Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said Thursday she would back other political candidates who support abortion rights, following up on her presidential campaign pledge this month to nominate federal judges who commit to upholding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
“I will support candidates that are pro-choice,” Gillibrand told the PBS NewsHour’s managing editor and anchor Judy Woodruff.
“I don’t have a lot of tolerance for Democratic candidates that don’t share those basic values,” Gillibrand added.“I think, as a party, we need to value women. We need to stand up for women. And I don’t think we should be supporting candidates that don’t.”
Gillibrand, who is one of 23 major candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, has used some of her most recent campaign appearances to rally against restrictive abortion bills passed by state lawmakers in Alabama, Georgia and other states.
Gillibrand also defended her leading role in calling for the resignation of then-Sen. Al Franken in 2017. Some high-profile Democratic donors have reportedly criticized Gillibrand for calling swiftly for Franken to resign after several women accused him groping or forcibly kissing them. But in the NewsHour interview Gillibrand said those criticisms are misplaced. “If our party is going to punish women who stand up for other women,” Gillibrand said, “then we’re absolutely going in the wrong direction.”
Here are some other highlights from the interview:
- Gillibrand sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of trade policy involving China. “He is not interested in having fair trade in this country,” Gillibrand said. “He’s just interested in fighting. And that fighting is undermining our ability to sell our goods and services worldwide.”
- The New York Democrat did not rule out using tariffs as part of her own trade policy. As president, “I would make sure that we do have appropriate tariffs, where necessary, to rebalance the balance of trade,” she said.