September 24th, 2007
11:30 AM ET
12 years ago

Bush predicts Clinton will win Dem nomination

Bush is playing 'pundit-in-chief' on the 2008 White House race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He has previously said he would resist the temptation to weigh in on the 2008 White House race, but President Bush couldn't help sound off to a reporter on how he sees the contest to succeed him shaping up.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner's Bill Sammon for his new book, The Evangelical President, Bush predicts New York Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination but ultimately lose to his party's candidate in the general election.

"She's got a national presence, and this is becoming a national primary," he said in excerpts of the interview published in the newspaper's Monday edition. "And therefore the person with the national presence, who has got the ability to raise enough money to sustain an effort in a multiplicity of sites, has got a good chance to be nominated."

Bush also predicts a tough general election race, but said his party will ultimately win the White House.

"I think our candidate can beat her, but it's going to be a tough race," he said. "I will work to see to it that a Republican wins and therefore don't accept the premise that a Democrat will win. I truly think the Republicans will hold the White House."

Vice President Dick Cheney is less certain of Republican chances in 2008, according to the newspaper, telling Sammon he thinks the election "could go either way."

Meanwhile, a senior White House official tells Sammon that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton's chief competitor for the nomination, is "capable" of winning the White House, but has shown an "intellectual laziness."

Responding to the Obama criticisms, Jen Psaki, a spokesman for the Illinois senator, said, “I don't think that Democrats are all that receptive to this White House trying to grade the intellect of our candidates or pick the nominee of our party.”

The president's comments seem to contradict his pledge at a February press conference not to play "pundit-in-chief." But White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush hasn't necessarily "changed his mind" when it comes to commenting on the 2008 race.

"I think he has run for president twice and won, and has been involved in politics from a very young age watching his father in Congress and then as president," she said in an off-camera briefing with reporters Monday morning. "He has a keen interest as do a lot of us here in Washington, and frankly, it's difficult to not talk about the '08 election. There's a lot of interest in it."

“The bottom line is that it really doesn't matter what the president thinks about who will win the Democratic primary," Perino added. "There's going to be a showdown at the OK corral, and they'll figure out who's going to be the nominee, and from there the president will campaign vigorously for the Republican candidate, and he believes that Republicans will be able to keep the White House."

Perino also brushed aside the suggestion Bush's prediction is an attempt to excite the Republican base that is now in "malaise."

"I don't buy the premise that there's malaise among Republicans, and I don't know how any comment the president would make would motivate them one way or the other," she said. "I think they're going to participate in the process because they're interested and they care."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Carrol Ann, Newport, Maine

    "I will work to see to it that a Republican wins and therefore don't accept the premise that a Democrat will win. I truly think the Republicans will hold the White House."

    PAPERLESS VOTING MACHINES?

    September 24, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  2. roger, conway, sc

    Who cares what he thinks or predicts, he has lead this nation to shame with his hypocritical, corrupt administration. ANY democrat candidate could do a better job...heck I could do better job

    September 24, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. Loyda, WDC

    so, Mr. Bush and his croonies got 2 things FINALLY right!!!

    1: Hillary will win the nomination
    2. Oboring have "intellectual laziness".....

    Congrat's!!!!

    September 24, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. slimegreen

    Bush is always wrong.

    September 24, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    I am an independent. If Hillary wins the primary, I will vote for the Republican.

    September 24, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Ron, TX

    a senior White House official tells Sammon that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton's chief competitor for the nomination, is "capable" of winning the White House, but has shown an "intellectual laziness."

    -

    What?! A White House official calling Barack Obama, of all people, intellectually lazy? Clean up your own house before you try to trash another! The current White House administration is obviously the pinnicale of intellectual rigor and success...

    September 24, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Grace, Ny

    Let's see this is the person who predicted WMD in Iraq, We would be greated like liberators in Iraq....Yeh right, democrats lets follow him one more time.

    September 24, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Jon Dallas, Jarrettsville, MD

    i hope that he is as wrong about this as he was about Iraq

    September 24, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. Ed, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    The only reason Bush is predicting that Hillary will be the Dem nominee is so all his faithful followers (those numbers are dwindling too) will put her in their cross hairs so they go after her relentlessly.

    He doesn't want to be the one to hand the presidency to a woman, especially if that woman is Hillary Clinton.

