Bernie Sanders would have been a more effective running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and made it a tougher race, President-elect Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper.
"I'd also like to publicly thank Bernie Sanders for his effect on our campaign because he softened up Hillary Clinton," Conway told CNN's Jake Tapper in Thursday's election post-mortem at Harvard University. "He won 22 states and 13 million voters and that ain't nothing."
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., was picked as Clinton's running mate over Sanders, because Kaine "would represent her views and values," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told Tapper.
But Conway chided her Democratic opponent for helping Trump's campaign by not picking the more popular running mate.
"I was at the democratic convention in Philadelphia, and his supporters were still out there protesting her," Conway told Tapper. "He was in the hall being a dutiful democratic convention soldier, but his supporters were not.
"You saw on election day, if you read the polls, many of them were upset by the way that he was treated and the fact that their views that they took to the table were never fully assimilated into the Clinton-Kaine campaign."
Conway pointed to the Trump team's astute selection of a running mate from the midwest, where the battleground states decided the election for Trump. The stronger Vice President-elect Mike Pence choice helped win the election, she added.
"I assume her choice may have had something to do with Virginia, but it may have had something to do with not being overshadowed," Conway said, claiming Clinton wanted a loyal soldier beneath her in the campaign. I thought [Kaine] was not a particularly effective pick in the end, or at the beginning, and certainly not the vice-presidential debate which was not even close. He interrupted the female moderator about 36 times.
". . . We always thought that if we were going to bust that blue wall, it would definitely be with the help of a running mate who comes from that area and really allies himself with the concerns of the working class voters."
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