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. Ravi

    Karen L. Reimer, Mt. Bethel, PA - well said. You have it right. Regards.

    January 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. M. Brathwaite, Virgin Islands

    CNN has run this story all day. It is apalling how you play the games the Clintons want day after day.

    You have run stories that will minimize any win Obama has in S.C. Racism is alive and well in America and many of the media whites perpetuate the conspiracy.

    It is shamefull and I hope when you all look back at this race history will expose all of you as still racist in the 21st century and thereby lost the opportunity to change the world for the better.

    The Clintons had their turn its time for them to move on.

    January 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Teresa

    I think it's absurd that people think Hillary is the bully of this election.

    If Obama would stop criticizing his opponents, we could possibly find out what his views are.

    I have yet to know.

    January 26, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Barb

    The Clintons get uglier and uglier as each day goes by. The fact is they ARE ruthless, divisive and polarizing. They're just like the Bushes. Bill and Bush Sr. are buddies. It IS dynastic. I've read a lot of comments about McCain being a liberal. As a liberal democrat, I think that's laughable. It's also a farce to call Hillary a liberal. I am a liberal Democrat. Dennis Kucinich was the ONLY true liberal candidate and now he's out of the race. I will never under any circumstances vote for Hillary Clinton. For me, Barack is the way to go, even tho Edwards is more liberal-sounding, I believe Obama does have the ability to cross party lines. I have heard a lot of Repubs saying they'd consider voting for him! Imagine someone like me voting for the same man as a Republican! Now
    THAT's what this country needs.

    January 26, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. PMP


    January 26, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Eyeball

    John McCain's respect for Hillary says volumes about who he is. McCain is a RINO.

    January 26, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Robert

    They are both owned by the same group of multinational corporations. Same goes for Obama. Don't listen to the glowing box.

    January 26, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Grace Godwin

    There is no limit as to how far or how low CNN will stoop in their effort to turn Republicans against McCain or split the Party. They don't leave a stone unturned and make sure every little tidbit, no matter how trivial, gets top billing . But then you have been the Clinton News Network so long, what else can we expect??

    January 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Patriot '76

    McCain is an old man suffering from long years locked up by the N. Vietnamese. His mind is clouded by that abuse. He should go to an old Vet's home and tell his war stories. Hillary is on an ego trip and could not demand respect from world leaders especially in the Middle East. The only viable candidate is Paul and he doesn't stand a chance. God bless America in these end times.

    January 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Lauren


    What do you find uncivilized about my comment? Is it because I used the word "crock"? What would I do if I were in Hillary's position? Well, I would never have done or said many of the things she has, so I will never be in her position. She is an intelligent, accomplished politician, and one who I used to admire. She has been through a lot in her life and has clearly had the strength to overcome that adversity and become very successful. That being said, I have lost my admiration for her because in my opinion she cares more about winning the race than about the state of the Democratic party or the state of this nation.

    You have the right to believe that Obama is the bad guy and Hillary and Bill are victims and vote accordingly–that's what freedom is all about. However, it's my opinion that two people as politically brilliant as Hillary and Bill Clinton are not victims in any way. Everything they say and do in the public arena, when the cameras are around, is a political maneuver. I appreciate their Democratic ideas, I agree with many of their positions, and I commend them for all they have acheived in their careers. But I find them to be increasingly uncivilized when it comes to the way they operate the campaign, and I feel they have exploited many of the social tensions in this country for political gain. That is not a civilized way to behave, especially for a former president and first lady.

    Let's be honest, though. You and I are different people, we have different perspectives, and we view this election through separate paradigms. But isn't it possible that the truth lies somewhere in between?

    I'm plenty capable of a civilized debate, and I'm sure you are too. The problem seems to be that many of the candidates are not.

    January 26, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Roberta Dubuque IA

    The reason there is such a "Love Fest" between General Hillary and Maverick
    Mc Cain is because they are both Dumbocrats! The maverick is running as a conservative because Hillary and Obama were too strong for him to run as a Dumbocrat. With so many ignorant conservatives thinking he is the savior, I think the move that will be made is if either one wins the presidency the other one will be the VP because they both agree on the same Dumbocrat polices that will destroy our country. There will be not vote cast by me should either one of them become the nominee, as I am not going to contribute to my country's demise.

