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, “the 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. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Same old narcissistic fellow. All about him.

    September 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. James From Chicago

    For the first time it's not all about bashing each other. Clinton saw
    what they did to his wife and he's not going to do the same thing
    to someone else.

    September 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. bt

    Does anyone really believe he would be praising McSame if his wife was the person running against him...Clinton is full of SH..

    September 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Sensible Cape Coral FL

    I feel very strongly that the debates should go forward as scheduled. Many states have early voting and those people are entitled to the
    positions of each candidate so as to make intelligent decisions.

    September 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Bruce

    Anyone check Palin's dress for stains?

    September 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Independent but Leaning

    Read between the lines folks: the Clintons know that Barack Obama and his band merry terrorists and racists are the wrong choice.

    Obama: Ready to get elected. Not ready to lead.

    (Seriously, does he know that he's a senator with responsibilities to his constituents and wasn't elected to be a professional candidate?)

    September 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    It would be hard for me to dump on a friend. Bill said way back,that he, Hillary and McCain were friends. You don't throw your friends under the bus, unless you are Obama.

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Hillary Independent finally for Obama

    And then the Clintons and other Dems send me email after email soliciting funds for their candidates.....I have contributed twice.

    I am beginning to feel a bit deceived–Bill adores Sarah and now kissing McCain's ........................

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. north of 49

    Ya think he's after Palin?

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Paizley

    I think Bill is working on securing a date with Mrs. Palin. Trying to see if that bridge leads to somewhere........

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. sky

    If Barack for some horrible reason, doesn't win this election....then it will be HIM I support in 2012.....so.....you might as well get used to it Bill...one way or the other...Obama is getting into the Whitehouse.

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. IWASP!-Intelligent Woman Against Sarah Palin!

    Whatever Bill, I kind of lost respect for you during the primaries. Anyway, they have reached a deal in the bailout. Did mccain even make it to washington yet?????? You mean they did it without him???? ANYWAY, your stunt backfired but as an Obama supporter I thank you now people got a chance to see your real phony colors mccain.

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Amy, NYC

    I wonder how much Mccain donated to the CGI ..hmm...

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Rusty

    Finally, a democrat with some integrity. It's good to see Bill stumping for a real American hero and not some community organizer.

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Rob

    why is McCAin with Clinton , he was rushing to Washington to save all our lives–LOL,,,another lie .is anybody keeping count.Not sure who lies more him or Palin.

    and Cindy Mccain had a good relationship with McCain too even when she was his mistress-this is really all one big soap opera

    September 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. allen

    Somebody shut this clown up.

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Susan

    Bill needs to go away for a while. Didn't he also talk about how "hot" he thinks Palin is?

    He has not been helpful for the Obama campaign, and as an American patriot and citizen who is deeply concerned for the future of our beloved country, I fear Clinton has put self ahead of both party AND country.

    It's a shame, really. I liked him so much when he was president, and I voted for him twice.

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Bruce

    And James Carville labelled Gov. Richardson "Judas". At least Judas and Richardson was on one side or the other. Oh wait...what am I thinking...he wants Obama to lose so Hillary can run in 4 years.

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Biff

    at least Democrats CAN be civil to other Americans....

    Can't really say the same for the Republcans.

    They just foster hate... and when you hate them BACK.....

    they cry foul.

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Between this morning's appearance and his statements last night to Larry King, I'd say Bill Clinton is DEFINITELY not someone Senator Obama needs on the campaign trail for him...with friends like Bill and Hill...and to think that they would be offended if future POTUS Obama does NOT offer one of them a Cabinet post. Ingrates, the lot of them, Bill, Hiill and the PUMA's...don't know how to lose with dignity
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. leah b j

    It is pretty obvious that he wants Obama to lose so Hilary can run in 4 years. McCain will mess up things even worse, and Hilary will save the world. How disappointing that he is acting so two faced. I am disgusted with Bill Clinton and in the past year I have almost been wondering if he has something medically wrong with him from his surgery. He says inappropriate things often. This and the way he was on Letterman the other night-there is no excuse. You are a Democrat Bill, act like one!

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Vic

    Now that Congress has reached a 'Bailout Deal", I am so looking forward to the debate. McCain has no reason to go to Washington.
    Time to be McGrilled.

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Abbey

    I had a lot more respect for Bill and Hillary before she ran for president.

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. We love Sarah

    Hillary LOST!!!
    Hillary LOST!!!
    Hillary LOST!!!
    Hillary LOST!!!
    Hillary LOST!!!
    Hillary LOST!!!
    Hillary LOST!!!
    Hillary LOST!!!

    Bill the traitor to the Democratic Party!

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. PoliticoMike

    Looks like Bill wants to keeps his title of America's Black President. HA!

    September 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12