Exclusive: Former presidential contender Dick Gephardt to endorse Hillary Clinton
Former House Majority Leader and 2004 presidential contender Dick Gephardt (D-MO) will endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) this afternoon in her bid for the presidency, according a senior campaign aide.
A spokesman for the campaign confirmed the claim to RAW STORY this morning.
According to the aide, the campaign sees the endorsement as a major one for the former first lady, bringing with him the support of a major cross-section of American labor. He is also believed to be the first major 2004 contender to endorse a candidate for the presidency in 2008.
Gephardt announced a bid for the presidency in 2003 but dropped out after he placed fourth in the Iowa primaries. He became immortalized in a 2004 New York Post cover which declared that he'd been selected as Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) running mate.
The former Missouri congressman served in the US House from 1977 to 2005.
Gephardt's positions shifted leftward over his tenure in Congress -- when elected in 1976 he opposed abortion rights. He disavowed this position in the 1980s.
Today, his positions seem to mirror Clinton's: he supports universal health care, progressive taxation and free trade and supported her husband's push to devote money from a then-budget surplus to healthcare. He voted for the Iraq war, though was strongly critical of President Bush's tax cuts during his stint as minority leader, a post he occupied from 1995 to 2003.