In South Carolina, Clinton distances herself from Obama’s Supreme Court strategy

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·Senior National Affairs Reporter
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Hillary Clinton at a town hall at the Williamsburg County Recreation Center in Kingstree, S.C., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

KINGSTREE, S.C. — Hillary Clinton took a few moments at a town hall in rural South Carolina to criticize President Obama’s reported decision to vet Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval for Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court.

“I love Nevada, especially after last weekend,” Clinton said, referring to her recent caucus victory there. “I really love Nevada.”

She added that she’s sure Sandoval, a former federal judge, has done “some good things,” but that he’s not liberal enough for the job.

“I sure hope the president chooses a true progressive,” Clinton said.

She added that the next justice will have to work to protect the Voting Rights Act, which was scaled back in a recent Supreme Court decision.

Sandoval took himself out of the running Thursday following a spate of stories that he was being vetted by the White House for the position.

Republicans say they will refuse to consider any nominee Obama puts forward, hoping to stall the decision until a new president takes office. Nominating Sandoval, a Republican, could win over some more moderate senators. Before stating her opposition to Sandoval, Clinton acknowledged that Obama faced steep opposition from the Senate.

“What’s going on in Washington is just beyond anything I’ve seen,” Clinton said. She added that she was “proud” that Obama plans to use his constitutional right to nominate Scalia’s replacement.

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Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., has taken himself out of the SCOTUS running. (Photo: Cliff Owen/AP)

Clinton has aligned herself closely with Obama on the campaign trail, frequently hitting Sanders for his earlier criticism of the president.

Debra Harmon, a resident of nearby Lane, S.C., who came to hear Clinton speak, said she did not interpret Clinton’s remarks as a criticism of Obama. “I’m happy Hillary is saying she wants to continue where President Obama left off,” Harmon said.

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