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. Momaduke,

    Okay, Steve, and I have some beach front property here in New Mexico I'd like to sell you too. geez...... give me a break!!

    January 25, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  2. independent

    ABC..
    Anybody But Clinton!
    Clinton fatigue is setting in big time!

    January 25, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  3. TrueDem

    Obama has been in elected office 2 years longer than Hillary. You keep talking about the experience issue. While Ms. Clinton has been being a politicians wife for the last god-knows-how-long, Obama has been a Constitutional Lawyer, Constitutional Law Professor, Community Organizer, President of the Harvard Law Review, State Senator for 8 years, and US Senator for 2 years. Hillary has riden her husbands coat tails. Get real. If you actually go onto his website and read the pages and pages of policy he has outlines you would realize his policies are realistic and will get done, not like Hillaries. Obama has a Universal Healthcare plan that my anti-universal healthcare Republican husband can agree with. Because it is logical. Hillary is way more idealisr than Obama. The sooner you start researching for yourself and quit listening to Hillary and Bill's stump speaches, the better.

    January 25, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  4. joe

    McCain is a liberal. Why does he consider himself a Republican? Oh, that's right, Republicans are liberals too. Except Ron Paul, of course.

    January 25, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  5. Dale

    I rest my case. See all the lib comments that they are ok with either Hillary , McCain or Obama. If McCain is the GOP nominee, then I do hope Hillary or Obama wins. At least when the economy tanks, we are possibly attacked again, and we have 40 million new citizens thru the amnesty program, it will be on the Democrats watch, I just hope the country will survive so that a Republican can save our hides again in 4 years.

    January 25, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  6. Lea

    The best thing for this country: Hillary as president and McCain as vice president! Now THATS an unbeatable ticket.

    January 25, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  7. Bob

    John McCain has sided withGeorge Bush and backed him on every issue, from not securing the border, to tax cuts for the uber-wealthy, to selling American Ports to Dubai. And yes, Clinton is cut from the same cloth. this is why we need somebody new – not the same old tired re-treads.

    Anybody But Hillary Clinton, though I would vote for McCain before I would vote for her, if it came down to the choice of the lesser of those 2 evils.

    January 25, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. Pinga

    where's the outrage over that new photo of the Clinton's with REZKO himself, where's CNN article about this ? Why is CNN staying mum about it ALL DAY ? Come on CNN I know you're being called the Clinton News Network , but at least try to put on a face, do something , your CNN for crying out loud don't be so darn obvious on your Clinton biais ! GGGod! Geesh.

    January 25, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  9. Viki

    Hillary understands that next president have to work with both parties to deliver results.
    Hillary will be a great president!

    January 25, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  10. TammyNH

    How could possibly two of the worst candidates from each party get the nom? Is this country that far gone? A choice between Hillary or McCain= Vote for a 3rd party out of protest!

    Never will I cast a vote for either of them!

    Obama or Mitt will have my vote.

    January 25, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  11. john from NZ

    unbelievable if you americans choose another Clinton,
    if you do, you deserve her !

    January 25, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. dxv2008

    We'll it seems Obama is in trouble Nationally, he's starting to slide...Obama 2016

    January 25, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. Blasted

    "Love Fest" between Hillary and McCain, thanks for the mental picture BILL!!!.

    January 25, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  14. M.

    Let's start an "ABC" GROUP, ANYBODY BUT CLINTON.

    January 25, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Lee

    Folks need to get over their fear of strong women. Deal with it.

    As for Bill, people need to look in the mirror and admit the truth, 8 years of economic growth and budget surpluses = a VERY successful Presidency. Bill and Hillary Clinton are well-respected worldwide, in spite of the ravings of some of you.

    Hillary and McCain would be a fair electoral fight, either way the country will be fine.

    Lee

    January 25, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  16. Sloane

    Hillary and McCain on the same ticket. Well the geriatric base is covered. It will be so great to see a new generation in the Democratic Party.

