December 10th, 2007
03:30 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain versus Clinton … or Obama

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham is an ardent backer of McCain.

NORTH AUGUSTA, South Carolina (CNN) - Since this summer, with almost robotic consistency, Sen. Lindsey Graham has introduced his friend John McCain on the campaign trail in South Carolina as "the only candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton next November."

Reporters covering McCain's presidential campaign could probably recite Graham's stump speech in their sleep.

But on Monday, the day after a new poll showed Clinton's lead slipping in South Carolina, another name crept into Graham's warm-up act:

"Our party needs a nominee who can be competitive all over the country, just not here in Aiken County. If we're going to beat Hillary Clinton … or Obama … we're going to have a candidate that the independent voter will be drawn to."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Greg, Mesa Arizona

    Maybe its his attack that pulls Hillary down, and maybe it will work on Obama.

    December 10, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Bob, Seattle

    If Lindsey Graham were to start a stump speech with McCain/Huckabee then McCain would have a chance. Anybody who embraces Huckabee will have a chance. If they don't, then Huckabee will win it on his own.

    December 10, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    McCain ain't beating nobody. He needs to get past the whole Giuliani-Romney-Huckabee fiasco first, and even if he gets through that unscathed (fat chance), he's nothing compared to Barack Obama!

    OBAMA 2008 and 2012!

    December 10, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Christian, Tampa FL

    Considering the crop of GOP candidates right now, I think it would be difficult to a) attack Obama without looking evil and b) overcome his image as a reformer and a civil servant. Not to mention that the overall Democratic political machine is as powerful as it's been in decades.

    December 10, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Vicki Hampton Hanceville Alabama

    The Hillary Factor and The OO (pronounced ugh)(Oprah & Obama)Factor are not enough to stop Senator John McCain. Those are just political tags, but Senator McCain is the real factor that they need to be watching for. You strip away all the posturing and childish attacks, you still have two sorely lacking individuals. Both are sorely lacking in qualifications and experience which is kind of ironic, because compared to Senator McCain who " I might add" is over-qualified, there really is no comparison. When you take all of their minus factor's and Senator McCain's plus factor's into consideration there is no real "Hillary Factor" or "OO Factor" is there?

    December 10, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Oscar, Rio Vista, CA

    Lindsey graham should go back to buying carpets in Iraq. The guy has no credibility since he was seen parading around an Iraqi market wearing a bullet-proof vest, surrounded by armed military guards with helicopters flying above pronouncing how safe it was. That was a joke, he is a joke, and his shopping buddy McCain is a joke.

    December 10, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Lawrence, Phoenix, AZ

    I don't understand this system we have. The fact that we allow states like South Carolina and Iowa and New Hampshire to determine who is going to become president makes absolutely no sense. I mean, no offense to any of these states or the people that live there, but if the candidates would focus on what's important, rather than just stumping for votes with celebrities in three early-voting states, maybe our nation would elect an effective leader, not just someone who can pander to three otherwise obscure states all the while ignoring the rest of us.

    December 10, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    Graham is a straight shooter. This means Obama has a real chance to win.

    December 10, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Wayne, Greenville TX

    We DON'T need a candidate who can "beat X" or "beat Y". We need a cnadidate who will provide efective leadership and clean up the mess that George W. Bush and his accomplices have created.

    And to my way of thinking, that's sounding more and more like Barak Obama. None of the Republicans will bring us together – they will only split us further apart.

    December 10, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. Hanna,andover,ma

    CNN how about putting it this way,

    Mccain vs Obama.........or Hillary?

    December 10, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. DJ, LA, CA

    McCain missed his chance by aligning himself too closely with Bush Administration policies. Yes that includes immigration.

    The only think John did to seperate himself from the pack of Bush-backers was denounce the use of waterboarding and torture.

    Otherwise John is a mirror-image of Bush on most other policies. That won't get him very far, especially in a national election vs the Democrats.

    December 10, 2007 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. EE

    An interesting development. Its Obama Vs Huckabee . What an election to see warm ,likable but ideologically opposed guys pitted against each other.

    December 10, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |

    Bob, Seattle:

    Get a grip!

    Huckabee will fizzle out in a few, just as soon as his record gets out.

    December 10, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. Carolyn Beck SC

    Forget it Lindsay, it will be Obama or Hillary as the next president.
    Also if you do not get your act together you will not be there to vote against their policies for you will get beat yourself and that would be good.

    December 10, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. John Halverson DC

    McCain?????he doesn't have a snowballs chance in Hell of winning the nomination let a lone the general election, unless of course he gets 200 million more of his illegal buddies over here and makes it possible for them to vote.

    December 10, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. Kenny, Vero Beach, FL


    Lindsey Graham is the last person any candidate wants giving him or her advice. This man looks, talks, and probably squeels like a homosexual. Just look at him! LOL

    December 10, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. Mary, Beaver, PA

    And what makes Lindsay Graham think that McCain can draw in independents when McCain's playbook looks so much like Bush's?

    I think that McCain is a man of honor and integrity, but his stand on the issues (Iraq, illegal immigration, etc.) is all wrong, and I would NEVER vote for him.

    December 11, 2007 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  18. anon west coast

    according to the latest polls the dems might have to nominate edwards instead lol

    GOP McCain?

    probably just name recognition still – don't hold much stock with polls anyhow

    December 11, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  19. summus

    Graham and McCain- 2 supporters of illegal immigration.

    December 11, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Kristy Sanborn, Dixon, Mo.

    Sen. Graham is saying this about McCain because he knows, he knows who would be the best president. Just because some people aren't smart enough to listen to him, doesn't mean he isn't right.

    December 11, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. RealityBites


    Lindsey Graham is the last person any candidate wants giving him or her advice. This man looks, talks, and probably squeels like a homosexual. Just look at him! LOL
    Posted By Kenny, Vero Beach, FL : December 10, 2007 9:49 pm


    December 11, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Ali A. Akbar, Texas

    The Senator is correct! Google "McCain Electability."


    December 11, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Joe, Florida

    No one except Rudy can't beat Obama and Rudy can't take on Hillary, hence Hillary is the best chance the Democrats have.

    If the Democrat ticket is Clinton/Obama, then it's possible to experience a landslide win.

    December 12, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. A Voter in N.Y.

    McCain Would ruin Hillary in a face off, not so with Obama I believe.
    Obama could win against Mccain or any other republican.

    I think that is why the republicans attack Hillary, they are trying to rally democratic support behind her so they can have an easy win in '08.

    Anyone but Hillary '08

    December 14, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |