POLITICS

A Conservative Firebrand In The Senate Has A Surprise Suggestion For Clinton's VP

Mike Lee has some unexpected praise for a liberal colleague.

WASHINGTON -- One of the Senate's most conservative members believes one of its most liberal would make a strong vice presidential candidate for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said in a recent interview that his colleague Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) would be a "formidable" addition to the Democratic ticket, filling in some of the enthusiasm gaps that remain lingering from the party's primary.

"She is very talented," Lee said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "Every once in awhile when I'm flipping channels at night or something. I come across C-SPAN and I'll see one of my colleagues speaking somewhere. And once or twice I've been flipping channels and have come across Elizabeth Warren and even though I probably disagree with what is being said I find her to be a very talented and persuasive public speaker.

"She's captivating. She is really smart. And I believe she is kind of a hero among a lot of people in the Democratic Party including a lot of people who have been big fans of Bernie Sanders. So I suspect that would be a strong play if Hillary Clinton were to go in that direction."

Warren and Lee are about as far apart on the ideological spectrum as two members can be in the upper chamber. But the two have collaborated on legislation, including a bill to help students with retirement savings. And, in praising her ability to work across the divide, Lee resurfaced one of the primary arguments for placing Warren on the ticket: though she's known as a liberal firebrand, there is some cross-ideological (or non-ideological) appeal, as evident in this 2015 focus group:

Sticking to decorum, Lee went on to tout other colleagues that Clinton could potentially choose for her running mate -- though none with quite the enthusiasm he saved for Warren.

"There is an embarrassment of riches among Senate Democrats who could be strong VP's. Amy Klobuchar would be good. Tim Kaine would be good and so would Cory Booker," he said.

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