September 24th, 2007
11:30 AM ET
13 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. Jon S.

    I don't know who voted for this lamebrain and who still supports the amoral, I mean Republican, party, but I heard a woman who said she would never vote for Hillary because she could only vote for a man, because they would be the ones with military experience. And what experience did Bush and Cheney have, other than dodging the draft?

    And this is a President who is about to veto legislation that would provide health coverage for millions of poor children. And he calls himself a Christian.

    September 24, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. Dave, Evergreen CO

    Bush has shown such poor forecasting skills the last 7 years that his predictions hold little value. What it does show is how much the Republicans really want to run against Clinton and fear a campaign against Obama.

    Dem’s can try to laugh off the ‘Intellectually lazy’ comment for being ridiculous, which it undoubtedly is, but remember, these are the same people who managed to convince enough people that John Kerry was unpatriotic . This comment was meant to play into white America’s worst fears and stereotypes about African-American’s in general and a black president specifically; that they are lazy. Anyone who has even remotely followed Senator Obama’s career see this statement as complete bunk but all the Republicans need to do is scare enough of the masses to end any chance he has of winning the nomination. I find it very telling that they are so scared of running against Obama that they have started engaging in these sort of attacks now.

    September 24, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Pat, Huntington, NY

    To all the knee-jerking Clinton bashers out there, I have just one thing to say: "There you go again!" – Ronald Reagan, presidential debates with Jimmy Carter.

    September 24, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    If the Democrats are stupid enough to run someone as divisive as Hillary Clinton, I predict that George Bush will be right for once.

    Who was it on these blogs who came up with the absolutely brilliant comment that Democrats have a habit of "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?" It's true. If the Democrats can't for once come up with a candidate with the backbone to win (without polarizing the entire country, that is), they should do their constituents a favor, throw in the towel, and let people with new ideas create a REAL opposition party.

    September 24, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. SteveG, WV

    He said what??

    September 24, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Steve, New York

    Bush also said he knew he would win both the elections he was in. And we all know they were both 2 of the most questionable elections in American history. I wonder if Bush again "knows something we do not".

    I don’t know why is easy for an ATM or credit card machine to print out a receipt, but we can’t get one in a voting booth in 2007. Strange if you ask me.

    September 24, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Jecinta,newark, nj

    WOW, Now the decider decides again on this one. Looks like American people don't have a say or vote for anything in this country. I might be wrong but Obama have been put on a blackout in the media and clinton has been raised to a new level. She is literary stealing Obama's plans.
    Who would tell me we are not in a dictactorship in America. I am not American but My country is far much better than this once great nation. I pity all.

    September 24, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Linda, Wentzville, Missouri

    Well the candidate I like best is John Edwards. But if Hillary gets the nomination I'll vote for her. Any of of the top tier Democrats are superior to the pathetic political hacks running under the GOP banner.

    Bush is living in a dreamland. He also thought the GOP would keep the House and Senate in 06. Maybe Bush should keep his intellectual endeavers to reading

    September 24, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Wynter, Loudon, NH


    I have to interject here. So you are saying that George is innocent of the following?

    – Lying to America in his State of the Union Address where he said they had proof that Iraq had attempted to buy "Yellow Cake" from Niger?
    – Exagerrating the WMD crisis in Iraq as his run up to the war in Iraq.
    – Enabling the Abu Gharab prison torture issue through the Torture Memorandum written for him by then White House Atty. Alberto Gonzalez
    – Singlehandedly threatening Russia by ignoring the ABM treaty and building his pet Defense Shield project in defiance to our treaty with them.
    – Bypassing the Geneva Convention and Habeus Corpus by creating the mess in Guantanamo Bay which is turning into an International Crisis for our place in the World as other countries start to question our intentions.
    – The list goes on and on... these are just highlights of the items we "know" about. Once you start delving into the secret plans like the Domestic Eavesdropping policies, this president will go down as the worst president of all time. Makes Nixon look like a paperboy.

    Telling it like I see it,

    September 24, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Tera, St Paul, MN

    I love you George!
    And sadly, I agree that Mr. H.R. Clinton will get the liberal nod.

