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. Jorge

    I think Bill is hurting her and hurting the Democratic Party... I will not vote for her even if it means voting independent or even republican... Look at this statement Bill Clinton just made, “The President is not called the 'Chief Executive Officer of America' for nothing. You don’t run the bureaucracy but you are responsible for seeing that your ideas turn into positive changes in other people’s lives.” When Hillary criticized Obama for saying "I don't think there is anybody in this race who can inspire the American people better than I can. And I don't think there is anybody in this race who can bridge differences ... better than I can. But I'm not an operating officer. Some in this debate around experience seem to think the job of the president is to go in and run some bureaucracy. Well, that's not my job. My job is to set a vision of 'here's where the bureaucracy needs to go.’” She attacked Obama at the Nevada debate about it. She said "I think you have to be able to manage and run the bureaucracy." "I think it’s important that we have a president who understands that you have to run the government,” Who understands them?
    I don't...

    January 25, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. Steve

    I have always sensed that Hillary and John have had a mutual respect and I believe that they will keep that when they're both nominated. We'll see. I respect both of them and continue to believe that about both each other.

    January 25, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. Up North

    CNN E-N-D-O-R-S-E-S OBAMA....THERE WE GO!

    January 25, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. Bimmer

    McCain will make Obama look like a novice on National security issue.

    January 25, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. Mark

    McCain's ability to be Liberal is the reason why he should bow out of the Republican Race. He has "back-doored" the Republican Party for as long as I can remember. A,"War Hero", yes, a Conservative and Republican, absolutely not. McCain is nothing more than a conduit for the rest of the left-wing agenda. Anything Ted Kennedy is a part of is nothing more than criminal and appaulling to the Country's progress. McCain is standing tall with the likes of Kennedy and Clinton on so many issues. In my home State of Wisconsin, McCain allied himself with the most traitorous liberal of all, Russ Feingold. Do Americans and Conservatives really want to see this movement taken to the Presidency of the United States? Come on people, quit watching the funnies and get with reality.

    January 25, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. Paul

    I can't imagine what our founding fathers would think if they were alive today and could see how their vision has been prosituted, twisted and manipulated to serve the self serving politicians and special interests of today. It would be like Moses coming down from the mountain....lightening bolts nailing politicians everywhere.....

    January 25, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. Dora

    This sounds suspiciously like Clinton propaganda. I guess it's suppose to make her appear less like trailer trash, but most people know different. Obama/Edwards or Edwards/Obama would suit me fine but a Hillary on any ticket would have me voting elsewhere.

    January 25, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. Jeff T

    I can't believe what I keep reading about McCain being a liberal. If you're wondering if he's a conservative, just ask the American Conservative Union that ranks all the congressmen on how conservative they are. McCain is rated an 83 where Fred "Consistent Conservative" Thompson was rated an 86. Look at his record! McCain is far more conservative than Mitt "I'll say anything to get elected" Romney. The fact he works across the aisle with Democrats shows he's intelligent and knows how to break through partisan gridlock. Just ask Justice Roberts and Alito about the impact of McCain's working across the aisle on conservative causes!

    McCain is a true American hero who loves his country and is one of the most honest and intelligent politicians we've got. We keep asking for a politician who will tell us the truth even when it hurts and not think in soundbytes and when we get one we label him as a "compromiser" and a "waffler".

    Take a second look at McCain and see how he's the only one running who can unite our country and actually lead.

    January 25, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  9. David Anderson

    I am now expecting that Romney and Clinton will be the nominees. Forty four % of the Republicans won't vote for Romney under any circumstances, and about the same amount of Democrats won't vote for Hillary under any circumstances. It would be the smallest turnout in history, and the country would go down the drain either way.

    January 25, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. duh

    Duh! He's trying to give Mccain the kiss of Death in Fla and help Mitt win! She will beat him, but it would be a lot tougher than beating mit the acrobatic Mormom!

    Get used to it Republican haters, she is going to be our next Prez! And will do about a 1000 times better job than the little monkey you've all worshiped.

