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. BILL5321

    BILL should let his wife do her own talking.

    January 26, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Tony Hernandez

    McCain and Hilary are in love? Democrats need to nominate Barack Obama or Edwards otherwise America will be in deeper trouble. Every Republican secretly loves Hilary and are foaming at the mouth trying to get her the DFL nomination.

    People, we have had a Bush or a Clinton in high office now for 16 years (Bush Sr VP). What does it take to bring the kind of change that we need in America?

    Obama, Edwards, or Ron Paul. Don't vote for the establishment!!

    January 26, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Thom

    I almost forgot....the state of Arkansas was before and still is after their tenure as governor at the bottom of almost every category. I think it's time for America to focus on uniting our country and not driving divisive wedges between party lines and elect someone that has everyone's best interest at heart.

    January 26, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. maginmartin

    obvious that the clintons dont want john mccain to be the republican nominee as they will get clobbered that way. so bill's comment is to dissuade republicans from nominating mccain. the clintons taking on romney is a walk in the park. even barack would find beating the hell out of romney is a piece of cake so at this stage the clintons take the gullible ones for another spin!

    January 26, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Phil Memphis, TN

    For everyone making a big deal about this, he said they respect each other. I don;t know of any reason to believe otherwise. I have seen them in the past, even before they were running for Peresident, and they always seemed amicable to each other.

    God forbid we actaully have a civil and reasonable debate about how to address the issues.

    Oh thats right, then CNN would have nothing to write about, as they do not seem to know what the issues are. while we keep asking about the economy, the war, etc. CNN keeps reporting on race and gender. The one thing I will give Bill clinton credit for is calling them out on it.

    When Barack was asked during a debate "Do you think Bill Clinton was the first black president?" there is no point in watching any further debates moderated by CNN. How does that question help voters make a decision on candidates? It doesn't. It is a question intended to inflame and cause animosity between the candidates. Then CNN sits back and waits for the blowup to happen so they can run to their cameras like giddy schoolgirls spreading the latest gossip.

    January 26, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Greg

    Look, the reason Romney will crush Clinton and McCain would lose to here is because McCain has only one issue, the war, a position that Romney shares. Other than that McCain can't campain against her on illegal immigration, conservative judges (possibly the most important issue), freedom of speech, strict constitutionalism. McCain cannot link her to the liberal media, because he is also linked there, etc. Wake! The only people who support McCain that are paying any attention are Liberals, moderates (see Liberals or RINOs) and Independants (that's also another word for Liberals, . . they just don't know it) Independants are very smart decerning voters . . . . . .just ask them!!!!!!!!. They're not going to let conervatives push them around, even if it means ruining the country. Same with LIBERtarians. . .

    January 26, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. dave

    McCain is just a democrate in sheeps clothing. If he or Clinton were to be elected president, the "Demon"crate agenda would be the goal. We do not need a marxist such as Clinton in charge. More intrusive government, crushing taxes, and a coward mentality in the defense of the country.

    January 26, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. joshua go

    i like romney and huckabee but my fellow republicans have got to wake up! only mccain can take on the clinton machine! we must make sure the clintons dont ever take the white house again!

    January 26, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. smalksy, Bibbingham, MT

    he was talking about their political policies AND his attraction to them

    January 26, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Jimmie - NV

    HILLARY VS MCCAIN

    A SAD CASE OF "YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I'LL SCRATCH YOUR."

    BUT, IT WILL BACKFIRE, YOU KNOW HILLARY AS WELL AS I DO.

    SHE KNOWS MCCAIN IS NOT A STRONG CANDIDATE FOR THE REPUBLICANS AND SHE KNOW THE VOTERS WANT A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE – WHY NOT? WE HAD 8 YEARS OF REPUBLICANS, NOW IT'S THE DEMOCRATS TURN.

    HOPEFULLY VOTERS WILL VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE – NOT THE PARTY!

    LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN SOME MORE AND DO RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN – YOU WILL BE SURPRISED WHAT YOU WILL LEARN. TAKES NOTES DURING THE REBATES AND CAMPAIGNING AND YOU BE THE JUDGE OF WHO SAID WHAT AND HOW IT WAS SAID. "LIES BEGOT LIES" IF ENOUGH LIES ARE TOLD, THEN THE STORY GET TWISTED. THEN IT BECOMES HE SAID, YOU SAID, I SAID.

    BEST WISHES TO ALL DURING THIS MESSED UP 2008 ELECTION

    January 26, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. suraki

    I believe that 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.

