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. Matt

    CIVILIZED!? What a joke. The Clintons are pulling out every dirty trick in the book against A FELLOW PARTY MEMBER! What do you think they'll do when they're running again'st GOP? And McCain, well....he's GOP, of course he'll get dirty.

    I agree with "Another Steve," as a democrat I have a tough time seeing myself ever voting for Hillary after the stuff she's pulled. Her message is contrived and manipulative and she speaks of the conservatives who compose 50% of this country as if they were a lesser form of being. Divisive, condescending, and manipulative – sounds like someone else I know who has a farm in Crawford, Texas.

    January 26, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Christine

    Amen, "Another Steve!"

    Couldn't have said it better myself!

    January 26, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Vince Hugh

    The truth to the John McCain popularity with the liberal NY media and endorsed by the liberal NY Times was revealed this morning on the Today Show when Lester Holt asked John Edwards what he thought about when in the last Republican debate the candidates kept mentioning Hillary as the one they were going to have to run against in the general election. John Edwards replied that the reason is because they (Republicans) think that Hillary would be the easiest to beat!
    Well, does everyone remember in the last Democrat debate, how John McCain's name was always brought up by them as the one they will have to run against in the general election! Helllo... Democrats know that McCain will be much easier to beat than say a Mitt Romney come the general election..

    January 26, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. cdnblaze

    I cannot imagine why this story is actually getting coverage, are they not both senators, I fail to see what the big deal so they respect each other...care. Clinton is probably your best chance to rid yourselves of the Iraq burden, while McCain who is being supported by Henry Kissenger who most ppl in the world consider to be a war criminal, will keep your military in Iraq indefinitely, wake up America. Being a Canadian, I might not have a right to submit my opinion on your politics, but considering your economy is so tied in with ours, and American foreign policy has been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths and impoverishment of countless numbers of ppl worldwide, this is not to say Americans in general are evil, but your rep. is seriously tarnished in the world. After reading comments here there seems to be a general consensus that you want change in the way your gov. does business, but after watching your newscoverage it is very apparent that there will be no change whatsoever, corporations and greed will continue to rule your domestic and foreign policies. I was brainwashed just like everybody else about bush’s Iraq campaign, and chavez being evil, putin bringing back the cold war, etc. etc. as your so called American free press reported, and then I read Naomi Klein’s shock doctrine and actually followed up on her research and lo and behold she is not just a crackpot, the book was extensively researched and documented. The bush administrations crimes and believe me they are crimes, are so blatant and out in the open, that the only reason he has not been impeached is that we as a public have become immune to govt. corruption and we are just letting them get away with it. Don't think that I am only browbeating your politicians ours are just as bad. It is totally staggering to me that your government allows Dick Cheney to hold on to stock from haliburton, which has made billions off of a war that he vigorously supported and lied to the American public not to mention congress on invading Iraq. Not only should that wealth be stripped from him and given back to the American taxpayer he should be charged, just like any other C.E.O. that has ripped off shareholders, unfortunately the shareholders are the American public. I only make light of Cheney because he is the most prominent figure, many, many more have profited from their position from a war that has killed thousands of American soldiers and an estimated 655,000 Iraqi’s, which is probably a very low figure. I have many American friends who are very good ppl, but your government and corporations have completely trashed your name in the world sphere, Wherever I travel Americans are despised, think about that when you vote for your next leader.
    — Posted by Blaze

    January 26, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Holly Ward

    McCain and Clinton being close, what does that tell you about McCain?

    January 26, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Julia, California

    CNN is so biased against Hillary Clinton. Shame on you, reporters.
    I love Hillary's fighting spirit. We need that in a tough time. Go Hillary!

    January 26, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. T.

    ...and so ends the campaign spurt by John McCain. Hey buddy, put a fork in it – you're done! No self respecting conservative or even Republican is going to vote for McCain now that he has the Clinton endorsement.

    January 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Barbara

    Is Kerry positioning himself to run and VP if Obama gets the nomination?

