary of State for four years, when they “worked together on complicated, on complex issues.”

The White House came to Clinton’s defense after Sanders said his rival was unqualified to serve as president.

"This campaign will fight back" if attacked, Sanders said at a Thursday press conference in Philadelphia. "This is not the type of politics that I want to get in."

Sanders justified his comments, pointing to remarks made by Clinton in which she raised questions about the Vermont senator’s readiness to serve as commander in chief. But Clinton stopped short of saying outright that he is unqualified.

The war of words comes as Clinton and Sanders are waging a heated battle heading into New York’s delegate-rich primary.

Obama has publicly remained neutral in the Democratic presidential primary, wary of tipping the scales and dividing the party ahead of the general election. But Clinton is widely thought to be his preferred candidate. 

In a January interview with Politico, he suggested that Clinton best understands what it takes to occupy the Oval Office.

“What Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics,” he said.

“She can govern and she can start here, day one, more experienced than any non-vice president has ever been who aspires to this office,” he added.