    I've been trying to make this comment since yesterday, but the mods haven't accepted it. Why not?

    January 26, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. C. Turner

    Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign received contributions from a Chinese man by the name of Hsiu who was a crook and didn't return the money until she/he was exposed. That is not a crock! Clinton's have been found with their hands in the "cookie jar" any number of times. A Clinton dynasty for America would be disastrous. In fact I would say no more dynasties, either democrat or republican. Bush has proven himself unworthy when he has a private deal with Vincete Fox to allow illegal imigration and amnesty for millions of Mexican ex-patriots. Mexico needs to face its own corrupt system and be forced to provide jobs and meaningful ewnmployment for its citizens.

    January 26, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Interested Canuck

    I have been watching with interest. It never surprises me how Hiliary can talk out of both sides of her mouth at the same time. I am very impressed with the Barak Obama. Im not sure if its Hilary of Bill that is running for the office of President. Maybe the ballot should read "Biliary" the Clintons. Hiliary appears to react to what the polls are saying and changes strategies with the polls. I do think she will say whatever she has to say to get elected. She is very divisive. I will continue to watch with interest.

    January 26, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. FOB

    Birds of a feather stick together.

    January 26, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Cal

    Tying McCain to Hillary is frankly BRILLIANT politics. The core GOP voters despise Hillary and successfully linking McCain to her can only boost other less electable candidates.

    The coup de grace is that what he is saying is probably true in that both Hillary and McCain tend to be centrist politicians who would govern close to the middle.

    Of course George Bush claimed to be a "uniter" as well and we all know how that turned out.

    January 26, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Missing the Point

    Folks,

    Hillary can't win against McCain and this is the only point that matters. Each will win their base. The battle will be over the middle. Hillary is seen as a liberal; McCain as a moderate. And Hillary has the higest negatives of any candidate.

    Now imagine the debates. Well Hillary, we both supported the war, so why do you want to irrationally pull troops out now?

    So, independents will vote for McCain in droves and the Republican base will rally around him for national security reasons.

    If you're a true Democrat, do your party a favor – put down your blindness and vote for a candidate that can beat McCain.

    At least Obama can say; well sir, I never voted for your war! In stead of well I kinda voted for the war, but i didn't really mean it and now I want to take it back and pull all our troops out.

    January 26, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. billzalot

    Abortion is murder and as long as the Democratic Party supports this killing of the innocent unborn children I will not any Democrat for President. If Bill Clinton were not elected Justice Ruth G would not been appointed to The Supreme Court.

    January 26, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. TrueDemocrat

    That Hillary Clinton and John McCain are very close is no news.
    They are both for the war; they both voted to support Bush at every turn;
    and they have both been posturing for years voting not their conscious but their futue electability. So thanks Bill for confirming what we all knew already.

    January 26, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. Rex

    MYSKYLARK, YOUR RIGHT THE CLINTONS HAVE DONE SO MUCH FOR THE MORAL VALUE OF THIS COUNTRY, WHY ARE WE PICKING ON THEM. THEY DON'T LIE OR CHEAT. STOP PICKING ON THEM RIGHT!!

    January 26, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Buck H

    Hillary – Obama – Florida Sen. Mel Martinez endorsed John McCain = AMNESTY & UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!

    What a joke you people are to support Multiculturalism

    January 26, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Bill

    Like, what about Barack Hussein Obama ? He like, seems like a nice guy. I mean like, why aren't the rest of the like, young people like, voting for him. It's like, some of you like, like Hillary Clinton. Like, Give Obama a break, he is like, the first serious black canadite.

    January 26, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. BrendaK

    Why wouldn't McCain and Hillary! like each other? They have the same policies, after all.

    The whole field of candidates sucks once again.

    January 26, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Skate

    Any democrat can do what democrats do, offer more access to government dependence and therefore increase their political power. Can anyone think of one piece of legislation a democrat has written that was designed to get people off of their dependence on government?

    January 26, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Michael Litzau - Baltimore Md.

    The biggest tradgedy of a McCain/Hillary race is that party leadership on BOTH sides would have once again IGNORED the wishes of the American people regarding Illegal Immigration. I hope that the American people and particularly the republican voters begin speaking LOUD AND CLEAR once again to their politicians on this issue. It is a national tragedy! Let's start by telling John McCain NO WAY on Jan. 29th in Florida!

    January 26, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Dan, TX

    I would prefer a president I can look in the eye with respect. Neither Clinton fits the bill, Bill.

    January 26, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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