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US: Clinton faces flak over her running mate

Sanders deplores choice of rightwinger Kaine

WALL Street’s preferred presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is preparing to be crowned at the Democratic Party convention that begins in Philadelphia today, but her political problems are mounting.

Her choice of conservative Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who opposes women’s abortion rights and is an enthusiastic backer of international free-trade deals, as her running mate has alienated progressive voices.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who ran Ms Clinton close for the nomination, wishes that she had picked someone such as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren instead of Mr Kaine.

Mr Sanders told NBC Meet the Press that Mr Kaine is a “very, very smart guy” and a “very nice guy” but he wouldn’t have been his vice-presidential choice.

Ms Warren, in contrast, is known for her fierceness, particularly when going after Wall Street and big banks, and is a favourite of the party’s radical base.

It was a “horrible pick,” said Nevada Sanders delegate Angie Morelli, arguing: “In a time when she is trying to cater to Sanders supporters, it was more catering to conservative voters and she’s not going to get any wave from it.”

Ms Morelli complained about Mr Kaine’s association with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, for which he has advocated “fast-track” authority.

Mr Sanders also called on Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down yesterday after leaked emails confirmed that the party bureaucracy had shown bias during the presidential primary.

“I’m not shocked, but I am disappointed,” Mr Sanders commented.

Emails posted on the WikiLeaks website show that some DNC officials searched for ways to undermine the Sanders campaign, including questioning his religious beliefs.

The Vermont senator said that a new leader was needed to focus the DNC on defeating Donald Trump, attracting young voters and improving the economy.

Ms Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook accused Russia of leaking the DNC emails on purpose to help Mr Trump in the presidential election.

Mr Mook claimed that experts were telling the Clinton campaign that “Russian state actors” had broken into the DNC emails and were selectively releasing them.

He said that it was no coincidence that the emails are emerging on the eve of the convention.

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