Karen Weaver says Clinton is the only presidential candidate from either party who has reached out amid the city's water crisis.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton picked up the endorsement of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (D).
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton picked up the endorsement of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (D).
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (D) endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, repeatedly thanking her for the work she and her campaign have done on the water crisis facing the Michigan city.

"We want a friend like Hillary in the White House," Weaver told reporters in a conference call organized by the Clinton campaign Tuesday morning. "That's exactly what we need to have happen."

Weaver didn't necessarily intend to make endorsement news Tuesday. After she praised Clinton, a reporter told the mayor that her comments sounded like she was backing the former secretary of state.

"Yeah, it does sound like it, doesn't it? I want Hillary," Weaver said, chuckling.

"As far as what Hillary Clinton has done, she has actually been the only -- the only -- candidate, whether we're talking Democratic or Republican, to reach out and talk with us about, 'What can I do? What kind of help do you need?'" she added.

Clinton has elevated the crisis in Flint, where city residents have been drinking tap water with dangerously high levels of lead, by bringing it up on the campaign trail and giving it increased national attention. Last week, she sent two of her top campaign aides to Flint to assist city officials. And during Sunday's Democratic debate in South Carolina, Clinton brought up the issue again.

"We've had a city in the United States of America where the population, which is poor in many ways and majority African-American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water," she said. "And the governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care."

Weaver said Tuesday that after Clinton's debate comments, she heard from people excited that the crisis was getting the attention it deserved.

"People just started calling and texting and saying how thankful they were to her for bringing this up and putting this out there and letting us know that she was willing to fight for us the way she took this on," Weaver said.

The mayor said she has spoken with Clinton directly about the crisis. The campaign said there were no immediate plans for Clinton to go to Flint but did not rule it out.

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