Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email controversy is mostly over, predicting that the former secretary of State will continue to rise in polls.
He also said GOP frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson might cause some Republicans to side with Clinton in the general election.
The FBI is currently investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of State. “I think most of that is over; you’ve got to understand, looking at the field the Republicans have and looking at how strong Hillary is and how well-regarded she is, they’ve got to try to smear her and drag her down,” Whitehouse told PJM at the Washington premiere of the new film Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston.
“So there’s always going to be some faux scandal that’s being cooked up – that’s just the nature of modern politics, but nobody has weathered more of this faux scandal attack than Hillary and no one is more qualified in this field,” the senator added. “And, in fact, no one is even close and I think she’s going to continue to rise.”
When asked about Trump and Carson leading the GOP field in national polls, Whitehouse laughed and said “whole segments of the Republican Party” might deflect to Clinton if either candidate became the GOP nominee.
“I’ve got some colleagues on the Senate floor who might come over to us,” he said.
According to Whitehouse, “the biggest rouse, the biggest battles, the biggest hatreds” in the Senate are all Republican on Republican.
“That warfare within their party and within their caucus is the most acrimonious part of politics in Washington right now,” he said. “Democrats and Republicans get along reasonably well, well as they ever have, I mean, we’re adversaries but in terms of the hatred and high emotions – that’s the battle within the Republican family they have not yet sorted out.”
Whitehouse also said he loves what he has been hearing from Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the campaign trail.
“I love it. I can’t tell you how many times Bernie stood up in our caucus and said the American people want us to be bold, the American people want us to do this. And then he threw himself out there to test the proposition that had been announcing, and sure enough he’s getting 20,000 showing up to hear him so good on him,” he said.
Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who recently dropped out of the race, said Congress would never pay for Sanders’ ideas. PJ Media asked Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, if Sanders’ social programs are too expensive.
“I think there’s nothing wrong with swinging for the fences, so if he were ever to be elected he would have to work with people who disagreed with him and find a way. But dealing with things like being able to retire and security in your old age and being able to get a decent college education, that’s kind of a baseline stuff we ought to be helping with — and then the returns will come from their success,” he said.
“I don’t want to start chasing decimal points around Bernie’s numbers. I think he’s making really strong points about the direction we should go.”