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. Patrick

    Slick move by Bill to try and further discredit the only electable Republican within his own party.

    January 26, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. ed

    Bill, Thanks for letting us know who you are worried about. Obvious ploy to give republicans concern that McCain is too moderate....which is not true. You're just hoping that someone other than McCain wins FLA.

    If Clinton gets the nomination, she will loose because of two people...Bill Clinton & George Bush....too american presidents with great intentions, but lost the trust of the people. America is not going to elect anyone that they can't Trust....regardless of the economy, war, etc. Trust is the issue and John McCain is the front runner because he is the only one people can trust.

    By the way....I don't want a president to go to Washington to "fight" as you say, I want someone without the firery retoric. Everytime I hear Hillary wanting to fight for something, I hear......more of the same Washington gridlock.

    January 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Greg McDonald

    One word.


    Once this sticks it will never leave their candidacy alone. People must realize Billary is the candidate not Hillary.

    January 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Gp

    Bill is no dummy. He says these things precisely to move GOP voters away from McCain because he knows Hillary looses to McCain.

    Don't let the liar influence your vote!

    January 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. JOHN

    There is so much they have in common, they both voted to go into Iraq for starters. Wow there isn't a dime's bit of difference. Maybe we have the Republicrat party too! Brilliant!!!!

    January 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. cafenitro

    Dems need to wise up and vote Edwards or we're just handing it to the Republicans again. If McCain and Clinton are so close do we need Hillary? Even Glen Beck say "McCain and Clinton....that's not a contest that's a ticket!" Edwards is THE only reason Clinton and Obama are leaning left instead of right at the moment. I'm so tired of Republican-lite Dems.

    January 26, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Karl

    Bill Clinton has lost a ton of respect from me for his constant false remarks in this primary. I do believe that Hillary and McCain are both going to keep us in Iraq for who knows how long while ignoring what American people need at home though.

    And as far as dirty campaign contributions go, Hillary...how much did felon Peter Paul give your campaign in 2000?

    January 26, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Randy, Bellevue WA

    We should see this for what it really is. The Clinton's would rather face anyone other than McCain in the general election. What better way to mobilize Republicans against McCain than to say how well he works with Hillary?

    January 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. DJHll

    Bill is proving two things; he will do and say anything to get Hillary elected to protect his pathetic legacy (History will not be kind to him once his presidency is actually viewed under a microscpoe) and; He has little credibility, but nothing new there.
    Clinton was always popular because of his charisma and charm but he's always had a credibility gap, he's slimey and, well, he's a Clinton.

    As far as McCain – He's a RINO, period. He does not espouse conservative values, he doesn't not have the support of the base.

    We need another candidate, from either party, to get into the race desperately. All of them are the worst we could possibly ask for. All the dems are hard core liberals who will push a socialist agenda – this is not a socialist country and socialism is a disaster, history bears the proof of that. All the Republicans are... well, a hodge podge of liberal/moderate – hard right fringe and while a few wouldn't be bad, they are not what this country needs.

    Either way, We, the people are screwed. We have got to impose term limits on Congress and get the bums out of Congress because that is where the real problem lies in this country. Regardless of which party has control the Congress has ceased to work for the American people, they have lost touch with what WE WANT and they have forgotten that it is OUR opinion, NOT THEIRS that drives legislation. They need to be run out of town on a rail and there's a whole slew of them that should be tried and jailed (if not hung).
    You people can keep bickering amongst each other about reps v. dems and you can thank for the Congress for the divisive tone in this country, BOTH REPS and DEMS are equally to blame, but you are not going to fix the problem until WE the people UNITE against our Congress and let them know that we've had it with their crap.

    January 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Glory

    Barack Obama is what this country really needs, an intelligent, honest decent human being. Hillary Clinton is a sharkand Edwards is a guppy. I used to really like Bill Clinton, but now with tricky tactics and what not I'm not so sure. I also like McCain as a person I can respect him, but honestly if Hillary Clinton becomes president, we'll be in trouble. Obama 08!

    January 26, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Rachel


    Bill Clinton, please stop opening your mouth. Every time you do, another dumb statement just falls out.

    If you manage to swindle the democratic voters into nominating Hillary, I will be voting for a 3rd party candidate in this election. This is ridiculous.

    January 26, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. SR Williams Rockwall Texas

    Good old Bill. Since they are they same, he probably wants you to just go ahead and vote for Hillary. Maybe he will bite his lip, give a tear, maybe some rage and hopefully no young woman will get his cigar. Then we will get to see Mother Hillary give us her Sainted character of the week. Wonder who she will be next week.

