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Harry Reid Makes 2016 Endorsement: 'Middle Class Would Be Better Served by' This Candidate


"It was a really wonderful call."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has endorsed Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton following her win in his home state's caucus over the weekend.

In an interview with CNN, Reid said the "middle class would be better served by" Clinton as he threw his support behind her instead of self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).

"I think that my work with her over the years is something that I've looked upon with awe," Reid said. "When she was the first lady, she started the trend to doing something about health care. She understood the issue well."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) holds up the hand of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on stage at the Battle Born Battleground First in the West Caucus Dinner Jan. 6 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Reid continued to say that he "admired her courage" when she ran for a Senate seat in New York in 2000.

"She was elected twice in New York and was a good senator," he told CNN. "I recognized her skills immediately."

"She's a person who is a very quick learner, all you need to do is look at what happened with 9/11. Gee, did she do a good job. She fought for New York like I've never seen anybody fight for anything," Reid said. "I also think that she's the woman to be the first president of the United States that's a female."

According to CNN, Reid's endorsement makes him the highest-ranking Democrat to endorse Clinton thus far in her candidacy. Reid endorsed Sanders when he won his Vermont Senate seat in 2006. He told CNN that he would not ask Sanders to drop out of the race if he didn't perform well during Super Tuesday and personally called Sanders to inform him of his decision to back Clinton — a conversation that he described as a "call of friendship."

"It was a really wonderful call," Reid said, telling CNN that Sanders was "so magnanimous, so kind and courteous."

CNN added that Reid declined to criticize Sanders during his interview.

Follow Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) on Twitter

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