Seeking Democratic Party unity, Clinton meets with Warren

Megan Cassella
Hillary Clinton's Two-Woman Ticket With Elizabeth Warren?
Hillary Clinton's Two-Woman Ticket With Elizabeth Warren?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton met on Friday with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive voice, to try to build party unity for her election campaign against Republican Donald Trump.

The two held talks at Clinton's Washington home a day after Warren endorsed Clinton's White House bid, adding support from the Democrats' liberal wing as Clinton seeks to move on from her protracted primary battle with Bernie Sanders.

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Warren left the meeting smiling after roughly an hour and did not speak to reporters outside. A source familiar with the meeting said the pair discussed how best to work together to put forward a progressive agenda and stop Trump.

Clinton, the former secretary of state, earlier this week secured the delegates needed to win the party nomination for the Nov. 8 presidential election. Party leaders are hoping Sanders will drop his presidential run before the party convention in Philadelphia in July.

Sanders said on Thursday he would remain in the race through the final nominating contest in Washington, D.C., next week but would work with Clinton to defeat Trump.

The Warren meeting on Friday fueled speculation that the senator from Massachusetts might be under consideration as Clinton's running mate. Asked in an MSNBC interview on Thursday whether she had discussed with Clinton the prospect of being vice president, Warren said she had not, nor had she been vetted.

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Warren has considered the idea of serving as Clinton's running mate but sees obstacles to that choice, several people familiar with Warren's thinking told Reuters this week.

Having support from Warren would boost Clinton's ability to court highly motivated Sanders supporters who have been fired up against Clinton during the unexpectedly long primary battle.Warren and Sanders share views on issues such as reining in Wall Street excesses and fighting income inequality.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also announced their support of Clinton on Thursday, handing her a trio of endorsements expected to boost her standing heading into the general election campaign.

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Clinton's first public appearance after acknowledging her role as the presumptive Democratic nominee and securing the three prominent Democrats' backing was a speech on Friday to Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the nonpartisan arm of the women's health group.

Clinton used the speech to deliver a forceful critique of Trump's statement that he would be "great" for women if elected to the White House.

"This is a man who has called women pigs, dogs and disgusting animals, it's kind of hard to imagine counting on him to respect our fundamental rights," Clinton said.

"We're in the middle of a concerted, persistent assault on women's health across our country and we have to ask ourselves and you have to ask everyone you come in contact with, do we want to put our health, our lives, our futures in Donald Trump's hands? Now these questions are not hypothetical," Clinton added.

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(Reporting by Amanda Becker, Alana Wise and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Frances Kerry and Alistair Bell)