September 25th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Bill Clinton lavishes praise on McCain

Clinton had kinds words for John McCain Thursday.

Clinton had kinds words for John McCain Thursday.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton has long pointed out he has enjoyed a good relationship with John McCain, but for a moment the former president almost sounded like a surrogate for the Republican presidential nominee Thursday morning.

Appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, Clinton said McCain's move to suspend his campaign and request a delay in the first presidential debate was a move done in "good faith," rather than as a stunt to halt falling poll numbers as several Democrats have alleged.

"I presume he did that in good faith since I know he wanted - I remember he asked for more debates to go all around the country and so I don't think we ought to overly parse that," Clinton said, sounding a familiar McCain Campaign talking point.

A few hours later Clinton lavished praise on McCain as he introduced him at the Clinton Global Initiative forum, saying Republican presidential nominee had taken the lead in his party when it comes to climate change.

"When most people in his party were thinking that global warming was overstated and maybe even a myth - he decided to look into it," he said.

The former president also described the two trips that McCain took with his wife Hillary Clinton, β€œthe junior senator from New York," to look into the issue.

But Clinton has also been effusive in his praise for Obama in recent days, telling CBS earlier this week the Illinois senator is better-suited than McCain to bring the country out of the economic crisis.

Clinton's praise of McCain also came days after he told CNN's Larry King Live he was looking forward to campaigning on behalf of Barack Obama, but was not planning on "dumping" on McCain.

Watch: Bill Clinton praises Obama, Palin on Larry King

"I just don't believe that getting up here and hyperventilating about Gov. Palin, or Sen. McCain for that matter, is a productive use of a former president's time and is not a vote-getter," he said, adding later he was an admirer of McCain even though the two disagree on several issues.

McCain burnished his maverick credentials largely during the Clinton administration, when he sided with Democrats on several key issues including campaign finance reform. Clinton has long expressed admiration for the Arizona senator, even during the primary season earlier this year when he said McCain and his wife are "very close." McCain did however voter to impeach Clinton however.

"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," he said at a South Carolina campaign stop in January.

soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. Barabus

    Bill who? McCain in Washington today was as useful as teets on a bull. His desparate campaign is falling apart.

    We need a grounded, patient leader who rejects knee jerk, hail mary shenanigans, and last time I checked that was Barack Obama.

    September 25, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Ted:Canada

    WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TODAY

    Yes today!!

    CHINA sent astronauts into space!
    USA is nationalizing their big banks

    What is wrong with this picture???

    America look outside your window – you are being left behind!

    Get rid of the Repubs fast! Save your country!

    September 25, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Former republican white man from california for Obama

    you know I have never had any respect for Pres Clinton but after seeing him on Larry king last night. I am shocked That he has moved to a much more centrist position on his view of politics. I really liked his interview and it was open very blunt and open on the issues there was no hint of partisan politics in his words just blunt truth. I am shocked that in the very long and open interview the only part they chose to pull out and post up here was his comments in regard to Sen Mc Cain

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Willcnnapprovethis?

    stop kissing up to mccain bill!

    this isn't helping your democratic base!

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. average joe

    If bill likes him so do I, and the way I see it, I want check and checkmate, Repub. President and a Democratic congress.

    2012 πŸ˜‰ if we still own our beloved America still

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Bulldog

    McCain is currently still sending out his paid campaign spokespeople to campaign for him on the cable news networks. That is not suspending a campaign like McCain said he was going to do.

    "I'm John McCain and I approve this lie"

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. we're not dumb

    I knew he wasn't going to do anything to help. First he said he'd do it after the Clinton global initiative this week. Now he told Larry King last night that he'll campaign after the Jewish holidays. That's after October 9. Why doesn't he wait until after Halloween?

    He never misses an opportunity to praise McCain and Palin and his wife. Then he throws Obama in like an afterthought.

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Which side is Bill on? I forget.

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Avenue A

    Lourdes, snap out of it.

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. rhonimus

    Wow, what is this guy doing! Can you say hipocrite! He just needs a little love.

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. karen-phoenix

    Bill also said how much he likes Obama and believes deeply that Obama will win! He said it this AM and last night with Larry King!!
    This AM at his Foundation when Obama spoke he praised Obama and thanked him so much for his talk!! Obama got a standing ovation!!!

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. April

    BILL, KEEP THIS UP AND YOU WILL FIND OUT THAT NO ONLY WILL THE MAJORITY OF BLACKS NOT FORGIVE YOU, AGAIN, NEITHER WILL DEMOCRATS (REGARDLESS OF THIER RACE)...