    September 24, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Mike, Fort Washington, MD

    The crooked Republicans want Clinton to beat Obama because of the character issue. If Hillary wins, she will not be able to expose the character flaws that the Republican front runner have.

    September 24, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. laurinda,ny

    Oh here we go with the thoughts of George Bush. He's saying he will help get a Republican in office. I can hear it now... voting machines being on the blink, voters being turned away with felony records of other people with the same name, etc. Also, the fact is a Democratic candidate has already been selected and is being "groomed" for the presidency. I bet alot of you educated posters didn't know that.

    September 24, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. W.S.A., Baltimore, MD

    Intellectual laziness is something that about which White House officials have indisputable expertise and unchallenged experience.

    September 24, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. JA, New York, NY

    It was decided a long time ago who would be installed as President in 2008.

    September 24, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. david knowles

    for once bush may be right about something. though he doesn't quite have the reasons right. read more:

    http://news.aol.com/elections-blog/2007/09/24/hillary-hard-to-beat/

    September 24, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Joe, Florida

    I would be completed perplexed if people vote Republican just because they don't like Sen. Clinton. COME ON!! People must me masochist to keep up with a Republican White House.

    I prefer some I don’t like who will be do a better job, over someone more likable who will keep the country in its current destructive path. Amazing!!

    September 24, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Unfortunately Mr. Bush is right; Republicans want Senator Clinton to win the nomination and then they will push one male republican, and use the same scare tactics that they have been using for the last 50 years such as “Stop Communist is South east Asia, Stop Communist in Latin America”. But now the new slogan is “stop terrorist” (Never mind for a republican a terrorist is anybody that disagrees with the Republicans narrow minded agenda), remember Regan?. Plus Americans are “NOT” ready for a Woman, Black, or a Latino to be President.

    Ta Ta…

    September 24, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    OK... because Bush is KNOWN for being correct.

    "Meanwhile, a senior White House official tells Sammon that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton's chief competitor for the nomination, is "capable" of winning the White House, but has shown an "intellectual laziness."

    Really!?!?! this from the Bush camp? Do they really want to play this game?

    September 24, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Susan, Fort Pierce, Florida

    What a joke for anyone in this administration to call Obama "intellectualy lazy". Bush doesn't even read newspapers!The sooner we get rid of this bunch-the better! Go Hillary!!

    September 24, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Jo, Atlanta GA

    Jen, Gainesville, FL

    You are not an independent. You are a Republican. Stop lying.

    And you claim to live in FL. Clinton will win and Bush knows his legacy is better in her hands. True Republicans don't like anyone in their line up. They will stay home. The true christians are finding out tha GOP is a lying party.

    September 24, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. lavelle Rochester,ny

    So many HillBill lovers dont understand that Republican Voters and Independent voters will do anything to see HillBill lose. And if she's nominated it will be a bad move for the democratic party no matter whos her VP. No one will vote for her, Hell I wont vote for her if she wins and I vote democrate all the way! lol But the Repub's want Hill to win because they know that every registered Republican will vote against Hillary. Now Obama on the other hand has a very serious appeal for Republican and Independant voters. Thats something the other candidated dont have.

    September 24, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Ryan, New York, NY.

    I think it's pretty clear that Bush's glib endorsement of Clinton as the Democratic nominee means the Republican's are scared to death of a national campaign against Obama. Clinton represents the status quo, and she's a politician first, a human second, which they can relate to. Obama is an unknown entity to them, capable of going after character flaws and politics alike. If Bush endorses Clinton, give me Obama!

    September 24, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. chris

    He's really scared of Hillary. Trying some reverse-psychology to scare the Dems...

    http://www.political-buzz.com/

    September 24, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Mike, NY, NY

    "The Evangelical President"?!? Please...

    "said his party will ultimately win"... I understand the President is Republican. But should he at least act above Partisan politics?

    September 24, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. John, Syracuse NY

    Next thing you know, Bush will start campaigning for clinton because he know's the republicans can beat her in the general. He's right. She's not electable.

    September 24, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Christen, Clarksville Tn.

    This is the smae idiot that said we were going to land a man on mars by 2010 and said that Sadam had WMD and was allied with Bin Laden. Bush probably couldn't predict the sunrise. I don't know who will win but they have to be better than Bush.

    September 24, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8