    January 26, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Johnny M.

    Hillary is scary and Bill is a shame. I'd take anyone, Republican or Democrat over them!!

    January 26, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. chevyk


    January 26, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Martha

    Another Steve, you absolutely correct. Hillary will never leave her republican base.
    As for all the female voters, answer these questions? Why does she need Bubba to defend her on every dumb negative response she makes? And why does she stick with man who has cheated on her, caused her so much anguish for years, having an affairs for years right under her nose? What sort of independent thinking woman would allow such a thing to go on for years?

    January 26, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Bill

    Of course Hillary likes McCain they both want amnesty for the illegals .

    January 26, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Norma, PBG,Fla

    Please Bill keep putting your foot in your mouth and just let Mitt Romney win!

    January 26, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Roger Minnesota

    McCain is the republicans only hope of winning the election. He may be more liberal than most republicans but he is a republican. The nation knows he will work with both partys and do what is best for the nation.

    January 26, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. donttakeitseriously

    I dont take any of these people seriously. Why is it that Hillary Clinton needs a character like Bill Clinton to prop her up? Both parties are deceiving and conning the American People.

    January 26, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. jyfranca

    Same ol trick.Clintons are genius.are you afraid of McCain?Uh huh I think you will get what you want Clintons.I wish Hillary was nominee and Bill her running mate I think we need to amend constitution for this to happen.Coz they are desperate.

    January 26, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Vernon

    What I don't understand is "Bill Clinton signed affirmative action into law, so why are they not letting a black man have his turn in the white house now?

    Why are the Hillary attack dogs attacking Obama?

    Its his turn to be president because he's black right?

    Because I didn't get a job promotion because I'm white so if it was good enough for me, WHY CANT SHE STEP ASIDE AND LET A BLACK MAN BE PRESIDENT?!

    January 26, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. klay

    If McCain or any other Republican candidate will not hit Hillary and hit her hard, she will cruise to victory in November. The polls showing McCain as the GOP candidate with the best chance of beating Hillary simply reflect the fact McCain he is the best-known republican candidate nationally. If Romney or Rudy or maybe even Huckabee gets the GOP nomination and begins advertising and waging a nationwide campaign against Hillary, you will see those polls tighten just like the theoretical McCain vs. Hillary matchups. Whoever the nominee is, though, he will have to hit her square in the teeth. I worry that Bill Clinton might be right about McCain not being willing to do that.

    January 26, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Dave

    That should be enough to scare conservatives away from McCain. Why he is receiving the amount of support he is is unbelievable to me. He is a RINO at best. He "knows how to lead"? Come on. "I had it wrong, I see how the people feel about the border, blah, blah, blah." Hey John, you are over 70 years old and still had the border thing wrong? You had to feel the political heat to your feet before you allegedly changed your mind? BS! You know he still feels the same way, it was just politically expedient for him to change his mind because his presidential ambitions would have went straight down the drain if he had continued on his amnesty roll. If you have been in politics for as long as he has, have lived through war, lived as a POW, survived 70+years of life and you still don't understand that you need a secure border, you have some seriously flawed thought processes and don't need to be in the Senate, let alone the White House. He is about half-nuts and it won't matter who the Demoncrats run, they will take McCain down easily. Slick Willie is full of it too. They will go after McCain with both guns....
    How about this scenario? The lesbian doesn't announce a running mate until long after the convention and it is........Slick Willie. She gets in the White House, resigns and guess what? The Slickster is President....again!!!!

    January 26, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Vernon

    What I don't understand is "Bill Clinton signed affirmative action into law, so why are they not letting a black man have his turn in the white house now?

    Why are the Hillary attack dogs attacking Obama?!

    Its his turn to be president because he's black right?

    Because I didn't get a job promotion because I'm white so if it was good enough for me, WHY CANT SHE STEP ASIDE AND LET A BLACK MAN BE PRESIDENT?!

    January 26, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. suraki

    In my opinion, this is a shrewd move on Bill's part, designed more to anger the Republicans than to charm the Democrats. Hillary's "experience" platform would be worthless against McCain but will hold up against Romney. If Bill can successfully link Hillary with McCain, McCain's chances of winning the Republican primary will be significantly diminished and Hillary would be facing a more "beatable" Republican candidate.

    January 26, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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