    January 25, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. Gary

    Why is it that since mccain started campaigning I see more photo ops of him and his mother rather than him and his wife? what is he hiding or is his mommy a control freak. Dont we already have 8 years o f a mommas boy, do we really need another 4?

    January 25, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Obama Osoma Who?

    Now tell me again why Bill was such a bad president? Didn't he leave with the Dow at about 14000? Where is it now?

    January 25, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  13. NoRinos

    This should speak volumes to the Republican voters...

    January 25, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  14. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    Obama 08!

    January 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  15. Sloane

    I am so tired of people saying once Hillary has served eight years, they will be happy to have Obama as president because he will have "earned it" like it's an allowance. People like that will never vote for Obama. They will always look for an excuse.

    The Clintons truly have divided the Democratic Party. While Bush will go down in the history books as a disastrous presidency, there will be a separate chapter for the Clintons outlining all the carnage they left in their wake.

    Bill is the biggest disappointment of all.

    January 25, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  16. Independent

    Does anyone doubt the fact that Clinton is smart enough to say this knowing it will potentially derail their biggest threat from the earning the nomination? You know they are salivating at a potential match-up with Mitt Romney... Clinton is a smart politician – he knows exactly what he is doing... and it is a smart move. Romney will get destroyed by the Dems in a national election. McCain will still lose – but it would be close...

    January 25, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. SF

    WAKE UP AMERICANS!
    Obama will not be trusted by the world leaders.
    If you believe that he is an American version of Tony Blair who is a young fresh leader, you are completely wrong.
    He is completely different from Tony Blair because Obama does not have enough experiences as the leader. He is just an ignorant boy who only claims "change" as a word. Remember a saying. "He that knows little often repeats it."

    January 25, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  18. tomdavie

    Hillary supporters were last seen picking on Corky from life goes on.

    January 25, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  19. zhuguangping

    Hillary, our president!

    January 25, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. Straight Thinker

    Who isn't sick to their stomachs with just the sight of Bill and Hillary. You can be sure that ANYTHING that comes out of Bill Clinton's mouth is contrived, calculated and, obviously, with an ulterior motive. Enough of these narsarcistic power mungers.

    January 25, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  21. Josh

    Simple comment & question –

    Most people hate politics because of the non-bipartisanship in our national government. Both sides are attacked from the American people about the political system's inability to get anything done due to this phenomenon.

    Soooo....Why are people slamming the Republican who seems to be the only GOP Presidential contender to get past the bickering in Washington?

    Confuse me!?
    Side note – I am not a republican.

    January 25, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  22. GaryO Virginia Beach

    I doubt that a matchup between McCain and Hillary Clinton would be all that civilized. Once they start campaigning, you know they will focus on their differences, not their similarities.

    As long as we get a Democrat in the White House . . . that's the main thing.

    It will take a good Democrat to clean up yet ANOTHER mess the Republicans leave us with.

    Hillary would be a good President and Edwards too.

    I don't think Obama would have a shot at making it past the Republicans, but if he did gain office, he would make a better leader than any Republican.

    I hope this all works out well because our country may not be able to survive another Republican administration.

    January 25, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. eboughey

    Oh, I didn't say that I was appalled at the last debate and how both Clinton and Obama behaved.

    I don't want to hear their smear tactics. I wish they'd all just stick with the issues and hammer those home instead of all this crap they keep shoveling.

    January 25, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. Independent

    sorry... just read comments... anyone that thinks Clinton would compliment McCain because he wants to run against McCain is a moron. That's not how it works... Clinton knows his words are considered smut by Republicans... if he compliments someone, he knows it has the reverse affect.

    If he was "afraid of Romney", he would be complimenting Romney. Tis politics, baby!!

    By the way... am friends will all registered Republicans... work with all registered Republicans... every single one of them, without a single exception, has said they will not vote for Romney should he get the nomination. Yeah – I'm sure Clinton is terrified of a candidate who his base can see right through.

    January 25, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  25. Martin Edwin Andersen

    So Bill foresees a civilized campaign between Hillary and John McCain while injecting race into the primary contest against Obama.

    Obama and McCain are high minded.

    The Clintons are not.

    Sic semper Dogpatch.

    January 25, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
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