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. Mike O

    Clinton is just confirming the NYT view of McCain. Even if McCain were to win, the majority of his policies would match Hillary's anyway. And the GOP would have to take the blame for the result.

    January 25, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. Jay

    I'm a Libertarian who votes more often center right than left..... and I am no huge fan of McCain but he is head and shoulders above Hillary or any other Clinton for that matter.

    Hillary is polarizing. And she will squeeeeeellllll when McCain puts logical facts and experience up against her pipe dreams with little merit or sense. The debates will be a slam dunk. And the Democrats will lose again.

    January 25, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. Joe

    If Hillary gits nominated she can pick McCain for Vice President. After all Kerry wanted him for vice president. Isn't that sweet?

    January 25, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. Bill, Vancouver, Wa.

    Hillary? You must be kidding!!!!! Her thighness is a Liberal wacko. Please put her up against Mitt, boy will that be fun to watch on my new HDTVs.

    January 25, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Lennie Kaplan

    Come on. Anybody can see through this. Bill is worried that McCain will defeat Hillary (actuallly Bill) in November. What better way to rile up the Republican base, that still mistrusts McCain, than to give a Clinton endorsement (and I use the term lightly).

    January 25, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. Johnny C

    "With that statement from Bill Clinton, Romney will become the nominee of the Republican Party."

    You have it right on. Bill knows Hillary will have it tough against McCain but will have a cake walk with Romney so is trying to steer the Repubs to bring out the knives for McCain and let Romney slide in as the nominee.

    Those Clintons ........ always strategising.

    January 25, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Betty

    Obama-Edwards? I like it. Obama-Richardson would be OK, too. She's shown her true colrs this week more than ever. If Billaries are nominated, I will NOT vote. Their nomination would be such a turn-off to the many who have gotten involved this year, a lot of them for the first time.

    January 25, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Mrs.Leonard

    I was going to vote and support Hillary as an independent but after watching this from the NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN Im changing my mind and voting for Borak Please watch the youtube video of Lorna Brett Howard who was a supporter of Hillary and becuse of this Hillary received lots of women votes...After Hillary starting lying about Obama Lorna changed her position...Hillary just hurt herself with the WOMEN VOTE!!! We democrat women need to show Hillary that Dis honesty is plain wrong. What a mess...Please go to youtube and watch the video. When you go to the web page just enter Lorna Brett Howard and it should come up.......This is a crucial issue to all women. Check out these videos featuring Lorna Brett Howard, the former President of Chicago NOW (National Organization of Women).In the first video, Lorna describes why she went from being a Clinton supporter to a strong Obama supporter, in the wake of Clinton's misleading attacks on Obama's record on choice...In the second video, Lorna describes how Senator Obama was a critical advocate in the fight to preserve choice in South Dakota...For more on Obama's strong…

    January 25, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Brian

    See she hasn't been sleeping with only George W in the past 7 years.

    January 25, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. capitolist

    Are we really going to bring back the guy who was tapping the intern while the wife was helping herself to the silverware? for chrissakes, END DYNASTIC RULE IN THE US!!

    Clinton is trying to portray herself as a 'winner' by framing the election as if she already won the nomination. Smarmy and sleazy. Oh, but who is surprised? It's the Clintons.

    January 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. trent porter, tx

    Dear CNN:

    Ron Paul is now running close # 2 with John McCain.
    How about some Ron Paul news?

    I think the people can take a break from the Clinton\Obama\McCain lie.

    Show more Ron Paul, he's our man ;)

    January 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Don L

    I have long said thaat John McCain is the Hillary of the GOP.

    He too expected a coronation because he was a war hero and a maverick.

    Hillary voted for the war to play maverick to her party.
    The idea of being a maverick is to attract voters who are not reg party members during a general election.

    Hilary and John are notoriously angry people who despise the little people who they are dependent upon for their power.

