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. J, Seattle, WA

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! The same people that donated to the Bush Campaign during 2000 and 2004 are the same people that are donating to the Clinton campaign of 08. The Bushes and Clintons are in cahoots, don't allow this country to become a monarchy run by a bunch of world elites. Go watch world wide web. zeitgeistmovie. company. wake up!!!!

    September 24, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Sandhya, Irvine, CA

    I don't think any White House official should have the audacity of accusing anyone else of intellectual laziness... this current administration are the "poster-children" for that description

    September 24, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Mike, Baghdad Iraq

    It's so easy for Americans to sit at home and criticize the difficult decisions of the leaders we've elected. I would ask each American that approves or disapproves of the policies of our president one simple question – what have YOU done about YOUR position? Have you joined our Army or Marine Corps to fight or have YOU participated in a protest? Blogging becomes nothing more than gossip if you don't have the guts to come to action. What am I doing, you ask? I'm in Baghdad defending our nation. What about you?

    September 24, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. James, Minneapolis, MN

    I will also go GOP if Hilary gets the nod. I have read all the issues and I don't want this country to sink further into family style politics. Republicans won't vote for her and neither will alot of democrats. It is equally selfish to expect that people vote for parties rather than who they think should be the next president and if she is the DNC nomination I am sure I can find a better alternative on the GOP side or just write in. We should be aware that there are not any
    anti-(insert candidates name) sites for anyone but her.

    September 24, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Tony G

    Hey Eunice, Maryland,
    Did you say you think Neil Kelly from Virginia is smart. Wow, you must be smoking something worse that pot. What school of thought do you come from? If you think Neil is smart, I would hate to see whom you would call dumb and stupid. I have seen your posts almost everyday going hand and limb for Hillary and you have nothing to back your support on other than she helped the black community and that you are a woman. Hillary is no Bill but it will take hammering for someone with the same intelectual capacity as Neil Kelly, Virginia to grasp that. So an Accountants wife who stays at home qualifies her to be experienced in Accounting too? Geez. By the way, you may wonna inform Neil Kelly that the USSR broke up ages ago and Muslim is a religion not a language.

    September 24, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Brandon Louis, Houston Tx

    I dont think the American people are satisfised with the either paty. As far as I know, this election is up in the air. I have yet to have taken interest in any candidate in fear of being led in lies like this current administration. President Bush's opinion really doesnt matter inthe case of the 2008 election, all I know that he will be gone soon

    September 24, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Chris, Merced, California

    so, Mr. Bush and his croonies got 2 things FINALLY right!!!

    1: Hillary will win the nomination
    2. Oboring have "intellectual laziness"…..


    HAHAHAHA, so true!!!

    September 24, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Bob from Pittsburgh

    James, Phoenix AZ is absolutely right, he won the presidency twice, that means that the idiots are us for electing him.. “Twice”..!!

    Right on James

    September 24, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Mo, Chicago IL

    It's so sickening how partisan he is. Such a divider for this country. I'm so tired of parties and labels and sticking to a certain party only out of habit rather than actually finding a good candidate.

    It's time to throw away all these labels and just look straight through to the humanity. He's such a bad role model for our country.

    Thank God for Obama.

    September 24, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Frank, New York,NY

    Stop this nonsense about America not being ready for a woman President... what will it take for us to be ready? Another war? And to all those independents who might go Republican.... do you want more years of the same nonsense?

    September 24, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Amanda, Chicago IL

    Of course Bush wants Hillary to win. The Republican Party stands no chance against Obama.

    September 24, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Mo, Louisville KY

    Contrary to popular belief, Republicans and Dems don't have to work against each other all the time! Let's throw out the labels and looks straight through to the humanity for once.

    Bush is such a bad role model for this country, making it more divided than ever and publicly endorsing this divide. It doesn't have to be this way!

    Let's change things and stop caring about labels and actually find a good human being with a good conscience.

    September 24, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    Whatever White House offical stated that Obama has shown "Intellectual laziness" is actually quite stupid for making a comment like that. Gee...Harvard Law, President of the Harvard Law Review, State Senator, Illinois Senator and Presidential contender running # 2. Could we please remove the idiot who made this comment. Oh I forgot. We can't. He is a member of Emperor's Cult.

    September 24, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. James, Olaya Street, Riyadh

    To Brenda from Annapolis – "Voting against an individual is not on immature, but selfish." What is it you are trying to say here? I can only assume from your incoherency that you are a Democrat.

    September 24, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Oz, Miami, FL

    Clinton/Obama 2008!