    January 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. Midge

    You want to talk about relationships? How about McCains? He dumped his wife, who stood by him when he was a POW. She had a car accident and almost died but would not let anyone tell him so he would not worry. He came back to a wife who had been through her own hell and didn't like what he saw, so he cheated (he admits that) and found him a trophy wife that he now carries on his arm. He became full of himself because of all the attention he was getting and thought he was too good for her. Hilary stood by her less than perfect husband, and did it in the public eye, and kept her family together. You want most of the world to keep hating us, vote in a Little Napoleon military man like McCain....

    January 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Chad of Wisconsin

    It amazes me how Dem / Rep are all the same socialized party, whatever happened freedom. RON PAUL all the way! Also I find it great they both want to devalue our money in the international market, by giving away "free money", there is no such thing as a free lunch, and is it worth $600 when you have to pay more than twice that in the future. Change is change, and we should all be sick of the minor difference in crooks.

    January 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. richard

    Hilliary can't be civil to anyone who is in her way..........watching Bill and Hill campainging, do we really want to go back to the way it was when he was president??????? I don't think so.......

    January 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Jane Francis

    Shut up, Bill, you're ruining your wife's chances to get the nomination.

    January 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Darrel

    Hill Billary is getting desperate already, aren't it/they?

    January 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. myconcerns

    They might like each other but I bet they don't agree on immagration and Iraq policies. also who will bring the most talent to the cabinet

    January 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. IW

    What a setup and dribble by the reporter leaking those lies to put this candidate in a bad light with his own party. Usual Clinton spin and perjury. They are pulling out all terms of civility. John is not my choice, but he deserves better from a draft dodger.

    January 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Darrel

    Bill will stain McCain more than he stained that blue dress, to weasel and lie and distort himself back into the white house and the lime light he so desperately needs.

    January 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Ryk

    The moderator s of this site as many people behind me have noted are heavy handed censors. They fail to run half my posts despite the fact that I use no obscene language. Other of my posts they allow to sit waiting for moderation for hours while people who posted later than me get put up. Making sure that there are so many posts up after them that they don't get read. This is CNNs website and they don't have to allow open discussion, but if they are going to engage in biased political censorship they should state that openly. A banner stating "We Don't Allow Any Comments Our Moderator Doesn't Agree With." would be sufficient.

    January 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. No More Dynasties

    Of course it will only be civilized as long as Billary maintains a sizable lead in the polls (as with Obama); if not, then watch out for more Clintonista lies, distortions, and dirty games.

    This will be no problem as long as Old Man McCain is their opponent (whom as you can see they are praying will win the nomination). Bill sees that as an easy replay of his trouncing of Old Man Dole.

    The NYT and other MSM are clearly supporting this strategy with all the influence they can muster.

    January 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Jesse

    Whomever is reading this CNN Post need feel dirty for filtering the free words of American tax-payers that deserve the right to speek freely on our American Presidential process.

    January 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. tyler

    It would be even closer because as a Democrat I would vote for McCain before Clinton. That's for sure.

    January 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Jason

    They are supported by and are members of the same groups that actually run this country: the COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS and the BILDERBURG GROUP.
    This country is doomed!!!!

    January 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Gary L. Forshee

    If Bill and the NYT state their fluff about John then it becomes crystal clear in my mind who I won't vote for.

    January 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. kay

    It sure is easy to tell by these comments between the more mature older people who remember what happened during past administrations and the younger "me" generation. I guess they can't tell the difference between media sound bites and what is real.
    I think they need some good lessons in History ,civics and economics.
    I don't give a hoot what the sex, race, religion or looks are. Character, morals and brains do count. Higher taxes, political hacks, bigger gov't, panderers we don't need.

    January 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Binkis1

    The NYTimes had to take down the comments blog after the endorsement of clinton. IT WAS COMING IN AT 5 TO 1 AGAINST HER AND THE ENDORSEMENT.
    Caligulia and his Ms. Macbeth have been seen by the voter and they do not like them but see them for what they are..amoral and unworthy. Senator McCain looks like he is about to throw up in this picture and rightly so..This was at the Brooks dedication in San Antonio and she showed up uninvited.
    SHE IS NO FRIEND TO THE MILITARY AND slimed Gen. Patreas.. Then black voters, then women, then Iowans, split the Dem party, now the American voter.

    January 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Corey, NH

    Here's a crazy idea that would bring this country back together.
    How about if she wins – he is vp and if he wins – she is vp.
    That would be quite magnificent.

    January 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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