Former Vice President Walter Mondale endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president and predicted that the controversy surrounding her use of private e-mail would not affect her candidacy.
Mondale was asked why he is supporting Clinton and if he thinks the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s private server could prevent her from becoming the Democratic nominee.
“I don’t think that will affect her. I think she’s a very strong candidate. We just had our national DNC meeting in Minneapolis this past week. She spoke and made a really powerful impression – strong support all over the place. We’ve got a long time to go before our convention but I think she’s in a very good spot,” Mondale told PJ Media after the National Fair Housing Conference at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said he endorsed Clinton before she announced her candidacy this year.
“In May of 2014 I spoke and encouraged her to run, so I’ve been doing all I can to encourage and be helpful and I think she’s going to be a fine president – and she’s going to do very well in Virginia and nationally,” Kaine said.
Mondale was recognized at the event for writing the Fair Housing Act of 1968. He described the challenges Democrats faced in the Senate while trying to pass the bill.
PJ Media asked Mondale for his opinion of the current legislative process and if he had any advice for the Democrats in Congress.
“We had two things going for us – bipartisanship and a strong, I would say, progressive Congress that wanted to do something even though the hill was high with 67 votes,” he said. “We needed cloture and as the issue built we were able to get it done. Regrettably, the bipartisanship has been shattered, a terrible loss – that’s why I mentioned in my speech it’s hard to know what happened there and it becomes much more difficult to pass things, but I don’t think we should give up.”
Mondale, who ran against former President Reagan in 1984, said he would like to see Congress act on the issue of “big money” in politics as well as voting rights.
“Big money is corrupting America, paralyzing us from doing what Lincoln said, have a government of and by and for the people, and efforts to obstruct the vitality of our Democracy such as the changes in the Voting Rights Act,” he said. “We need to open up voting to everybody – they need to be encouraged to vote. We need to get this curse of big money off our backs.”
Kaine said voting rights was not a partisan issue in the past.
“My father-in-law was a Republican governor of Virginia. The Republican Party had such a spectacular voting rights record up until the last 10 years – 15th Amendment to guarantee freed slaves the right to vote – that was a Republican Congress,” he said. “The 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote; now, that was a Democratic president but a Republican Congress. Both parties supported it. When the 26th amendment was passed that let 18-year-olds vote it was under the Nixon administration, it was bipartisan.”
Kaine said Democrats have not been able to get Republican support for changes to the Voting Rights Act.
“After the Supreme Court ruled in the Shelby case, getting rid of the pre-clearance requirement for essentially southern jurisdictions, and we have a fix that is a very reasonable fix to fix. We can’t get one Republican co-sponsor in the House or the Senate,” he said.