    January 26, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Patriot '76

    No matter who wins nothing will change. The entrenched corrupt machine that is our federal government will charge on until we go the way of Rome and Great Britain. China looms on the horizon and will not be stopped.

    January 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. c86man3

    THANK YOU THANK YOU BILL! Now Romney has it for sure! Finally the truth comes out! McCain is in league with the ENEMY!!

    January 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. TheAllegedRightWingConspiracy

    Ya know I just bet McCain might have a thing or two to say about how close he and Hillary are. McCain's mother might tell us for sure. But then we don't want Mad Dog Bill coming after her now do we?

    By the way I haven't seen Hillary's mom lately. She mush have stashed her somewhere since the tears worked so well in New Hampshire. You remember now don't you...Hillary was bringing her mom, her sunday school teacher and the like out to tell us how "sweet" she was. But then old Bill got involved and wow what a transformation...Oh that's right she found her voice...she sure did....BILL.

    You think Bill might be lying again? I don't know...McCain and Hillary have such similar views on troop strength and the war in Iraq now don't they? Hillary did vote to send them in didn't she? But I heard she didn't understand what she was voting for. McCain has been there and spoke to them. I believe...now I'm just saying...I believe his views are just a tiny bit different from Hillary's. So, Guess that means Bill is lying again...go figure.

    I just bet Ole Bill is starting his dirty politics on McCain saying Hillary and he are so close. What is it they say...keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

    Bill's going to try and make some independent voters think Clinton has McCain's virtues and at the same time try and sway white independents in South Carolina that might vote for Obama to McCain. What a devil that ole Bill is anyway. Divide and conquer.

    As for me I'm a white Independent for Obama "08. It isn't working all that good Bill.

    January 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Jim Byrum

    Another plot by the Clintons. They would love to run against John McClain! It would be an easy victory for the TWO of them!

    January 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Patriot '76

    As an 81 year old combat veteran of WW II i.e., Sicily, Iwo Jima and Okinawa all I can say is the United States is in its descendency and you better learn to speak Chinese and like rice and fish heads.

    January 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Robert Lowery

    Go to your library, pick up his book. Faith of My Fathers, read it and decide if he's the person you want as our President.

    January 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. cyn

    Oh Dear..Is Ugle Bill trying to deliver the kiss of death on McCain..run Johnny ..run..

    January 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. chippy

    This is scorch and burn strategy. Everything WJC does is calculated. He threw this out there to damage McCain who has little republican support in hopes that the ever so fickle "independents" and the old school Blue Dog Joe Lieberman democrats will file back into Hillary's camp. McCain will not be the republican nomination. He doesn't stand a chance and his supporters will have to go somewhere... They are not the Move-On/Code Pink/Cindy Sheehan brand of liberals and realize that although he's charming, Obama doesn't know anything. That won't stop romantic juveniles, Howard Dean supporters, and other uninformed (and highly motivated) coalitions from voting for him. If he makes it that far he will be eviscerated in a political debate against *any* of the current republican candidates.

    January 26, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |

    If McCain is the Republican nominee this country is going even further down the tubes. It wouldn't matter, they're both left wing nut jobs.

    January 26, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. kiev, San Jose, CA

    Teresa, I thought Obama keep telling people what his views are all the time. Did you ever listen to him at all?

    January 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Jim

    This is Clinton at his best. The purpose of this statement is to anger the right-wing of the Republican Party just as it seems McCain is heading towards being the front-runner for the nomination. This is Clinton's way of trying to hamper McCain's bid right now.

    January 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Ed

    I would vote for a Clinton/Macain ticket in a flash!

    January 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Robert

    The Clintons would destroy McCain. They would relive the Keating Five controversy, and paint him as a low energy old man. That would be the end to the "closeness."

    January 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. homjett

    I keep wondering why the MSM, which is pulling for any Demo to win the WH, also are pulling for McCain. So lets see now, Clintons want McCain, the MSM wants McCain, whats their collective motives. The MSM beats up on Gov Romney, even to the extents of inventing secret MIC's at the Debate. My guess that Pres Bill Clinton sees an outsider, with little or no baggage tied to Washington, as the biggest threat. If Romney is running there will be no "its the economy stupid" ads run by the Clintons.

    January 26, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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