    September 24, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Eunice, if someone had dropped an airplane on Rove and Cheney, President Bush's little boy Georgie might have made him proud. Instead we got the Rove-Cheney presidency, proudly supported by true believers like you. Believing that everyone who disagrees with your politics is a dangerous madman is poor mental hygiene verging on outright insanity.

    September 24, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Mike Orlando, FL

    He's right about one thing, that Hillary will win the Democratic nomination. He's also wrong about one more thing, to go along with all of his other wrongs. She will win the National election, not any of the republican candidates stand a chance. Shut up Georgie, no one cares much about your two-cents.

    September 24, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. James, Phoenix AZ

    Am I late to the Bush-Bashing party??

    I always have to laugh at your Bush-haters. You assault his intelligence at every opportunity... yet HE has won the Presidency twice.

    But hey – that was just "luck". He doesn't know a lick about politics (His father VP, President, He was Governor, President 2-terms, Jeb Governor of Florida)... yeah... what do they know!

    September 24, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Ed, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Eunice, Maryland.

    Just because someone is decisive doesn't mean his decisions are good. The desicions made by this president have made America a far less safe, tolerant and free place to be. The fight against terror will be long and hard, more so now since GWB has been in office. He is reckless and dagerous.

    We need someone serious in that office who realizes that diplomacy is a mature business. Adults talk out problems and children threaten to fight. Force must never be taken off the table, but it shouldn't be the first option we reach for.

    To me Eunice, GWB is not a good president. He is aloof and makes our nation look foolish. He has lied in office and has used appointments in his administration as prizes for loyality instead of picking the right person for a job. Not to mention, the Bush administration spends money like no tomorrow.

    September 24, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Nikole, Texas

    Who is the senior White House official that said Obama has shown an "intellectual laziness"?


    Have they looked at the intellectual idiot they're standing beside?

    September 24, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. James, Olaya Street, Riyadh

    America will have the President they deserve. Go Hillary!

    September 24, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Kat, Las Vegas, NV

    Brenda in Annapolis:

    Why do you assume everyone who is a Republican is ignorant and uses poor grammar and spelling? I guess I can assume that all Democrats are full of hate and animosity as shown by the majority of posts on this board? But this ignorant Republican will not do that; I have too many registered Democrats as friends, so I know otherwise. BTW, Brenda, check your own grammar before spewing your hate towards others...

    September 24, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. J Houston, TX

    Bush is an idiot...

    Wait, which one of you went to Yale? Sometimes I wonder how many of the Hillary supporters went to college.

    September 24, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Debra Kress, Austin, Texas

    Who cares what Bush says or any of his cronies including Cheney. Most people want their reamining time to speed by. Just looking at the ape is painful, listening is too much to bare. He's been so correct on everything else for the last almost 7 years, I'm sure that his forcast for the 2008 election is right on the mark. Geez, can we get some real news?

    September 24, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Raymar Hampshire, New Brunswick, NJ

    Bush endorses Hillary Clinton...Go figure.

    September 24, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. keith, bryan, tx

    George "Clueless" W. Bush, may, may get one prediction right. It will be his first one in his 8 years as king!

    September 24, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Ed, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    J Houston Texas.

    Bush went to Yale as part of their legacy program. Anyone can get in with that.

    September 24, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Robert, Cl;eveland, OH

    "I am an independent. If Hillary wins the primary, I will vote for the Republican"
    Posted By Jen, Gainesville, FL :

    Jen, I'm a Democrat, but if Obama wins nomination I'll vote for Republican! He's an irresponsible naive person who will be adisater for this country.

    September 24, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. Mike Orlando,FL


    I'm in College. What's your point? We all support our candidates for various reasons, reasons that mean something to us. Most of us are fed up with GWB as well. Thanks for making the general assumption that Hillary supporters have no college education. I guess the one that's an idiot is you.

    September 24, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. john, Wheeling WV

    ahhhh...if he backs the republican candidate, isn't that the kiss of death? Didn'the say that the "Repugnicans" would hold onto the house and senate? Didn't he say "Mission Accomplised?" And, didn't he declare Mandeal dead? What a moron!!! If I was a "repugnican," I'd distance myself so far from him!!!!

    September 24, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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