January 25th, 2008
06:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Bill Clinton: John McCain and Hillary are 'very close'

(CNN) - If Hillary Clinton and John McCain become their party's presidential nominees, the general election race is likely to be a love-fest.

At least according to Bill Clinton.

Campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Friday, the former president brushed aside suggestions his wife would prove to be a divisive nominee for the Democratic Party, pointing out how she has successfully worked with Republicans in the Senate - including one of the current GOP presidential candidates.

"She and John McCain are very close," Clinton said. "They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

The comments may not be welcome by the McCain camp - which yesterday faced fire from several of its rivals for winning the backing of the New York Times - a longtime archenemy of conservatives.

Sens. McCain and Clinton last met publicly at an ABC debate earlier January, when presidential candidates of both parties shared the same stage. The two were seen exchanging pleasantries, and a Clinton side said she told the Arizona senator he’d done a “good job” staging a comeback in New Hampshire. He asked that she say hello to Bill Clinton for him.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (854 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Based on Mr. Hillary's commments, there is no doubt in my mind that he is trying to damage the McCain momentum. What Mr Hillary wants is a race between Biff Romney and Rodham. Say whatever you want, but Mr Hillary is a brilliant tactician. HE KNOWS THAT HIS CORPORATE PARTNER, RODHAM WILL ABSOLUTELY DEMOLISH BIFF ROMNEY in a general election. IN FACT, she will pull his britches down and spank his mormon hiney. Face it folks, McCain is only person left who can defeat Mr Hillary and Ms Rodham. If you want Rodham and Mr Hillary occupying 1600 Pennslyvania in November, keep buying Mr Hillary's BS. He desperately wants to eliminate McCain. He desperately wants his butch girlfriend to ran against Biff in November.

    January 25, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  2. Joe, NJ

    Even at the end of last summer, when McCain was only just beginning to crawl back from the near-death of his campaign, Bill Clinton identified McCain as the Republican candidate he felt the Democrats should most fear facing in a general election. Now that McCain is out at the front of the GOP pack (battling Romney, who has less general election appeal), Bill is coming out and saying this about McCain and Hillary so that the nervous Republican base will select Romney as the candidate. Then it will only be a matter of time before the Democrats are back in the White House...

    January 25, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  3. Matthew

    Or, if Romney figures a way to win the nomination, then Clinton/McCain? That would be a winning ticket–Democrats, Independents, and dissolusioned Republicans. Especially sweet if, while we are fantasizing, Romney picks Leiberman as his running mate. This will free CT from the traitor and retire him once-and-for-all as a two-time loser.

    January 25, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. Dana


    Listen up–I want a woman in the White House, too–but not this woman. Often it IS a double standard, whether you like it or not, and this Country will surely fail if she gets her way on the socialization of every program/industry in this Country–and you think the suffering days of Jimmy Carter were bad?! You haven't seen nothing yet!! I don't want this to happen under a woman's watch–it will set us back years!

    And experience? Her experience does not qualify her to be President of the United States–if anything, it shows she is not a leader. She won't unite anyone; she won't compromise. It's her way or the highway! She's not a leader–what she is, is the most divisive political figure of our time! Moreover, it's not about experience with ANY of these candidates–it's about their philosophy of the role government should play. Do you want the most ungracious, most demeaning and condescending, biggest bully of a woman–who doesn't care one ounce about you, but wants to lord it over you with her power (it's been well documented over and over and over again), in the White House, then you would be well advised to vote for Hillary.

    I hate to say it . . . but if women can't be any more responsible with their vote, they should have never been given the right to vote!! AND THIS IS FROM A WOMAN!! Am I angry? Yes I am. My gosh–get some sense!

    January 25, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. Jeff Shattuck

    Hah! Hillary Clinton is incapable of running a civilized race. She will turn on McCain with the same vitriol and dishonesty that she has leveled at Obama. The sad thing is, many Americans seem to be okay with this. I'm not.

    January 25, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. jc

    Clinton-McCain-Obama = Amnesty + Universal Health Care + Higher Taxes + No border or port security + Make believe green jobs + No English as first language + No new nuclear power, No new oil refineries + More demand for oil + Global Whining + Gay marriage + Defense spending is unnecessary pork = STUPIDITY!

    If any American is ignorant enough to vote for any of the candidates, please note that your sovereignty as we know today will be GONE FOREVER! Enjoy the ride...

    January 25, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. angela

    Every single day my dislike for the Clintons grows intensely.

    I agree with those persons who are pointing out that the clintons have been trying to paint Obama as the 'black' candidate to turn white voters into their corner.

    However I have great faith in the goodness and fairness of the american people as demonstrated by the people of Iowa and the large number of white voters also in New Hampshire.

    The Clintons are despicable yet CNN seem to give them some overwhelming coverage most of it very favourable.

    Have you noticed whenever they do a clip of Hilary it's with her talking about policy,but when they do a clip of Barack it ussually never to do with policy which we have been told he speaks about in every gathering.

    No wonder people think he has no substance – CNN and the media deliberately portrays this way.

    January 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. OBAMA MAMA Twin Cities, MN

    It's too bad that Billary cant have the "most civilized election in American History" with the members of their OWN party. I agree with everyone here, no matter who you support THE CLINTONS CANT BE TRUSTED!


