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. windrider, Columbus OH

    "I will work to see to it that a Republican wins"

    Yeah right, using rigged voting machines, caging, voter intimidation ... by any means necessary, that's Bush's motto.

    September 24, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. SpeakOutAmerica

    To Carrol Ann of Maine who wrote:
    "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."


    You and all who contibute to a republican will have to answer why your hands are full of the blood of our men and women in our Armed Forces, think of that and have a good night sleep if you can.

    CNN, please do not censure!

    September 24, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Vinay

    Waht??????? Obama is intellectually weak?

    Hey Bush, u moron watch this video of obama.. he is the one who exactly predicted the outcome of the war in 2002 and warned u not to go for the war.

    This stupid president can't understand that even in 2007.. now who is intellectually incompetent?

    Donald Trump said it right.. go hide in a corner shameless fellow

    September 24, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Stephen, Naples, Florida

    Congratulations, Scott (Madison). You managed to spell naive correctly. Maybe you are becoming a Republican!

    September 24, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    James from Phoenix: most people think his dad's money bought him the degree, and he left the Air Guard early because he was scared of jets. Dad's CIA friends and Karl Rove's "Lies for Jesus Sake" got him the rest, with the help of Diebold voting machines.
    See, the things you admire about him are the things that trouble us. I'm not trying to be nasty here, just stating facts.

    It's un-American to accuse each other of gloating over war deaths, or 9-11 deaths. Anyone who believes that stuff is a little child – can you ALL spell naive? Both parties have extremists, but they don't represent the mainstream.

    I'd like to hope that we can all one day stop throwing filth at each other and remember what this country is about. You know, our core values: hanging Osama bin Laden as the SuperBowl Halftime Show!

    September 24, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Denny Lyon Baton Rouge, LA

    Hypnotizing the Voter Crawfish: Partners Bush and Hillary

    H's camp decided the GOP strategy of crowning H as the inevitable is to their advantage and are using it, "to hypnotize the crawfish," in this case Dem voters. That backfires because Dems like to make their own decisions; only Reps like to be spun, taking away the decision. It's how they perceive "real" leaders; “they tell us what to do.”

    Both Obama and Hillary appeal to young voters who have a bad habit of not turning out to vote. Hillary is despised by women in her age group and comparable education level, with a large enough population to cancel out the young vote, no matter how many actually do vote.

    Edwards appeals to men and women, as well as Independents who are determined to vote in the Dem primaries. Edwards will end up the nominee, much to the shock of the media who are the idiot “know it alls.”

    September 24, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Scott, Madison, WI

    James, Phoenix and Stephen, Naples:

    Critical thinking is a set of cognitive skills, intellectual standards and traits of mind. Critical thinking is the ability and intellectual commitment to use those structures to improve thinking and guide behavior.

    So, according to a majority of this country – at least that's the viscious rumor in town – Georgie-Boy gets a big, fat F. That is of course, unless the majority (including a respectable share of his own party)is incapable of
    judging the facts as they present themselves today.

    Here's a little something to think about: Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

    Again, Georgie-Boy gets an F. Did I say, idiot? I meant pathological liar and ego-centric/-maniac with messianic tendencies.

    September 24, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Bernard, Scotch Plains NJ

    Unfortunately, I think the idiot Bush is right for a chance, if Hillary wins the nomination, the Rethugs will win, be smart Democrats. Vote Obama!

    September 24, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. househead_415; SF, Cal.

    *LOL* I love how a "senior White House official" accuses Barack Obama of showing "intellectual laziness." Best joke I've heard so far today!

    Of course, anyone working in the Bush White House for 7 long years would forget the true meaning of "intellectual laziness." Stand in a pile of garbage for long enough, eventually you won't smell it anymore.

    Whoever becomes the next president, I don't envy him or her at all. They've got a LOT of trash to clean up inside that house!

    September 24, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Carol Fasano, Brooklyn, New York

    Bush is FINALLY RIGHT about ONE thing!! HILLARY WILL WIN THE NOMINATION!! But he is WRONG in thinking the Republicans will keep the White House in 2008! Hillary will win all the way!! It takes a Clinton to Clean up a BUSH'S MESS!!! It did the last time and more than ever, it will happen this time!!!

    September 24, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. jo ATL, GA


    As a black man, I know where you GOP Single Mothers,
    Mothers (without Health Care)
    Fathers with Daugthers only (They want to give their child a chance too to one day rule the country)

    There are not enough GOP votes in the country to beat that and the GOP knows that. That why they don't want to face Hillary.

    September 24, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. James, Phoenix AZ

    Scott – Madison,

    Critical thinking is the ability to dispell propaganda, find facts, and come to an intelligent conclusion.

    You suggest Bush gets an "F" (and your evidence is because the majority of the country has a negative opinion). Wow – is all your critical thinking a result of polling?

    You then qualify your opinion of Bush as a pathological liar, ego-centric maniac with messianic tendencies.

    Can you provide the FACTS to support your statement? Again – not rumor, speculation, or theory... but FACTS.

    Like it or not – the FACTS are:

    1. President Bush won the majority of electorial votes in 2000 and legally won the election.

    2. In 2001, the overwhelming evidence of intelligence (world wide: France, Germany, Russia, US – including President Clinton) was that Saddam had WMDs, wasn't afraid to use them, and posed a larger threat in light of terrorists wanting to attack any and all nations. Call is a collosal failure on the part of the intelligence community – but saying "Bush lied" is ignoring the facts. Was intent on removing Saddam? Yes – and used the intelligence information to support his case.