    Both are dangerous to allow in the lseat of power. Hillary would be a vicious(if not overactive and vengeful) commander in chief – likewise big bad john. People who throw tantrums and ashtrays should never be allowed access to the nuke button.

    Both will tear open our borders to solidify their power.

    The only difference between the two is John has a better looking spouuse.

    January 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Jason, Wilmette, IL

    A civililized election with a Clinton involved. Are you kidding me?

    January 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Seekster

    Please, Hillary is "close" to whoever helps her politically, thats the only explanation for why she would stay with Bill after what he pulled.

    January 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. America Forever

    Of course they are. Both are Democrats!

    January 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. BILLY J JENKINS

    KERRY HAS THE GALL TO SAY SOME ONE IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH, WHAT WHEN HE RAN FOR THIS HIGH OFFICE ALMOST AS SOON AS HE OPEN HIS BIG MOUTH HE STARTRD LOSING AND STILL WHAT ABOUT ALL THE MEDALS THE THE SAID HE WON IN THE NAM?????????????

    January 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. HeyStupid

    Good ole Billery. Can you imagine what the next four years of having these jerks in the white house could do to this country. These people are mean and disingenous and I prey that Americans can see through this trailer trash.

    January 25, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. frank3108

    They would love to run against McClinton because he is just as liberal as she is. Many Republicans will stay home if he is the nominee.As far as being civil they would DESTROY him. The Clintons are evil. There is nothing they would not do to win.

    January 25, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. Lord Har Har

    Hmmm....

    I remember the last time someone was nice to the Clintons in an election: Bob Dole. When he asked why the meanness, Bill said, "You gotta do what you gotta do."

    Like the song says (when dealing with the Clintons: Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down.

    Actually, to beat the Clintons, it's pretty easy and doable. It's been done before: Offer something better like the Republicans did in '94. Beating them up only makes them stronger.

    Be better; that's the proven way.

    Har Har!

    January 25, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. SA, MD

    I loved the story that Hillary and McCain had a vodka drinking contest in the Ukraine.

    January 25, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. Joe Willie, Amarillo TX

    Tell ya what–I would love to see Sen. Clinton against Sen. McCain. She is really going to make a fine president. Even some of my cowboy friends here in Texas are going to vote for her because she is so tough. Did you see how she cut Obama down to size in those debates? Hillary's a cut above the rest. I'm ready for a female president. Like I tell my cowboy friends, "Boys, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but if a woman volunteers wants to tackle a dirty job–get the hell out of her way!"

    January 25, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Harvey

    McCain and Clinton both were endorsed by the New York Times and Kansas City Star because they are both the only real choices from both parties. Bill Clinton was only saying that McCain and Clinton have respect for each other ... but they are both very different in what they stand for.
    I think it is far toooooooooooooooooo funny how all the Obama people are so angry and hateful on these news blogs .. obviously they don't listen to their candidate ... they just follow him without thinking ... or learning from his positive messages.

    January 25, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. e_goldstein

    So, let me get this straight, we are engaged in undeclared, perpetual war. The banks are getting giant bailouts from the Federal Reserve backed by our tax dollars. Inflation is about to become hyper-inflation, followed quickly by deflation. The Mexican army is crossing the Texas border, and the two "anointed" candidates from the opposing parties are involved in a lovefest?

    Wake up, America. Our rights are being trampled daily by this political elite who have no interest in defending our rights or our republic. They are stealing from and lying to you; they are close because they are complicit in defrauding you.

    January 25, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. always a democrat

    Slow and steady wins the race...Many dislike hill, but she is "THE ONE" to get the job done...

    Many liked Bush back in 2000 and 04. See what happened.
    "likability" should not be part of "electibility"

    Hillary-Edwards 08

    Democrates 08!

    January 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. RAFi68

    let me tell you the future , hillary as president and obama vice president , no republican in power for the next 16 years , they have demolish this country . 80 % will vote agains republican have you seen teh primary in most stated , they are scared.......hahahahhahaahahh

    January 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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