    I mean lets face it, Republicans would love to see the White House go to a Democrat...that way they can take turns blaming the coming recession (and failures in and because of Iraq) on the Democratic president. Sadly, they'll probably succeed.

    September 24, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "Intellectual laziness" is simply another in the endless supply of coded racial slurs. It is a sham, a shame and proves once again that race and class are still the 1-2 punch in america. Right on the heels of Jena 6. Beautiful and sensitive timing. I imagine that by using the same formula used to identify Senator Obama as "lazy", we would have to conclude the President is intectually challenged and void.

    September 24, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. priscilla,nyc,cy

    bush buying clinton to vote for more money for Iraq. I wonder what could be wrong if he says Obama will win democtratic nomination....we know already what could be coming out of bush mouth and he better keep it shut, for now

    September 24, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Len,Maplewood, Minnesota

    All I can say is"intellectual laziness!" This is a good way to describe the legacy of George W. Bush, including the people whom voted for him.He never had a business that he did not screw up.Now the United States can be added to his resume.

    September 24, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |

    Ed, Fort Lauderdale, Florida,

    Check your facts very well. America is safer today than before Bush came into Office. Bill Clinton used diplomacy after 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, same thing after USS Cole bombing, and he also used diplomacy after 3 U.S Embassy bombing and right after he left office, 9/11 took place. 9/11 was not planned after he left office. Al Quaeda must have planned the attack for years. Bush has been in office for 7yrs now and none of that has happened. What does that tell you. I am from Africa and we have muslims in our country and blood shed is their nature. They don't care about human lives. America is too naive for this people. They use your own democracy to destroy America. They don't understand democracy. How many Islamic nations are democratic? Give me a break. American like you make this country vulnerable and insecure because the enemy plays on your softness. They know exactly what button to push. They know Americans don't like war therefore, they will like to inflict more injury on America.

    To Wynter, Loudon, NH,

    You sound very much like those muslims that show a lot of sympathy to the terrorists. 80% of Americans including Republicans and Democrats supported the war. The entire world thought Saddam had weapons. However, I still believe that it was a good thing we went in to find out he did not have anything. That fear has been cleard. Everything you mentioned does not make any sence. In every war you have torture captives to get information. Every nation in a war uses torture to get information from POWs. America is not the only nation. About the situation in Guantanamo Bay, who ever told you that those people deserved to be treated with kisses. They are terrorists and they are responsible for all the lives lost on 9/11.

    You sound like you want them to have all these rights. Whatever treatment they are getting is still 100% better that than the beheading their counterparts are getting from those terrorists. U.S. is too humane. That is why you have the nerve to say all that. The muslims terrorists don't even keep their POWs alive. They butcher them like animals. Which is better? Keep them in Guantanamo Bay, or cut their heads off?

    September 24, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. The Admiral St. Augustine Fl.

    Who cares what this incompetent boob thinks. All he's trying to do is get the 20% of mentally challenged people that still support him to turn out and vote. Good luck with that by the way.

    September 24, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Phil Mesa, Az

    You people get what you deserve....

    Bush – Clinton – Bush – (and now Bush is saying Clinton will win)

    Anyone else see a pattern?

    September 24, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. robert, Cleveland, OH

    "I always have to laugh at your Bush-haters. You assault his intelligence at every opportunity… yet HE has won the Presidency twice".
    Well, I guess, this was an assault on US voters intelligence, at least in 2004

    September 24, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Scott, Madison, WI

    Another very clear sign that HRC is already bought and payed for by lobbyists. Georgie should know since K street has a directly routed traffic through his colon.

    I personally have more of a desire for change rather than going from Repug to Republican-lite. Enough of the dynasty volleying. Our country deserves much better.

    Sorry Georgie, you've cornered the market on intellectual laziness for eternity. Go back to the village (i.e.,your ranch) where idiots can play cowboys and indians without really hurting live people.

    September 24, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Ed. Ft Lauderdale
    You hit the nail right on the head!
    I agree 100%

    Jen, Gainesville, FL
    And it is your mindset and voting practices that gave us Bush and the horror that entailed.

    Your statement can only be likened to saying if Johnny can't win I'm taking my marbles and going home. Except this is not petty marble game. This is an election that can have devastating effects on the world!

    September 24, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Daniel O

    Bush, Ruddy, Romney, MCain and the white house are endorsing Hillary.
    They are falling over themselves to predict a Clinton ticket. Thats the only opponent they are fully ready for and i believe they cat wait.
    Aside form their secret weapons against Hillary they are fully aware her ticket will be push the independents to vote republican.

    Vote Obama or Edwards and you throw them into a spin.

    September 24, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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