February 1st, 2008
03:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Coulter wants Clinton over McCain

 Ann Coulter said Thursday she'd back Hillary Clinton over John McCain.
Ann Coulter said Thursday she'd back Hillary Clinton over John McCain.

(CNN) - In the latest sign that a conservative backlash is starting to build against John McCain, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said Thursday she is prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton over the Arizona senator in a general election match up.

Speaking on Fox's "Hannity and Colmes," Coulter took aim at the GOP frontrunner, and suggested he was little more than a Republican in name only.

"If you are looking at substance rather than if there is an R or a D after his name, manifestly, if he's our candidate, than Hillary is going to be our girl, because she's more conservative than he is," Coulter said. "I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism."

Coulter took aim at McCain's positions - particularly his fervent anti-torture stance - and said he and Clinton differ little on the issues. Coulter also said she is prepared to campaign on Clinton's behalf should McCain win the party's nomination.

"John McCain is not only bad for Republicanism, which he definitely is - he is bad for the country," she said.

Coulter is the latest high profile conservative to express dismay with McCain's surging candidacy. Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday McCain's rise was the product of a 'fractured' conservative base and an "uninspiring" GOP presidential field.

"He is not the choice of conservatives, as opposed to the choice of the Republican establishment — and that distinction is key," Limbaugh continued. "The Republican establishment, which has long sought to rid the party of conservative influence since Reagan, is feeling a victory today as well as our friends in the media."

McCain has long been at odds with conservative members of his party. — Exit polls from the early-primary states have shown the he has consistently lost among those primary voters who identify themselves as conservative. But he passed a key test Tuesday in winning Florida's primary, the first early contest that only allowed registered Republicans to participate.

Reacting to criticisms from his party's most conservative quarters, McCain told the San Francisco Gate Thursday, "I'll continue to reach out to all in the party, try to unite the party, until everybody realizes that the only way we're going to defeat the Democratic candidate is through a united party."

– CNN Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John McCain
soundoff (445 Responses)
  1. Montedoro

    Big mistake! Whatever McCain's faults, he is at least aware that the west is engaged in a titanic struggle with Islamic extremism - even if he is not prepared to tell the whole truth that the titanic struggle is with Islam, itself. Clinton never mentions a word that the struggle might have any connection with Islam at all. She hasn't a clue. Not only that, Clinton is beholden to a significant degree to the rest of the Democrats, including MoveOn.org which will never, ever say anything about Islam that might possibly be construed to be critical. On this decisive issue alone, McCain is to be preferred.

    February 1, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. John

    Who cares what she thinks?

    February 1, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Roland

    Misleading story. I watched the show last night. Coulter did describe Hillary Clinton as "our girl," but disavowed it seconds later. She was just trying to make a point about her dissatisfaction with John McCain. She does not, and will not, support Clinton in the election. If you actually watch the tape of the show, it is obvious.

    So what do we learn here?

    a) This is another example of lazy reporting.
    b) CNN is deliberately trying to mislead the public.
    c) The personality-driven media is desparate to hear from the Ann Coulters, so they don't have to actually analyze the candidates' positions on the issues.
    d) All of the above.

    I miss real journalism.

    February 1, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. marie

    Ann Coulter is no friend of Hillary, Obama or any Democrat. The hateful statements she has made about both of them and all Democrats is sickening. The old adage, "with friends like this, you don't need any enemies", is certainly true in this case.

    Remember your Greek Mythology, and the story of the Trojan Horse.

    "Somewhat is sure design'd, by fraud or force, Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse."

    February 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Randal Cameron

    Indignation against McCain's support for the Constitutional right against torture shows just how far off-side "militant" conservatism is.

    The far right that Coulter belongs to increasingly strains against the checks and balances put in place to protect Americans from radicalism and abuse of process.

    February 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Anyone but Hillary

    Wow, CNN just found a women less qualified than Hillary to be president.

    February 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Adam

    CNN, I beg of you, stop pretending Ann Coulter is a serious commentator/pundit. Short of resurrecting Herbert Hoover, I don't think anyone is Conservative ENOUGH for Ann Coulter. She's a neo-conservative, anti-semetic, xenophobe who would vote for George Rockwell before voting for any who even smelled of moderate conservatism.

    John McCain is a great American and a great leader. I'm personally a Democrat, and I intend to vote that way, but I can think of worse fates than voting for John McCain, and if Ann Colter thinks that John McCain isn't conservative enough for her, I say proper thing! Why must the media keep treating her someone who's opinion matters? There are REAL conservative commentators and pundits out there who have their own opinions, and yet we continue to bear witness to this woman who has even advocated taking away the right to vote from her own gender.

    CNN, I watch your coverage, I read your ticker, and I listen to your 'best political team on television'. But until you stop giving people like Ann Coulter the light of day, and start working to put her back under the rock that she crawled out from, I don't see how I can take your coverage of the issues seriously.

    And to any conservatives to think John McCain is too moderate...get over it! He's the best Republican running, and he's the only Republican who has even the slightest of chances to win in November. He'll continue the war, lower taxes, and cut spending; how much more conservatism does the base need?

    February 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Al

    Well, the master of hypoerbole strikes again. Ann, Hillary doesn't want your support. I can't speak for John McCain.

    February 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Melissa in CA

    Since Hillary once was a Republican, this makes sense.

    February 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. thegreatmags

    If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, did it actually fall?