    3. Dick Cheney divested himself of all Halliburton stock prior to taking office. Prior to President Bush awarding any contracts to Halliburton, it was BILL CLINTON that awarded the LOGCAP contract to Halliburton even though there was a lower bidder.

    Those are the traditionally spouted rumors. But I gladly await your evidence to support your statement.

    September 24, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Sherry AllOver Texas

    George Bush is simply using scare tactics AGAIN, just like he did to get elected in 2004 when he convinced the American public that the global war on terrorism was the biggest challenge facing this country. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    "If western governments were really trying to win the "war on terror" they wouldn't give terrorists so much credit".-Paul Joseph Watson

    This statement is 100% correct. Did you know that since 1960 the number of Americans killed by terrorists is actually LOWER than the number of Americans killed by an allergic reaction to peanuts? It's true. It's also lower than the number of Americans killed by hitting a deer while driving or being hit by lightning. Then WHY is it that we are being force fed into believing that terrorism is the biggest threat to American society? Dating back to the beginning of this country how many Americans have died as a direct result of terrorism? Seven thousand? Ten Thousand?... Guess how many Americans died JUST LAST YEAR as a result of cigarette smoke? 435,000!!!! Add in alcohol attributed deaths, that's another 85,000 dead. That's 520,000 Americans dead EACH YEAR from Cigarettes and alcohol alone!!!!!! And yet you still believe that terrorism is our greatest problem? The definition of terrorism is: The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. With their repeated attempts to scare Americans into voting Republican under the flimsy guise that they will be "safer" under Republican rule, it's quite clear to me that Republican politicians are the biggest terrorists on the planet!
    Instead of voting like partisan sheep, do your research. Find out which candidate is best suited to tackle the REAL issues that effect YOUR life- like the Economy, Education, Illegal Immigrants, Healthcare, Social Security or the fact that China & Russia now own 63% of our national debt. Don't let propaganda and rhetoric cast your vote for you!! Educate yourself and the truth WILL set us ALL free.

    September 24, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. jo ATL, GA


    As a black man, I know the whites in this country will NEVER vote a black guy for president.

    Here is why they are afraid of Hillary:
    Single Mothers,
    Mothers (without Health Care)
    Fathers with Daugthers only (They want to give their child a chance too to one day rule the country)

    There are not enough GOP votes in the country to beat this voting block and GOP knows that. That why they don't want to face Hillary.

    September 24, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. John, Philadelphia PA

    I don't see how it would be possible for a Democrat not to win. I mean a good percentage of the voters won't understand what they are voting for. They blame the White House cover boy Bush and will thus blame the Reps and vot a Dem in.

    September 24, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Steve T

    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."

    Considering the mental midget occupying the White House at this time, I'd say this is a true example of hubris.

    September 24, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Christian, Tampa FL

    How could anyone in the Bush administration say that Obama has "intellectual laziness?"

    That's the most hypocritical, and false, statement I've heard in a long time.

    September 24, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Chris, Middletown, CT

    As a Republican....I need Bush to support a Hillary presidential bid....then I want to hear the excuses from the "HILLRAISERS" as to why Bush's endorsement is a good thing....maybe he could say "we've had both Democrats and Republicans in office – why not try a socialist"

    September 24, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. Stephen, Naples, Florida

    After observation and analysis, I can find very little in these correspondences that "agrees with reason" and certainly nothing that could be considered of benefit of others. Instead I read vitriolic outbursts of abuse, the denial of historical fact, endlessly repeated lies and dogma, obviously in the expectation that if something is repeated often enough, it becomes an accepted truth. And excruciatingly bad English, implying, let's face it, a total absence of any formal education. So, on the evidence of these rants, it is hard to escape the conclusion that yes, the majority is incapable of judging the facts as they present themselves today. God Bless America.

    September 24, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Brian Holley , Rush Ky

    Once again we see the republicans trying to manipulate the democratic nomination. John Edwards leads big in the Iowa and New Hampshire caucus' and independant media show big leads for Edwards. The corporate media blackout of John Edwards is a disgrace to democracy and a direct insult to the American people. If only we had addressed the notion of a vote paper trail maybe Americans could vote with confidence.

    September 24, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. James, Olaya Street, Riyadh

    Wow, thanks Sherry. Forget Osama, the biggest threat to my security turns out to be a peanut. I never knew that.

    September 24, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Uma, mpls, MN

    I request all democrate, independent and republicans (who have moral in side out) to rally behind Hillary Clinton and give an opportunity to be the president and this country and do good things.
    She has right experience, intelligent and zeal to take this country in right direction than any candidates running for president in 2008.

    September 24, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Thomas, Fremont, CA

    Bush has been involved in politics his whole life which explains why he is such a good liar.

    September 24, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. George, Irmo South Carolina

    How very Bill Maheresque of democrats to automatically gainsay anything the President says. As a Republican and avowed disliker of Hillary, I can say that when you watch her in a debate with Barack, you are watching a well-coached, sharp candidate vs Barack, who usually changes the question because he hasn't studied for it. Barack is obviously ill-prepared for this. Hillary did her homework. Barack sounds like Adam Sandler at the end of Billy Madison.

    September 24, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Bush predicts Clinton will win Dem nomination:

    SCRITCH?????? SCRATCH?????????

    I'm trying to discern why there are any comments on this blog site?????
    Given the title is BUSH PREDICTS~!

    WHEN did Bush ever predict anything that had any truth or substance?
    My advice would be "Stay The Course"
    "Inform Yourselves" – or "Call a Psychic" ...

    Either of the last two choices would have more ceedence than a BUSH PREDICTION!
    "We are making Progress in Iraq"

    I Vote to VETO THAT!
    Signed: George Vetoing Bush.

    September 24, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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