    (I'd even be cool with Edwards)

    ABC (Anyone But Clintons in 08)

    January 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Buck H

    Romney 2008

    January 25, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. charlotte

    Thank God these comments are not represenative of the whole country. The same people over and over spewing the same venom blog after blog. I for one am sick of the same people saying the same things over and over. No originality at all. Hopefully after Super Tuesday things will change. A majority don't even read the article they are commenting on, how sad.

    January 25, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  11. AP

    It's called lulling your opponent into a false sense of security. Hullary will go postal on McCain just like she's doing to Obama. What I can't believe is that white feminists are falling for it after 3 years of her enabling of the Bush-Terror-Iraq demagoguery. All of a sudden, she's seen the light? I don't buy it.

    January 25, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. P.Barman

    Good to see McCain touching other people too.He has given in blood and guts to America and I wish him great success and will vote for him.Go McCain and show us your tough mantle and succeed.

    January 25, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  13. Sunny

    McCain vs Clinton? As a moderate democrat, that pair up would actually give me pause, although I'm still leaning towards Hillary. If McCain, however, were to promise not to overturn Roe v. Wade if he becomes president, I just might vote for him. McCain vs Obama? No question, it's McCain for me.

    January 25, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  14. Brian

    I am so tired of hearing about Bill Clinton.

    Can't Hillary and Barack just run against each other and let the best man/woman win? Oh yea, and Edwards too.

    January 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. matthew

    wow. you guys are hilarious.

    I like all of the, "I bet you wont post this!" post. clearly, cnn is a diabolical machine meant to suppress all of your beliefs and statements.

    as a democrat, i wouldn't be too terribly torn up if mccain were to become our next president. he is obviously the most honest and moral person running. also, when a former president speaks, everyone listens, for chrissakes, its news! cnn is just reporting the news. its the same for every single other former president when they say something, it makes the news. thats how news works, if you think it shouldnt work that way, get over it.

    and yes, i could see why bill would paint mccain and hillary as friends, because it does put more doubt into other republicans eyes. but guess what, hes not voting for them. if they cant see that mccain is a stand up individual, well its their own fault. its not anyone elses fault for voicing their opinion.

    January 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Up North

    I've tried to post a link to the suntimes, but CNN would not post it, so if anyone is interested in viewing a picture of the Clintons with the slum lord Rezko go to the suntimes dot com website and see for yourselves who are the true friends of the slum lord.

    January 25, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  17. brian


    Why are you not posting my posts. Oh, I get it, Freedom of speech is not allowed unless it's for Obama. You just keep making my point.
    Thank you.

    January 25, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. ed

    How about Hillary as Pres and McCain as Vice-Pres? What a ticket!

    January 25, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |

    Please help us! Mc Cain!!! Mc Cain would keep us in the war for "another hundred years".. We need out of there.Also both have been in Congress and see what shape the country economy, war, immigration is in. PLEEEEEEZE............

    Put Mitt Romney or Ron Paul up against any Democrat.

    "It's the ECONOMY STUPID!"

    January 25, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. kay

    Its the SUPER delegates (the boys in the back room) who will choose the nominee at the convention. The dems changed their rules after McGovern got beat out. They didn't want their stupid constiuants to make that mistake again. These primaries won't produce the delegates needed for any one so they go to convention and the Super delegates will have the final say.
    Bummer huh?

    January 25, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. Bimmer

    One comforting news for the US and the democratic world is that both will be tough on Islamic terrorism. Guiliani would be better though on this issue.

    January 25, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. EB

    This is Bill Clinton's dirty trick again. The poll continues to show that McCain is the only GOP candidate who will beat Clinton in November. That is why dirty Bill Clinton trying to pull Mr. McCain down to the "same level" as Hilary. This won't work. I am voting for McCain because he has integrity. Bill and Hilary, you don't even come close to Mr. McCain in terms of honesty and integrity. I am an Asian American, and I am sick to my stomach about the rumors Clintons put out about Obama. If Clintons continue to run negative compaign like they did with Obama, they will not even get nominated.

    January 25, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  23. Jeff T

    Now I know Bill is a shrewd politician. He stated in an interview that McCain was the toughest candidate to beat back when it looked like he didn't stand a chance and the polls show he is the only one with a realistic chance of standing between him and his 3rd term. If he can only stroke the fears of the Right wing of the Republican Party that hasn't figured out that McCain is a true conservative because he (gasp!) works across the aisle, he can stop him and fight Romney instead. They have also started leaking stories to the media that they are afraid to fight Romney in the General Election because the know that they could slice him up for breakfast and the main thing standing in Romney's way is that the Republican Party knows a vote for him is a vote for Billary.

    Slick move, Willly. I hope Republicans are smart enough to see right through you, but I've been disappointed before.

    January 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  24. Pete Fisher

    Pff: Hillary is going to bring some change if she is sooo close to McCain!

    January 25, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  25. usa26mileman

    (Hillary) Clinton and McCain probably agree on watrboarding prohibitions, amnesty, and expansion of government programs. The only debate will be the war in Iraq, which Clinton changed postions on.

    January 25, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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