April 8, 2016 10:31 AM EDT

Bernie Sanders said on Friday that “of course” Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president, walking back his negative comments about the Democratic front runner from earlier in the week.

When asked directly on NBC’s Today about Clinton’s qualifications, the Vermont Senator said he respected Clinton and that “on her worst day she would be an infinitely better president than either of the Republican candidates.”

Sanders had lashed out at Clinton while speaking in Philadelphia late Wednesday, rattling off a list of reasons why the former Secretary of State was not fit for the Oval Office. He defended his comments on Thursday, but backed off Friday morning.

Sanders went negative on Clinton after she repeatedly dodged a similar question earlier this week: when asked in an MSNBC interview whether Sanders was qualified to be president, Clinton didn’t say he was unqualified, but did suggest that “he hadn’t done his homework” on the issues, based on a Sanders interview with the editorial board of the New York Daily News.

 

The next contest between the Democrats is the New York primary, where 247 delegates are up for grabs.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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