    January 25, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  17. Joe

    Bill sees that McCain is the only republician polling ahead of all the Dems and took a shot that looks happy but drives a dagger in McCain's back. This is a very cunning and dirty move. If McCain is the only Republician that can beat Clinton why not makes sure she doesn't have to run against him. I think Bill said stick to the racism and continue bashing Obama because it teh genreal is Obama v. McCain its the country that wins not Hillary.

    January 25, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  18. Sloane

    Hill, Bill and McCain can have walker races on the White House lawn while Obama runs circles around them.

    January 25, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  19. lori

    Hillary – Talk about being afraid of someone!! Why is it all these American's pick someone they know nothing about.... I see change but only from the Americam people... DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE VOTING...DON'T JUMP TO THE IDEA THAT JUST BECAUSES SOMEONE IS YOUNG THERES GOING TO CHANGE , OR BLACK OR EVEN WHITE OR EVEN A FEMALE... The American people make change so stop trying to find a savor and look to someone who really can get us the hell out of this BUSH MESS! But I must say EVERYONE FEARS THE CLINTIONS I WONDER WHY? REALLY?

    January 25, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  20. nv

    Real issues for our country are being ignored.
    1 We are borrowing against future of our children. No society has done this in human history.
    2 Lost opportunity to save energy and break the back of countries that will hold us hostage in the future.
    3 Importing trinckets that we don't need from China and other countries.
    3 Lack of personal savings.
    4 Regulations that break the back of American small businesses not to mention the complex tax code.
    Who will deal with these problems? Perhaps a future military ruler of USA?
    5 Fewer Americans vote (percentage of eligible voters) than India and Iraq.
    What democracy? What election?
    6 Politicians who do not have the nerve to tackle entitlements that grow at exponential rate will bankrupt our country.
    I don't care who wins. It wont matter if we dont change our behavior as a nation.

    January 25, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  21. Lauren

    backbone,

    What do you find uncivilized about my comment? Is it because I used the word "crock"? What would I do if I were in Hillary's position? Well, I would never have done or said many of the things she has, so I will never be in her position. She is an intelligent, accomplished politician, and one who I used to admire. She has been through a lot in her life and has clearly had the strength to overcome that adversity and become very successful. That being said, I have lost my admiration for her because in my opinion she cares more about winning the race than about the state of the Democratic party or the state of this nation.

    You have the right to believe that Obama is the bad guy and Hillary and Bill are victims and vote accordingly–that's what freedom is all about. However, it's my opinion that two people as politically brilliant as Hillary and Bill Clinton are not victims in any way. Everything they say and do in the public arena, when the cameras are around, is a political maneuver. I appreciate their Democratic ideas, I agree with many of their positions, and I commend them for all they have acheived in their careers. But I find them to be increasingly uncivilized when it comes to the way they operate the campaign, and I feel they have exploited many of the social tensions in this country for political gain. That is not a civilized way to behave, especially for a former president and first lady.

    Let's be honest, though. You and I are different people, we have different perspectives, and we view this election through separate paradigms. But isn't it possible that the truth lies somewhere in between?

    I'm plenty capable of a civilized debate, and I'm sure you are too. The problem seems to be that many of the candidates are not.

    January 25, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. Debra Nelson

    My coment,is that whenGeorge W Bush was runnig for office didn,t he have have his dad george h bush ,and barbara bush campaning and makeing speechesfor him and ididn,t here one companint from anybody the reason they are complaning know is because BILL HAS A DAM GOOD TRACK RECORD.

    January 25, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  23. The Real Steve

    The other Steve is a freaking idiot! "He say's he respects both of them".
    What a loon. What a loser! I'm laughing my butt off.

    January 25, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. suraki

    In my opinion, this is a shrewd move on Bill's part, designed more to anger the Republicans than to charm the Democrats. Hillary's "experience" platform would be worthless against McCain but will hold up against Romney. If Bill can successfully link Hillary with McCain, McCain's chances of winning the Republican primary will be significantly diminished and Hillary would be facing a more "beatable" Republican candidate.

    January 25, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  25. MJ

    There are many ideological similarities between Senators McCain and Clinton and quite frankly they should be members of the same party. And too, both would do equal damage to this country as President. The main difference is that with McCain we can keep Bill out to pasture where he belongs.

    January 25, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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