February 20th, 2014
10:48 PM ET
6 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. Joel

    Contrary to Ms. Bachmann's assertions, I don't think most people care whether a candidate is a man, a woman, black, white, or other. Sure, there are a few who do, but most people vote for the candidate who most closely shares their vision and values. I just don't believe there are many voters who would reject a candidate purely on the basis of race or gender.

    February 21, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Jim Jimson

    Hillary 2016!

    She's the only one who can stop another Bush-like disastrous Republican from winning the White House and taking the country down the tubes again.

    February 21, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Jteezy

    Michele Bachman sure did spend a lot of farm subsidies money and her gay husbands "pray the gay away" business money to try to be the first female president...

    February 21, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. ihavea screwloose

    I wouldn't vote for Mrs. Clinton.

    February 21, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. He who funds your EBT card

    I love how I talk about Hilary being worthless and incompetent (validity included), and the Gestapo removes my post. I guess CNN knows who they're voting for. Neither Dem or Repub can fix this broken nation with their extremist mentalities. We need a patriot, not a politician.

    February 21, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Ralph

    Every once in a while this useless piece of rubbish feels the need to get back in the lime light by spouting off with some controversial statement. The mental illness displayed here is called narcissism. Please retire John so a competent person can fill your chair. You're well past your stale date.

    February 21, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Whereisthemiddle?

    Voted for both Bush's. Voted for Obama. All you people on "your" side of the fence need to look at who's with you on that side. If all you have is Cruz because you insist on smearing the one hope you had(Christie) then you may want to rethink your strategy. Bachmann is a loony and everyone should be able to see this. If she is saying something you need to think the opposite. Palin just wants to sell books and make appearances for money. Paul is liar that is trying to use the Libertarians to get somewhere. Too many splits on the R side. This needs to be the primary concern.

    February 21, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Jim

    Coming from a man who thought Sarah Palin would help him win last time he ran, this means absolutely nothing. Nor does his comments on the current POTUS.

    February 21, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. PJ

    McCain is representative of the problem with the government: ridiculously partisan, out of touch, absorbed with self-interests, while cuddling up to the wealthy and corporate interests, while ignoring the poor and the rest of us. I used to admire McCain. Then he elevated that vacuous woman Palin up from nowhere to the national spotlight for only ONE reason: To attract disaffected Hilary Voters in 2008. McCain needs to not run for congress again, and just retire. Get out.

    February 21, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. evs

    Can she take over now? She can't be worse...

    February 21, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Barry G.

    I'm looking forward to Hillary Clinton being our first female president, and I trust that Bill will be extremely helpful to her.

    What a formidable and effective team Hilary and Bill will make!

    February 21, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. justaman

    I respect the office, but am not a fan of our current President. However, for Ms. Bachmann to suggest that he was elected over some kind of "guilt for blacks" is ludicrous. She is no doubt very, very out of touch, and apparently does not have the intellect to be a public figure. She's an embarrassment to her gender, and politics in general. I am not being crass, just truthful.

    February 21, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Junior

    This funny lady Bachmann is at her best again. She probably wants her Canadian born Cruz tea patty crush to be the GOP 2016 presidential nominee. This is the main reason why funny Bachmann party is going down the toilet, having a bunch of haters, lunatics. anti immigrants & racist folks like her.

    February 21, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. ihavea screwloose

    People need to stop and think! Politicians are all bought by special interests groups. Why elect someone that's already part of the fraternity/sorority of gigolos/prostitutes. The American people needs someone with the guts to stand up for the American people, and NOT stand WITH the status quo.

    February 21, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. bob madrone

    I hate opportunists. I hate ideologists. I don't care about the Democrat party line or the Republican. John, you've lost all credibility with me over the years. You've taken every side on every issue you've spoken about. I don't think you care much about anything except getting elected. Hillary is too old and lacks the 'it'. Santorum makes my skin crawl. Where's our JFK?

    February 21, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Army Man

    I would NEVER vote for her. Billy Boy should have been impeached for lying as Command in Chief, regardless of the reason for the lying, it took months and months and millions of dollars for him to admit it and still America likes and respects him. Not me. I would be ashamed to have been a Military Veteran Senator who voted party lines to keep a liar in office. How many lies has Hillary told so far.? and we want a President like that? we already have one now that can't tell the truth. despite the fact the Republicans seem to be a broken party, we don't need another Clinton in the White House.

    February 21, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Anna

    Talk about two deadweights that just need to go away from American politics – McCain and Hillary

    February 21, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Nodack

    Why does anybody listen to this guy anymore? Every time there is even a hint of a chance at military intervention this guy says we should go all in with ground troops.

    Of course Republicans are attacking Hillary even before she even decides to run for President. I would be completely shocked if Any Republican ran a campaign based on ideas to make America better instead of 100% throwing rocks at the other side. "Vote for me because the other side is bad and therefore there is nobody else left to vote for" doesn't make me want to vote for you.

    February 21, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. LAM

    While no women candidates have entered the race. I believe we are ready for a women as President. I am a bit disturbed that a women leader would state that American people are not ready. Women are the majority and we need to remember this fact. We need to support women candidates for all levels of government.

    February 21, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. dl

    No more Bushs, no more Clintons, no more crooked politicians!

    February 21, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. oneontafan

    Hillary is the best man for the job! She is smart, knows the issues and can get things done. Who cares if she is a woman?? It has no bearing (or should have no bearing) on the election. President Obama should have waited and paid his dues in the Senate, got some experience and learn how to get things done in Washington. That was Colin Powell's advice to him. Tom Daschel convinced him to run before he had a record. Hillary would have been a better choice for the situation or economy and foreign policy was in, we would be a lot better off today if she was in office. Obama could have run in 2016after he learned the ropes... MTC

    February 21, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. J

    We're screwed

    February 21, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Bill from GA

    Just like Hillary should have said 'NO' when W wanted to needlessly invade Iraq, Americans should say "NO" to Hillary.

    Find a qualified woman, if it is time for a woman. Or get an intelligent woman who can think, put her on the ticket as vice-president. Maybe ol Joe steps down (health reasons, you know) in November; replace him with a woman. ( i haven't checked to see how that works, may not. )

    Hillary has done NOTHING to show that she is qualified to be President of the USA.

    February 21, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Anybody but Hillary

    There's no way that warmongering lady is going to win, ever – both right and left are sick of war. McCain loves her because they agree on America being involved in perpetual wars. She's too old, too arrogant and too out of touch. BTW I'm a liberal Democratic feminist.

    February 21, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. William Carrell

    Man that is scary. Here is this person that is as ignorant as obama, pro gay, pro illegal alien, pro murdering babies before they are born, personally responsible for the murder of Americans in Bengazi and who knows where else, no backbone when she caught her husband boning his helper in the white house (no telling how many others she knows about). The list could go on and on. She is a disgrace to our country but then again look who she is friends with= BO and M

    February 21, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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