February 20th, 2014
10:48 PM ET
9 months ago

McCain: If election were tomorrow, Clinton would be president

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain predicted if voters headed to the polls for the 2016 elections tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would be most likely be elected president - though the former secretary of state wouldn't be his pick.

Asked by CNN's Piers Morgan on Thursday about 2012 Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann's recent assessment that America isn't ready for a female president, McCain said they have a different reading on the current political landscape.

"I would bet, my friend, as much as I hate to admit it, that right now – this is why we have campaigns – but right now, if the election were tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would most likely be the president of the United States," the Arizona Republican said.

"She wouldn't be my candidate," he added, but pointed to growth in the number of women in the Congress and state officials as evidence to the contrary of Bachmann's judgment.

Clinton has yet to announce that she's running for president in 2016, but that hasn't stopped Republicans from preemptively attacking her record in preparation for another Clinton White House bid.

Bachmann told syndicated columnist Cal Thomas that a lot of people “aren’t ready” for a woman to be president when asked about Clinton’s appeal as potentially the first female commander in chief.

“I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt," she told Thomas. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman...I don’t think there is a pent-up desire (for a woman president.)"

A CNN/ORC poll conducted from January 31 through February 2 showed Clinton as the overwhelming favorite as Democrats' choice for a 2016 presidential nominee. That same poll shows Clinton ahead of potential Republican White House contenders like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, has said he won't launch another bid for the White House but is considering running for a sixth term in the Senate.

CNN's Mary Grace Lucas contributed to this report.

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. RWB1956

    I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt," she told Thomas. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman...I don’t think there is a pent-up desire (for a woman president.)" How sad that this woman thinks this is the only way President Barack Hussein Obama could have been elected..

    February 20, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen McCain is a realist. The Republican list of potential presidential candidates is so lacking that Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 presidential election.

    February 20, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  3. ChrisM

    And if Hillary decides to run she will be elected President in 2016. Madam President Hillary Clinton and First Gentleman Bill Clinton.

    February 20, 2014 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  4. Chris-E...al

    Your my war hero bud . If n0t for you all ! We wo0d nt haue nothing t0 argue about . thx 4 your service john .M. Y0u Are A Hero. god speed btddy thank ynu. long life for u. thanks for keeping us safe in times of trouble .Im thankful you chose to fight for me my country john M.thank ynu

    February 21, 2014 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  5. Vence

    I hate to admit, but the only chance the republicans have to win he presidential is, if they pass immigration reform ASAP with citizenship included.

    February 21, 2014 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  6. Name

    The only time McCain is right is the statement that Hillary will be president if elections were held today!

    February 21, 2014 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  7. troppo1

    Ofcourse it would be his pick, who else is there????? Canadian Born Cuban cruz

    February 21, 2014 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    HILARIOUS watching the Guns Over People tea potty walk the plank toward another November. They can run but they can't hide from the American people.

    February 21, 2014 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Don't rush time man who gave us the screecher from AK.
    2016 is almost around the corner. Almost!

    February 21, 2014 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  10. Are you kidding me?

    I am glad the GOP are realizing they have a serious problem for 2016. I would vote for HC no matter who the GOP have on the ticket. They are stuck in an obstructionist Stone Age and are unwilling to do anything to help this country do better or move forward.

    February 21, 2014 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Not only Tomorrow but also in 2016. Very true.

    February 21, 2014 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  12. Steve - Texas

    Hillary 2016!!!! Yea Baby

    February 21, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  13. charley

    Right now, a slam dunk. Her only road block is getting the nomination.

    February 21, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Lou

    And that would be freakin' awesome! We need to kick the Congress' butts too; esp. the teabagging idiots.

    February 21, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. theRealBMAC

    Benghazi!

    February 21, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Cynic

    “I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt," she (Bachmann) told Thomas. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman...I don’t think there is a pent-up desire (for a woman president.)"

    Utter nonsense from someone from whom I expect nothing else but nonsense.

    February 21, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. davecu

    What a condemnation of the GOP that a female carpet-bagging lawyer could garner more votes than any other candidate, male OR female from their stable.
    Absolutely shameful!!

    February 21, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Cynic

    Hillary as president. The thought gives me nightmares.

    February 21, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Alan

    No more Clintons... no more Bushs

    February 21, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. mogran

    Seriously? I don't think so and I believe the average lefty is out of touch with reality. Don't know what McCain's problem is other than he lives in fantasyland. Surely there's a viable repub candidate, we've had enough of dem progressives!

    February 21, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. don in albuquerque

    Well, Grampy, when your right, your right.

    February 21, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. what ever

    get ready for a solid Republican conservative anti-liberal president to fix the mess this incompetent made.

    February 21, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. JL

    Same defeatist attitude that got him creamed in 2008. McCain is politically irrelevant. The GOP must nominate an actual conservative if they want to win in 2016.

    February 21, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Rob S

    The current Republican strategy is to save up money for the 2050 elections.

    February 21, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Sam

    With friends like McCain (McInsane as libs commonly called him when he ran in 2008) who needs enemies. It's no wonder he's a progressive favorite (when he isn't running). Dope.

    February 21, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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