Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid thinks Hillary Clinton would make a good president, even if the two might not see eye-to-eye on the contentious issue of abortion rights.
The 75-year-old Nevada Democrat spoke with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos about the possibility of a Clinton White House run in 2016.
“Hillary Clinton has a resume that is unsurpassed,” Reid said. “She’s so smart and was a wonderful first lady, was an outstanding secretary of state. I think she would be a good president.”
Reid plans to retire at the end of his Senate term in 2016, a decision he announced in late March. He suffered a brutal eye injury while exercising on New Year’s Day and also faced a challenging path to re-election in Nevada.
After three decades in the Senate, however, his endorsement could still carry weight in the run-up to the presidential election.
Speaking with Ramos, Reid said “the country is ready for a female president,” but struck a contentious tone on the issue of women’s reproductive rights.
Ramos: “You are against abortion, right? You said, ‘I clearly oppose abortion.'”
Reid: “Yeah, Jorge…”
Ramos: “What would happen in this country if abortion would be illegal. What would happen to women in this country?”
Reid: “Jorge, I have been supportive, I am right now supported by NARAL, the Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood. This is an issue that is so easy to deal with. If someone really is concerned about abortion, why don’t they agree with me? Okay. Why don’t we do something to stop unwanted pregnancies? That’s what we should do.”
Ramos also pressed Reid on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that protects a woman’s right to an abortion. Reid has voted against the ruling in the past, although his anti-abortion advocacy has cooled in recent years. He earned a 92 percent rating in Planned Parenthood’s 2015 Congressional scorecard, for some perspective.
Ramos: “You don’t think it should be overturned?”
Reid: “No, I don’t think it should be overturned.”
Ramos: “Regardless of the fact that you oppose abortion.”
Reid: “Because times have changed over the decades since I made that statement.”