    HILLARY LOST, SHE ACCEPTED IT AND HAS MOVED ON. YOU NEED TO WAKE UP SO SHE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO RUN AGAIN

    YOU ARE TOO SMART TO PLAY DUMB TRICKS, WE CAN SEE THROUGH YOUR POSTURING

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Proud Soldeirs Mom

    CNN the truth should be known. Stop blocking posts!
    Obama, is and always will be Obama first.
    The first speech Obama has ever given was in college. Page 108 of Dreams from my father.
    I quote from Obama's book.
    Obama- "Listen Regina, I said , cutting her off, "you are a very sweet lady, and I'm happy you enjoyed my little performance today. But that's the last time you will ever hear another speech out of me. I'm going to leave the preaching to you and to Marcus. Me, I've decided I've got no business speaking for black folks"
    Regina- "And why is that?"
    Obama- "Because I've got nothing to say, Regina. I don't believe we made any difference by what we did today. I don't believe that what happens to a kid in Soweto makes much difference to the people we were talking to. Pretty words don't make it so. So why do I pretend otherwise? I'll tell you why. Because it makes me feel Important. Because I like the applause. It gives me a nice, cheap thrill. That's all."
    Regina- "You don't really believe that."
    Obama-"That's what I believe."
    Regina- "Well you could have fooled me. Seemed to me like I heard a man speak who believed in something. A black man who cared. But hey, I guess I'm stupid"
    Obama-"Not stupid Regina. Naive"

    He refers to his speech as "a little performance" and as "preaching". He calls his friend Regina, Naive for believing what he said in the speech.

    Now I know a lot of computer programmed Obama BlogBots will deny what I have posted, and say it's all a lie. That is what they are programmed to do.

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. oppressedworker

    Hey Alaska for Obama. You better get the History Books out. I think you need to study up about the Presidents. It just demonstrates the ignorant people that are voting for Obama. You might be able to get on Jay Leno's show as one of his "Jaywalk Allstars."

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. thomas harding

    If Hillary runs in 2012 there will be MANY Democrats who will remember the luke warm Support of the Clintons and return the favor. I think their poor loser status has hurt them beyond repair and he would be FURIOUS if the same were given for Hillary if she was the head of the ticket

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    And now you all see why barack couldnt pick hillary for vp!

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Dyan

    It makes you wonder who, exactly, Bill Clinton is campaigning for.

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. aware

    Right Bill!

    Obama's disingenuousness is disgusting! He did refuse 10 debates with Senator McCain because he did not think they were in his best interest! Obama first! 😦

    The former president's comments re: Senator McCain and the environment were excellent as well!

    Bill Clinton offers respect and honesty as a former president rising above the current Obama dishonesty and hypocrisy!

    McCain/Palin 08! They are authentic, country first reformers! πŸ™‚

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Ronnie, CA

    Obama wins '08 and Hillary will never be the President, and the Clintons know it. But if Obama loses, she is the Dem.'s candidate in four years for sure and goes back to the White House in 2012. They are the biggest true politicians this country has, next to Bush, and are leaving that doubt out there on Obama for a reason: They absolutely want John McCain in '08.

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Chris

    OMG....is there no way to put him some where until after this election?
    I mean I've met this man in the White House when he was in Office and I had all the respect in the world for him even doing the whole Monica thing. But, since the primaries and now this lukewarm support of the Democratic ticket, I'm just loosing that respect. Do we not all remember Bill saying the Republican were out to get him while he was in office? Uh, wasn't McCain a part of that group? Okay, enough said!!

    September 25, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. herold aubourg/boston/ma

    I BELIEVE THAT THE EX-PRESIDENT, THOUGH HE IS INTELLECTUALLY INCLINED, YET LACKS WISDOM. BILL IS ALWAYS ABOUT BILL AND IS NOT TRYING TO HELP HIS WIFE AND NOW HE IS TOO FULL OF HIMSELF. HE REMINDS ME OF O.J. AND NOW SEE WHERE HE IS AND ONE ADVICE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE IS THAT PRIDE COMES BEFORE FALL AND IF HE CONTINUES ON THAT PATH HE WILL BE A FALLEN HERO AND NO ONE WILL REMEMBER HIS NAME.

    September 25, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. KG

    Seems funny to me that the Dems were locked in this stalemate with the Reps on the economic bailout until McCain says he's heading back to Wash DC. Now, McCain comes to town and all the sudden the Dems have reached an "agreement of principle" with the Reps.

    Could it be that the Dems were simply stonewalling and using this economic crisis as a political plus for Obama? Now, McCain comes to town, the Dems can no longer play their stall game, and the Dems have to come to the table or risk McCain getting credit for pushing the issue to resolution. Pretty smart move on McCain's part I think. Make the Dems play ball and quit using this issue for their gain at the cost of the American public.

    September 25, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. M. Winners

    It's all about the money people!

    We all know repugs and neocons have lotsa bread so Slick Willie is pandering to them with false praise for their guy and guess what – they will donate to his cause.

    Hypocritical? You betcha.

    Will it raise money for his cause? You betcha.

    September 25, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Baze

    Bill's making sure that he doesn't burn down the last of his bridges, and trying to save the G.O.P. so there are still bipartisan relations when Barack is president. It's a good strategy.

    ONE NATION

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. John Rico

    Bill Clinton, the man right wing republicans hate the most, gives John McCain much praise. Hrmmmmmm I wouldn't call him two-faced just quite yet.

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12