WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she’ll consider “the most qualified people” for the Democratic vice presidential nomination — which would include women.
Now that she’s clinched the party’s presidential nod, Clinton told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she is turning her attention to selecting a running-mate ahead of the party’s convention in Philadelphia in July.
“I’m looking at the most qualified people, and that includes women, of course, because I want to be sure that whoever I pick could be president immediately if something were to happen — that’s the most important qualification,” Clinton said.
“I’m going to really begin to pay attention to that now that we’ve wrapped up the primary process,” she said. “But it doesn’t matter to me who the person is, as long as that person can really do the job that is required.”
Clinton said she’s not sure when she’ll name a vice presidential choice.
“I don’t know because I don’t know how long it’s going to take to try to sort all this out,” she said.
The former secretary of state also defended her family’s Clinton Foundation, saying she is “proud of the work it has done” and arguing that foreign countries’ contributions to the foundation do nothing to influence her political actions.
“Money that has been given to the foundation goes to support humanitarian work. And if people want to influence anybody in office, I think they would choose the political work. And indeed, the work of the foundation really speaks for itself,” Clinton said.
As for whether her husband, Bill Clinton, would cut his ties to the foundation, she said that “we will cross that bridge if and when we get there.”
She said the former president’s role will be to focus on struggling regions like Appalachia, tapping into his “wealth of experience” on economic issues to help the nation’s poorest areas.
“Some of these places I’m going to be paying attention to, I don’t think they’re going to vote for me. I said that when I was in coal country. But I’m going to support them,” Clinton said.
In the interview, the presumptive Democratic nominee also said she plans to reach out to vanquished Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders’ supporters. Their unified opposition to Trump will help bridge the party’s divides, she said.
“Now we may have approached it somewhat differently, but our goals are the same. And contrast that with Donald Trump, who set up a fake university, Trump University, that committed fraud on people,” Clinton said.
“As we reach out and we talk about what’s at stake in this election,” she said. “I really believe a lot of Sen. Sanders’ supporters will join us in making sure that Donald Trump doesn’t get anywhere near the White House.”