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. Chris

    This is obviously a ploy by Bill Clinton to try and stop McCain's momentum for the nomination. McCain has said in the past that he respects Hillary but it is so obvious what Bill is trying to do. He's a has been and should fade gracefully into the sunset not make everyone remember what a 'say anything to get elected' kind of guy he was/is (as John Kerry and Obama have both stated this week).

    January 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. sarasotarepub

    God don't make me laugh. McCain is a RINO and
    Hillary couldn't run a civil race if her life depended on it.

    January 26, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. kevin from alaska

    If she couldn't play nice with Obama what's the chances she plays nice with McCain?

    McCain is a Bush-backer. You think Hillary won't attack him?

    January 26, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. marc

    if clinton is right, then obama is the logical choice.

    January 26, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Mike Miller

    McCain: The "anti Republican"

    January 26, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Jerry

    Great comment Lauren..Translation..I want Hillary to run against McCain so that we can move back to the Whitehouse..done deal..Barrack has got to be under Bubba's skin by now..

    January 26, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Frank Roberts

    With Clinton and McCain working together we could have the best of both Party views. Why does one have to be wrong and the other right.

    I am all for it

    January 26, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. scott brookdale ca

    This just confirms Hillarys position on the center-right. What is needed now is a good old fashioned liberal "tax the hell out of the rich" President with a Democrat "tax the hell out of the rich" Congress. John Edwards is the best hope for that scenario. There is nothing to be gained from cooperating with the right wing. They have proven they are contemptible.

    January 26, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Jimmy

    EXACTLY why she should not be the democratic candidate.

    January 26, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Raymond

    Wake up America ???? We do not need any more of the Clintons,they can not be trusted. I would rather vote for President of Soviet Union then her,are about the same. She want power so so bad I feel sorry for the country.There are other women out there to be President much better then her. I am not sure who I will vote for but I do know for sure NOT HER

    January 26, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Seung

    As Long as Romney is NOT the nominee, whoever else is fine. Please No Romney...

    January 26, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Mark, Tampa, FL

    This traitor McAmnesty is trying to hijack the conservative party. True Republicans hate McCain because he hates our party's ideology of enforcing our borders and lowering taxes (amongst several other issues).

    McCain will meet his end in Florida.

    Romney has the momentum and will win the nomination.

    Vote Romney in Florida!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. Rosie

    Why won't the media get past the celebrity driven coverage of Hillary and Obama?

    What about the issues? What about covering Edwards??? Edwards is a smart, decent, legitimate candidate, but all we here about is Clinton v. Obama. Come on, CNN, what happened to "keeping an eye" on things and representing the fourth estate?

    It just isn't fair that the media should shape the campaigns to the point that they exclude or include who is in the running instead of the people ( – that is us, remember?). Does it take being a total idiot (like some of the republican candidates) or just being very flush with cash and influence to get actual news coverage.

    I am really sick of this "reality show mentality" the media seems to have about one of the most important elections in our country's history. Come on CNN, we know you can do better!

    January 26, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Kevin

    Kerry in a landslide! Oh wait....

    January 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. Woody Woodpecker

    " Kentucky January 25, 2008 4:42 pm ET
    I continue to love how Republicans hate John McCain. Clinton 2008!"

    I continue to love how Democrats hate each other.

    January 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. J.R.D.

    Bill Clinton's style of surrogate sponsorship of unseemly conduct only works when you are actually a surrogate.
    I have been supporting a presidential bid by Sen. Clinton since 2004.
    And while I am impressed with Sen. Obama's charisma, I still want to see Hillary in the White House because I believe she is more qualified.
    But, the truth is I support Bill Clinton, and since he cannot run, I will vote for the next best Clinton. What I don't like seeing is my "candidate" acting unpresidentially in attacking Sen. Obama, or any Dem for that matter.
    His strategy is based on the premise that you get the negative message out there without the principal getting their hands dirty. The Clinton camp must realize, before it's too late, that Bill is in fact the principal, and they need a much more low-profile surrogate. I've always liked James Carville in this role, but I think JohnEdwards would do just fine.

    January 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. A Different Educated Voter in CA

    Bill is so right.

    There's not much difference between the two on the war and a variety of other issues.

    What Bill should have pointed out is how close Senator Clinton and Mitt Romney are; they may differ on the issues but both will say whatever they have to if they think it'll help them win.

    What a choice that will be; Clinton or Romney? Hello Third Party Candidate (anyone who's at least partially genuine).

    January 26, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Siridh

    Think about this - Bill knows we all think he's slick. So he tells us that Hill's most scared of McCain. We go ah ha, he wants her to run against Romney so we vote for McCain who is exactly who they want to run against. Make no mistake, Bill knows how we think about him, he doesn't care, but he'll use it to their advantage. You're right, Bill's not stupid. McCain has become the media darling - for liberals that says something. I'm voting for Ron Paul who they are trying to marginalize into oblivion because they're afraid of the Constitution.

    January 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Andrew, Maumee

    That would be an interestning ticket...

    Clinton/McCain or McCain/Clinton

    Maybe that would be what we needed, back to the basics, the runner up in the GE became the VP...

    January 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. SF, CA

    You're so sadly mistaken. What "experience" are you voting for with Senator Clinton? Bill's? I guess.

    And in regard to "Bill's just a spouse like anyone else," I hope your Seton Hall education is serving you better than that. He's a 2-term former President. There's nothing even closely comparable with any of the other candidates. He should show some decorum and statesmanlike demeanor. But, sadly, that's not who he is.

    January 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Paul M. Boos

    Teree's hardly a scintilla of difference between them...a Republican that would vote for McCain would be out of their mind...Ron Paul is THE MAN!

    January 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. charlotte

    Some people don't even read the article. When is it wrong to respect someone you disagree with? I have friends who disagree with me, so what, I should hate them? Obama people only know how to copy and paste. Why else would an article that has nothing to do with Obama, have the same comments as an article about Obama? If Obama is your hero, at least show you have cognitive thought.

    January 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Stop It Bill

    In a country that is supposed to be an emblem for democracy...
    *Less than 50% of people having the right to vote, do so on election day
    *That amount to about 26% of such category actually deciding who the next president of the US will be
    * Nepotism reigns when we have only a Bush-Clinton-Bush administration!!
    (thank god the rest of the Bush clan decided to focus on reaping in money with the Big Oil profits :-(()

    That leaves a playing field verging towards 2 big players, who use Rhetorics as usual!

    Wake up America!!!

    Go to Vote, walk the talk and gain the worldwide respect it once had.
    Stop making this Country the laughing stock of the rest of the world.
    It is disappointing to see that the new world powers seem more appealing Administrations, and to certain extent more civilized and democratic than US.

    January 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Eric

    Here's a question.

    Whn Obama says "No Bush"

    What is he referring too?

    George or Hillary?

    January 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Tom, Boston MA

    Anyone surprised that much of Clinton and McCain supporters can go either way?They are both war-mongers hellbent to occupy Iraq, ready to bomb Iran, itching to invade Pakistan, under any pretext. In their own words, they are proud to be ready to outdo Bush / Cheney line of foreign policies.

    This country hasn't hit the bottom yet by a long shot.

    January 26, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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