September 24th, 2007
11:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Bush predicts Clinton will win Dem nomination

Bush is playing 'pundit-in-chief' on the 2008 White House race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He has previously said he would resist the temptation to weigh in on the 2008 White House race, but President Bush couldn't help sound off to a reporter on how he sees the contest to succeed him shaping up.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner's Bill Sammon for his new book, The Evangelical President, Bush predicts New York Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination but ultimately lose to his party's candidate in the general election.

"She's got a national presence, and this is becoming a national primary," he said in excerpts of the interview published in the newspaper's Monday edition. "And therefore the person with the national presence, who has got the ability to raise enough money to sustain an effort in a multiplicity of sites, has got a good chance to be nominated."

Bush also predicts a tough general election race, but said his party will ultimately win the White House.

"I think our candidate can beat her, but it's going to be a tough race," he said. "I will work to see to it that a Republican wins and therefore don't accept the premise that a Democrat will win. I truly think the Republicans will hold the White House."

Vice President Dick Cheney is less certain of Republican chances in 2008, according to the newspaper, telling Sammon he thinks the election "could go either way."

Meanwhile, a senior White House official tells Sammon that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton's chief competitor for the nomination, is "capable" of winning the White House, but has shown an "intellectual laziness."

Responding to the Obama criticisms, Jen Psaki, a spokesman for the Illinois senator, said, “I don't think that Democrats are all that receptive to this White House trying to grade the intellect of our candidates or pick the nominee of our party.”

The president's comments seem to contradict his pledge at a February press conference not to play "pundit-in-chief." But White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush hasn't necessarily "changed his mind" when it comes to commenting on the 2008 race.

"I think he has run for president twice and won, and has been involved in politics from a very young age watching his father in Congress and then as president," she said in an off-camera briefing with reporters Monday morning. "He has a keen interest as do a lot of us here in Washington, and frankly, it's difficult to not talk about the '08 election. There's a lot of interest in it."

“The bottom line is that it really doesn't matter what the president thinks about who will win the Democratic primary," Perino added. "There's going to be a showdown at the OK corral, and they'll figure out who's going to be the nominee, and from there the president will campaign vigorously for the Republican candidate, and he believes that Republicans will be able to keep the White House."

Perino also brushed aside the suggestion Bush's prediction is an attempt to excite the Republican base that is now in "malaise."

"I don't buy the premise that there's malaise among Republicans, and I don't know how any comment the president would make would motivate them one way or the other," she said. "I think they're going to participate in the process because they're interested and they care."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Mike, Milwaukee, WI

    Republicans are funny! Do you all not know that Hillary's crew as we speak are matching up a blitz of ads that link George Bush to the GOP candidates.....


    The man whom only 28% of the country approves of.

    the GOP are running like Hell from him but it will be pretty damn hard come election season.

    Like it or not, The republicans will NOT hold on to the white house in 2008. As painful as that is for you with it. But dont blame Sen. Clinton....blame George Bush!

    September 24, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. Maria, CA

    The most corrupt, myopic, reactionary, idiotic White House is trying to challenge Obama's intellect? That is hilarious! Thanks Karl Rove for that fantastic commentary!

    September 24, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. Hank, Palm Springs, CA

    As always, Bush is half right ... Hillary will get the nomination ... and she will be our next President ... no doubt about it ... there is not one GOP candidate that can beat her.

    September 24, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. a. thomas, new york, NY

    George Bush, as Donald Trump just said, the best you can help your republican party in the next election, is to stay away and hide in the corner. Have you not noticed that nearly all republican candidates have put a distance between you and them, and try not to mention your name in their speeches?

    Your thought that a republican nomine will win in the next election is wrong, because you have put the republican party and its presidential candidates into shame. As Alan Greenspan said, you are not fiscally irresponsible in your administration and is NOT one of the smart presidents in the many presidents he had served as the federal reserve chairman. The polls show that most american voters will vote for a democratic party nominee as president next time.

    September 24, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  5. Eugene, Park Ridge IL

    Remind me why we care what this selfish egomaniac thinks about anything. He is better than most at making money. Good for him. He has all the divorce lawyers he can afford. But aside from being a successful, albeit morally challenged, speculator, Donald Trump has done nothing to make the world take his opinions seriously. If he is talking about how to make money in real estate, it might be worth listening. If he is talking about anything else, it probably means he is lonely (new wifey must be asking for pro rata compensation for getting naked) or he has some real estate venture to pimp. Either way, SHUT UP YOU WALKING COMB-OVER!

