January 25th, 2008
06:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Bill Clinton: John McCain and Hillary are 'very close'

(CNN) - If Hillary Clinton and John McCain become their party's presidential nominees, the general election race is likely to be a love-fest.

At least according to Bill Clinton.

Campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Friday, the former president brushed aside suggestions his wife would prove to be a divisive nominee for the Democratic Party, pointing out how she has successfully worked with Republicans in the Senate - including one of the current GOP presidential candidates.

"She and John McCain are very close," Clinton said. "They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

The comments may not be welcome by the McCain camp - which yesterday faced fire from several of its rivals for winning the backing of the New York Times - a longtime archenemy of conservatives.

Sens. McCain and Clinton last met publicly at an ABC debate earlier January, when presidential candidates of both parties shared the same stage. The two were seen exchanging pleasantries, and a Clinton side said she told the Arizona senator he’d done a “good job” staging a comeback in New Hampshire. He asked that she say hello to Bill Clinton for him.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (854 Responses)
  1. Mark

    Two peas in a political pod......no amesty, no McCain.

    January 25, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. Tj

    It seems like Bill is trying to scare the conservatives and give Romney a win in Florida. McCain would definitly beat Clinton.

    January 25, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. TC -Seattle

    As with all Clinton comments... coldly calculated, expertly orchestrated, and superbly delivered as casual banter. Truely a political force that can only be penetrated by a man on character...

    I am a Republican heavily considering Obama. It is a time for change. He makes me proud to be an American again... Like dare I say Reagan.

    January 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. Shawn, Long Beach, Ca.

    Ohh...John McCain the media darling, until the general election then watch out! He's like a sheep being led to slaughter by Hllary, and the liberal media.

    January 25, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Ruben Ochoa

    McCain is a RINO republican and will be beat this tuesday, clinton's comments are proof that McCain is a liberal

    January 25, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  6. lj

    Romney! Romney! Romney!

    January 25, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  7. Reality Check

    Of course they are close! Birds of a feather don't you know.

    January 25, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. Alice

    I really have to wonder if the crybaby was kidding when he said Oprah would be his running mate

    Don't get me wrong – I LOVE Oprah

    It's just that she has even less experience in politics than the crybaby does

    After Obama gains more experience as Hillary's VP, and once he grows up and stops whining and crying (and playing the race card), he DEFINITELY has my vote

    I NEVER want to see another Republican in the White House!

    January 25, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  9. mr.fair tax

    ROMNEY WILL BEAT THE HILDABEAST!!!

    January 25, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. glen

    Could it be that the liberals want McCain to win the Republican nomination because they know he would be the easier to beat over Romney. He is also the closest thing to a Democrat on the Republican ticket. Who cares what they think anyway...

    January 25, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. backbone

    Lauren,
    you wrote:"Civilized election? She can't even run a civilized campaign against a member of her own party. What a crock."

    I cannot say that this comment is civilized.

    Sometimes it is not possible – if the other side ( Obama) is not civilized enough to keep the runnigns civilize. If you would be attacked as Hillary was, what would you do?....

    January 25, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  12. earl illingsworth

    Hillary would love to align her seemingly unimpressive war record with McCain, a staunch supporter of the war. These photo-ops create an illusion of her support for the war with men, and a firm and determine leader amongst the women. She has brilliantly juxtaposed with the "GOP", just long enough to get the nomination. Mind you, it could backfire, but I'm sure she has a exit strategy!!!

    January 25, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. GiveMeABreakInTexas

    CNN you are keeping my posts in moderation wayyyyyy too long. Why does the truth hurt your network so bad?

    January 25, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. Last Exit

    The fact that the media loves McCain and all other candidates are hit pieces for the lib media should tell you one thing: THE DEMS ARE SCARED TO DEATH OF ROMNEY AND RUDY...LANDSLIDE IN NOVEMBER... THE LIBS HAVE BEEN AFTER BUSH FOR SO LONG NOW, THEY FORGOT ABOUT 08 AND NOW ALL THE LIBS HAVE LEFT IS HILLARY AND OBAMA .....THANKS LIB MOONBATS, AN EASY VICTORY AWAITS

    January 25, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. Dale

    This is what I expect from the Clinton News Network (CNN). Every true conservative knows that McCain is a quasi-democrat. If McCain is the GOP nominee, the liberals have a win win situation. They can't lose, only the United States will lose.

    January 25, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. RET CDR USN

    No Socialist Dem. or fibbing Rep. would be good for the USA.

    January 25, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  17. keep the peace

    I would like to know how a known felone is allowed back into the White House?

    January 25, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. Jambon

    The Clinton organization does not want to run against McCain. This scripted comment serves only to re-inforce the opinion of many republican primary voters that McCain is not a "real" conservative. McCain's noted opposition to the Bush tax cuts, McCain-Feingold, amnesty with Ted Kennedy, waterboarding and generally being considered a liberal republican like Lincoln Chaffee. The Clintons know that in the general election, McCain's appeal would be broad based with republicans, independents and conservative democrats along with his perceived strong national security experience, would make him a formidable opponent. The Clintons would love to run against Huckabee or Romney. Also, the timing of this comment is interesting since it's right before the Florida primary.

    January 25, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. John Allan

    Yet one more reason to vote for Mitt Romney over McCain. The old senator already's in bed with Billary. As a Republican, that scares me to death. Go Romney!

    January 25, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Before Obama took everyone by surprise by winning Iowa and leaving Hillary in 3rd place – they were accusing him of being "too nice" "too naive"; now Bill is trying to make it seem as if Obama has been attacking Hillary and him and that they are the "nice ones". How dumb does he think the average American is?

    January 25, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  21. CTD4JM

    Frankie is dead on. This is nothing more than a transparent attempt by Bill Clintom to turn Republican primary voters against John McCain. Make no mistake, they are drooling at the thought of running against His Royal Mittness. Don't be fooled by Bill and Shrillary – Johnny Mac will lead us to the promised land in November!

    January 25, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. jp/michigan

    Oh! I don't know about that , they may be friends in the senate but when push comes to shove as nominees, the niceties and gloves come off. I believe their debates will be good, if not outstanding. Their philosophies on the issues are like night and day. President Bush will be leaving a big mess in the White House and the American people desperately want change and McCain is same oh, same oh!

    January 25, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Andrew

    HOW DISGUSTING>> THE MEDIA IS SHOVING THEM DOWN OUR THROATS!

    WAR MONGERS will BURN!

    January 25, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. Dems WANT McCain

    Dem Democrats want McCain to go against because he is an easy targert.

    War Crazy McCAin is a Rambo with Nuclear weapons Scary,

    Democrats are scared of Mitt Romeny

    January 25, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. Matthew

    How about a pact–Clinton/McCain or McCain/Clinton? Truthfully, I'd be very happy about either.

    January 25, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
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