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. Paul

    The Clinton political machine would grind to a halt. After all, how to you trash an American hero? They have no core issues, only the politics of personal distruction to put the other guy down, nothing to distinquish themselves as worthy of the office.

    January 26, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Bobby

    I am shocked at the question of support for Obama from the African American vote.
    W/o sounding cliche remember "The Dream", the one that we talk about every year in January and February. The"Dream to not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. Remember "The Dream" the fierce urgency of now. Remember "We Shall Overcome", Remember "The Dream", free at last free at last thank God almighty we are free at last. This being said I am sure as a child of the civil rights movement that the reality of Dr. King's "Dream" did not include his people voting separate in a race that included a white woman and a black man. A white woman who has enjoyed the spoils of life and a black man who i am sure had to take detours and meet several road blocks to get to the mountain top. Every year this woman ensures her piece of the black pie by attending major events honoring fallen leaders and making pitiful attempts along with her husband to "Preach". Smart move, we fell for it. For every African American who decides to vote and not vote for Obama remember you can't scream racism anymore. I am shocked and appalled that in the midst of changing the playing field and evening it up for all races black america blinked. Welcome John Mccain, to the white house. Now correct me if I am wrong but Arizona still does not celebrate Dr King's birthday.

    January 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. honore

    Tell Bill Clinton Thanks, now I can scratch McCain off my list.

    January 26, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Vi

    You guys are all wrong. It will be Mc Cain and Jeb Bush, or Hillary and Mc Cain, Or Obama and Hillary or Hillary and Obama, or Rommney and Jeb Bush. There I think I am right. John Edwards will be Attorney General and run for President in 2012 and then agin in 2016 and then agin in 2020. He has been running for president for eight years now.

    January 26, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Dino

    It´s amazing how Mrs. Clinton has gone somehow arrogant, unlinked to simple TRUTH and lowering the real discussion on USA issues to personal agressions!!

    And you critisize African, Middle-East and Latin American voting processes...

    Election of Mr. Bush was always uder some suspection... I can´t immagine what American Elections will look like this year!!!


    January 26, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. AJ

    Right on! Since when did a hotly contested race create new ideas other than personal negative attacks!! I'm all for a civilized presidential race...its what this country needs desperately!!

    Go HIllary & McCAIN!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Joe in Naples FL

    Clearly Bill and Hill fear Romney in the general.......

    January 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. a person

    who would you rather vote for? Someone who said she didn't support the war in Iraq and voted for it, or someone who said he does support the war and voted for it?
    Wake up America, these two people have the same policies.

    January 26, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Kristy Sanborn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    If the two of them (Hillary and McCain) can get along, and run a civilized election, then maybe thats what America needs. Its going to take someone getting along instead of all this seeing who can run the other one down the lowest.
    When I think about it, during this campaign so far, I can't recall any deragatory remarks made by Hillary or McCain directed at each other. I do believe that McCain should be our next President, and wouldn't it be nice for others to see a civilized ran election finally?
    At least they respect each other and don't attack the other.

    January 26, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Jean


    Please don't let this country continue it's downhill slide. Another four years in the hands of the Republicans is not to be considered and if the wrong Democrat is nominated, you will be handing the election to the Republicans on a silver platter. It's too important for our country to let personal issues color the overall ills that this country is facing.

    January 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Phil Memphis, TN

    For everyone making a big deal about this, he said they respect each other. I don;t know of any reason to believe otherwise. I have seen them in the past, even before they were running for Peresident, and they always seemed amicable to each other.

    God forbid we actaully have a civil and reasonable debate about how to address the issues.

    Oh thats right, then CNN would have nothing to write about, as they do not seem to know what the issues are. while we keep asking about the economy, the war, etc. CNN keeps reporting on race and gender. The one thing I will give Bill clinton credit for is calling them out on it.

    When Barack was asked during a debate "Do you think Bill Clinton was the first black president?" there is no point in watching any further debates moderated by CNN. How does that question help voters make a decision on candidates? It doesn't. It is a question intended to inflame and cause animosity between the candidates. Then CNN sits back and waits for the blowup to happen so they can run to their cameras like giddy schoolgirls spreading the latest gossip.

    January 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Florida

    Here in Florida I know many Democrats that registered themselves in December as Republicans to vote for McCain. I think that the Democrat Pary intentionally created this situation to inject confusion into the political process. Surely this thing happen all over but not on such a scale as you will see here in Florida. Pay attention to the number of votes Republicans get in their primary.

    January 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. David S.

    McCain's not out to "prove" anything. His comments in South Carolina, and the way he's stood up for his beliefs show that he's about getting things done for the people of this country, as opposed to running for prestige/power.

    He's the only candidate that I can see uniting a large part of the country.

    January 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Starbuck

    Wow. Ya think we'll be able to choose between two entrenched insiders who are such good friends? It would be tough to decide.

    On the other hand we might just STAND FOR CHANGE.

    OBAMA 2008!

    January 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. shane

    Rude snobs americans would only be civilized if they vote for us.

    January 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. I'm thinking

    Clinton vs McCain:

    Clinton-Democrat vote=50%
    Republican vote=0%

    McCain-Republican vote=85%
    Democrat vote=50%

    Democrats win. Vote Mitt!

    January 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Mark

    Hillary would win against McCain – as she is the leftist who would garner the support of her party and Republican "moderates" (wimps). McCain is and would be a disaster for the Republican Party if nominated. We might as well cede the Presidency to Hillary.

    January 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. ron

    When is someone going to ask Hillary or Bill the burning question that is on my mind as well as countless others? What did Bill do with his very famous cigar?

    January 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Janet Lococo

    I don't claim to be well versed in politics. I'm 72 years old and have always voted in every election, local, state, and national. I find it interesting that each candidate vying for the presidential nomination accuses the other candidates of lying and negative ads. The south Louisiana Cajun wonders if the nation and the candidates expect to be able to run for political office and not be the subject of negative ads. If the answer is yes, they shouldn't be in the race. What are they going to say? "Obama is wonderful but vote for me? Hilary is great and smart but vote for me?" I don't believe the U.S. will elect a woman or a black man. Why is John Edwards being ignored as though he's not even in the race He's MY man!!

    January 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Rex

    Lets face it McCaine is a Democrat, so if you want Socialism vote for either one! Lets get even with those greedy people making over $50,000 a year.

    January 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Big Brother 2008

    Can you say "THE BIG FIX IS IN" boys and girls.We need an Independent that is not controlled by the power brokers and FAST.

    January 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. rich

    yeah right ...go ahead and play the race and the gender card CNN. the clinton news network

    January 26, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Herknav

    //"Not a dimes worth of difference between Hillary and Mc Cain." Since when does NY Times select our next President; both Washington to the core...we need fresh ideas... Mit's my choice!

    January 26, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Lena

    Of course she's close with McCain; she IS a republican! Who are kidding here? She = republican values and status quo. Sorry kids, wake up and smell the fresh air. We don't live in the 90's anymore.

    January 26, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. BC1358

    I think the Dems are scared to death about running against McCain, that's why the NY Times endorsed him and Slick Willy is praising him. With comments like those the Republican base will run from McCain in even heavier numbers than now (the friend of my enemy is my enemy). The benefactor of this will be Mitt Romney and although I like him too, the Dems will beat him like a drum in November and we'll be stuck with a Clinton for at least 4 more years. Terrible.

    January 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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