    September 25, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. Tapera, Toronto

    Thanks Sherry for stating what the real problem is. There are far worse threats to American people. From what I see on these blogs, most American people don't do their research. You would think that with all the available information resources they would know better. Reminds me of under-informed people in third world countries only that those people have no source of information. Please people open up your minds it doesn't hurt to think

    September 25, 2007 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  7. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    am an independent. If Hillary wins the primary, I will vote for the Republican.
    Posted By Jen, Gainesville, FL : September 24, 2007 9:51 am

    There's intellectual laziness at its best! Not surprising the the current president recognizes the intellectual laziness – he likes it so much – he bought the country ... I mean company

    September 25, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  8. Shawn, Stillwater, MN

    Anyone who votes for Hillary is uneducated, blinded, and falling right into the trap the republicans are setting up for you.

    Io not even going to begin with how ppor of a candidate Hillary is on her own merits which should make anyone who has had there eyes and ears open in the last 20 years vote for ANYONE other than Hillary Clinton. Besides all of that, LOOK AROUND THE MEDIA!!!! How much is everyone Democrats and Republicans trying to push and assume Hillary as the nomination. It is because the Clintons have bought out the left media, and Republicans know that they can crush her in the presidential race. Anyone can see that, cant they. Think about how much ammunition the right would have on her, she talks out of both sides of her mouth on nearly every issue...she will have to defend Bill's 8 years which have gotten us to 9/11 in the first place. Republicans want to keep the keys to the White House they want a candidate they can beat. How can any reasonable person vote for Hillary anyways, she is a joke. She is EVERYTHING that is wrong with America...I just pray that you idiots figure that out...OBAMA 08!

    September 25, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. c, Sacramento, CA

    Never trust a Republican to handicap a Democratic race, and never trust a Democrat to handicap a Republican race.

    September 25, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. RuthieM

    Bush is the one who stated Obama is 'intellectually lazy', not any white house spokesperson. He doesn't even have the intellectual guts to say it was his own comment. Obama needs to sue Bush for slander, this is outrageous, defaming his character. It is also a racist statement used by the slavemasters against the black slaves - lazy. This whole thing also smells of Carl Roveism. And so it looks like Carl Rove will be strong behind the scenes for the republicans even though he is 'invisible'. Remember, it was Rove who orchestrated Bush's entire campaign strategy straight through the end of 2000 election, by telling him to thump the Bible in front of all the Evangelical Christians, and that would get him into the white house, and as we all know - the rest is - history!

    September 25, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. USA

    How would Bush know, unless he plans to pull off yet another voting shenanigan in Florida, for a third time, to ensure that Hillary gets that state's nominating votes, thereby helping her toward getting the overall Dem vote?

    September 26, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. Lonnee Pasadena California

    So the president doesn't support Barrage Oboring?
    I'm not suprised, this is probably Oboring's best bet yet! That is if he doesn't put the voters to sleep in the voting boths.
    The only thing that REALLY separates Barrage Oboring from the other candidates IS the color of his skin.

    September 29, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Liney San Francisco Ca.

    In September I submitted the post of:

    So the president doesn't support Barrage Oboring?
    I'm not suprised, this is probably Oboring's best bet yet! That is if he doesn't put the voters to sleep in the voting boths.
    The only thing that REALLY separates Barrage Oboring from the other candidates IS the color of his skin.
    Posted By Lonnee Pasadena California : September 29, 2007 3:31 pm

    And posted with the name of Lonnee. This is not my name and Lonnee is a very empassioned follower of Obama and does not share the views posted with her name.
    To this, I publicly apologize for using her name in a slanderous and ingeniousness way.
    Sorry Sis I love you and it was just a joke!

    October 24, 2007 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  14. brian,boston

    a lot of you people are stuck in polor politics. bush wants hillary to win because she will conitinue their agenda. got nothing to do with rep/dem and democrat label names for those that can't think for themselves -wake the hell up..

    November 10, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Ryan, Las Vegas, Nevada

    Hillary Clinton will be the next president. It's time we put a Democrat back in the White House and who better than Fmr. President Clinton's wife.

    November 11, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Kris

    Obama has time to gain more experience before taking over the country. Most people are tired of a republican run nation – putting a different republican in the White House won't be enough change. It will take an enormous amount of experience and a great team to lead the change we need now! Hillary has both!

    February 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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