The White House just took Hillary Clinton's side in her latest fight with Bernie Sanders

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The White House came to the defense of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton on Thursday, one day after rival Bernie Sanders charged that the former secretary of state is "not qualified" to serve as president.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as President Barack Obama flew to Chicago, deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said, Obama sees his 2008 primary opponent as a qualified successor.

Clinton "comes to the race with more experience than any non-vice president" in recent history, Schultz said, according to a pool report.

Read more: Bernie Sanders Just Took His War of Words with Hillary Clinton to the Next Level

Schultz added that Obama was "fortunate" that Clinton agreed to become his chief diplomat after the two bitterly sparred during the 2008 primaries.

See Clinton and Sanders at the Las Vegas town hall:

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Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at Las Vegas town hall
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The White House just took Hillary Clinton's side in her latest fight with Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during in a televised town hall meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas on February 18, 2016. The town hall discussion focused on issues affecting Nevada and the Latino Community was held just two days before Nevadas First in the West presidential caucus on Saturday, February 20, 2016. / AFP / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: Fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: Chuck Todd appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during in a televised town hall meeting with Hillary Clinton at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas on February 18, 2016. The town hall discussion focused on issues affecting Nevada and the Latino Community was held just two days before Nevadas First in the West presidential caucus on Saturday, February 20, 2016. / AFP / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during in a televised town hall meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas on February 18, 2016. The town hall discussion focused on issues affecting Nevada and the Latino Community was held just two days before Nevadas First in the West presidential caucus on Saturday, February 20, 2016. / AFP / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during in a televised town hall meeting with Hillary Clinton at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas on February 18, 2016. The town hall discussion focused on issues affecting Nevada and the Latino Community was held just two days before Nevadas First in the West presidential caucus on Saturday, February 20, 2016. / AFP / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: Fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during in a televised town hall meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas on February 18, 2016. The town hall discussion focused on issues affecting Nevada and the Latino Community was held just two days before Nevadas First in the West presidential caucus on Saturday, February 20, 2016. / AFP / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: Fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during in a televised town hall meeting with Hillary Clinton at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas on February 18, 2016. The town hall discussion focused on issues affecting Nevada and the Latino Community was held just two days before Nevadas First in the West presidential caucus on Saturday, February 20, 2016. / AFP / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during in a televised town hall meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas on February 18, 2016. The town hall discussion focused on issues affecting Nevada and the Latino Community was held just two days before Nevadas First in the West presidential caucus on Saturday, February 20, 2016. / AFP / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: José Díaz-Balart appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall -- Pictured: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appears during the 'MSNBC and Telemundo Clinton-Sanders Town Hall' on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Sanders himself thought much the same thing at the time of Clinton's nomination, as she pointedly noted on Twitter Thursday:

Now, the Vermont senator is sounding a sharply different tune. Stumping in Philadelphia on Wednesday evening, Sanders charged that Clinton's support from super PACs and her past advocacy of the Iraq War and free trade agreements rendered her "not qualified" for the Oval Office.

Sanders leveled the charge because, he alleged, Clinton "has been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote unquote, not qualified to be president," although Clinton has never made that explicit assertion, even as she says he hasn't "done his homework" on his policy proposals.

The White House Just Took Hillary Clinton's Side in Her Latest Fight with Bernie Sanders
Source: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

A contentious relationship: The administration's pushback against Sanders' remarks is but the latest development in an often-tense relationship between the president and the progressive insurgent.

Unsatisfied with Obama's record on progressive economic issues, Sanders encouraged a left-wing primary challenge to the president in 2012, and it's hard not to hear his denunciations of a "rigged" economy as, in part, an indictment of the incumbent's policies.

Seeking to woo Democratic voters, however, Sanders has lately offered warmer words for Obama, declaring that the administration has "moved this country forward" despite "incredible Republican obstruction."

But Obama has kept his distance from Sanders, suggesting in a Politicointerview that Sanders is too focused on inequality to the detriment of other issues and reportedly telling a recent fundraiser that the clock is running out on the senator's campaign.

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