    February 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Necia

    You have got to be kidding me. Now that is a frightening thought. Hillary, if you can, I would run from any endorsements from Coulter or Limbaugh. They are both crazy "as a bed bug" as my 87 year old mother said. It would certainly make me revisit my commitment to any candidate they would get behind. While I agree that McCain rides the fence between the two parties, Coulter is insane, and more importantly to me, one of the most cruel and vile persons to have a stage with the American public. She has got to have an ulterior motive, must want to trash your momentum. Rush is just a common criminal, but I digress. CNN, this article gives me chills. I am going to be "manifestly" depressed all day!

    February 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Samuel

    Wait a minue. Coulter wants to vote for Clinton?

    The republican party girl herself?

    I tune out Coulter whenever she speaks because I personally find her nauseating, dimwitted and downright cruel, but what's her game? Is she trying to NOT get Clinton elected president by endorsing her? Is she trying some sort of reverse psychology? I mean, who would want to vote for the same person someone like Ann Coulter votes for? Who would want to say that Coulter is on the same side they're on? That's downright scary.

    February 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. NO-LONGER-REPUBLICAN

    The right wing of the GOP is so out of touch, its unreal. They live in their own 'we are ever so perfect, we don't even go to the toilet' world.
    The right wing is certainly from Planet Neptune.

    The only two people that attract any type of attention in the GOP right now are John and Ron.

    They are also so arrogant that they would prefer Flip-flopping once-for-abortion now-not-against abortion, once-for-gay-rights-now-changed-my mind, Mr. Flopper , just-like-Hillary, MittRomney, JUST BECAUSE HE IS GOOD LOOKING!!!

    He did say 'time-table' the only difference is that he did not want Bush to make it public.

    You people are ready to forgive Romney because he's got lots of money, and because he is good looking.

    Remember that song "You're so vain"?

    February 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Steph

    Can you give us some facts or examples to back up these statements? I just don't see very much depth to this article. I'm sorry, but Ann Coulter does come off a little half-cocked sometimes.

    I'm voting for Huckabee but I have friends voting for McCain bc they think he has a good chance of beating Hillary. (I myself was tempted to vote for McCain as well – but only as a vote against Romney.)

    I certainly would never vote for Hillary over McCain. What's wrong with being against military torture? I'm sure there are other ways of dealing with people; but we must respect first and foremost that they *are* people no matter how crazy their cause may be.

    February 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Jeremy

    What? Ann Coulter voting Democrat? Is the world coming to a spiraling end? At least the Republican Party is, if they can't even convince the most batty conservative in the world...

    February 1, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. Wanda Kelley

    The worst thing I can think of for the Hillary Clinton campaign would be to have Ann Coulter's support. Please -- just keep talking about how much you hate
    liberals and stick with the Republicans.

    February 1, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. tm

    Coulter and Limbaugh are trying to lead us to believe that McCain is a moderate so that they can grab moderate votes. They are well aware of the anti-Republican sentiment that is rising thanks to GW.

    Although...I'm not sure that either of them is bright enough to really think of something that savvy.

    I'm sure Hillary would be so excited to have Coulter on her side, (not)!

    February 1, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Bill, Richmond, VA

    30 years ago the old "New Deal" liberalism couldn't coalace behind certain democratic politicians. An actor, named Ronald Reagan came forward in the vacuum and presented conservatism as an alternative.

    For 30 years Americans have bought the conservative con job hook, line and sinker. Now, conservatives are finding it hard to support certain Republican politicians. Same cycle, different party. Consevative will shortly become a pejorative title, and Republicans will be a minority for the next 30 or more years.

    Natural law says that all forces return to the natural center of existence. Politically, that means that bipartisanship, compromise, and centrism are the only political forces that actually work.

    February 1, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. phil

    Please dont think that she speaks for the average conservative.

    I know, I know, this msg will languish "awaiting moderation".

    February 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Mike

    I am a conservative Republican, I even I think that Ann Coulter is a nutcase.

    February 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. McCain is a hypocrit...

    Good for Ann Coulter. Of all the candidates, Democrat and Republican, I would put McCain and Clinton on the top of the list for intention distortion of the facts to get political gain. I have never voted Democrat, so this is a hard one. I think McCain is the MOST deceptive of the bunch. I cannot vote for him. Do I have any other options than those two? This may be a first for me.... voting for a Democrat.

    February 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Brittney

    I'm sorry, isn't this the same Anne Coulter who said that women shouldn't have the right to vote because they only vote for liberal democrats??? We already knew she was a nut job, now she' s apparently a hypocrite as well. Oh wait, we already knew that too.....

    February 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. J.Crobuzon

    This is in keeping with the brilliant Republican strategy of smearing or denying the careers of military heroes. Soon we'll hear from fellow P.O.W.s saying McCain was never a P.O.W., or that he was but only for a few days, and that he was actually a draft-dodger who spit on returning soldiers. Kerry will get a few laughs out of watching the swift-boaters maneuvering, I'm sure.

    The underlying problem here seems to be that 'conservatism' has had its day. Like other 'isms,' like communism or fascism, it's been proven to be an inefficient and dangerous way to administrate a modern industrialized nation. We let Bush/Cheney/Rove, that Cerberus of Conservatism, have everything it wanted; control of Congress, control of the Supreme Court, and the White House all at once, and now the wolf is at the door. They were wrong, misguided and foolish, dangerously wrong.

    Newt's power fantasy of a magic Eagle that flew by flapping only its right wing was never something attainable. I think both parties just want a competent manager right now to rein in the economy, fix the awful war mess, and tell our allies the chimp is back in Crawford and the USA is back on track.

    February 1, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. K M

    Ann doesn't think women should even have the right to vote, so why do we care what she says?

    February 1, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. m. campion

    She's right: Hillary is more conservative than a republican.

    February 1, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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