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. adrian

    Could this be more transparent? Any republican voter with a clue will see through this as an attempt to discredit the Clinton's most dangerous opponent.

    January 26, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Geraldo

    The funny thing about a Hillary and McCain is that in the last debate McCain tock a stab at Hillary by saying that her idea on iraq was dum because she was going to show the white flag and then again people say there are good friends when McCain talks about Hillary like that. AND BY THE WAY HATERS HILLARY CLINTON IS GONG TO WIN

    January 26, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Rex

    Barb you really are a liberal if you believe a Real Ruplican would vote for Obama! Why don't you just move to Canada and really make yourself happy!

    January 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Mark- Hoboken, NJ

    Hillary is hated by too many people to ever have a chance in the general election. A vote for Hillary in the primary is a vote for Romney in the general election (as he can clearly outspend McCain, unfortunately).

    January 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. andrew


    January 26, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Political Analyst

    This is clearly a move by the Clintons to undermine McCain's support in the Republican party. The mantra "McCain is basically a democrat" is the best way to stop McCain from winning the nomination in the republican primaries. They are seriously worried about McCain for one simple reason, he's closer to Republicans than Hillary, so he picks up 99% of the Republican vote (the "as long as it isn't Hillary" vote), but he is close enough to a lot of Democrats that Hillary may not pick up 99% of the Democrats.

    Centrist candidates are a nightmare for a divisive candidate like Hillary. The best way to beat them is in their primaries, when their own party members might be tempted to vote for someone closer to the right. Heed my words. Clinton vs. McCain results in four more years of Republicans, as does Obama vs. McCain. Democrats clearly aren't going to nominate a centrist candidate (big mistake, in my opinion), so they need McCain to lose the nomination. Clinton vs. Huckabee or Romney is much better for the Dems.

    January 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. J. McKinney SW MO

    I don't see Bill and Hillary as any more dishonest than Obama. For pete sake, it appears no one can say anything, no matter how mild, that some nut (or a whole sack of them) doesn't make something terrible out of it. How can they run against each other if they don't say what their differences are? I think most of the Clinton haters are just blindly repeating what they have read in other posts here. Why don't you read up on the good works the Clintons have done. Those who were adults in Clinton's 8 years in the presidency know all the good they did for our country. Things were good. I am ready for things to be good again, for the next 8 years, and I think Hillary is the one to do it, if it can be done. She will have an incredible mess to clean up. Go, Hillary!

    January 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Ray

    oh so she does love up to republicans... Thats exactly what I thought. It's more of the dynasty crap. We need new blood in the white house. Not a bush or clinton.

    January 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Mitch

    "Civilized campaign", To paraphrase a former president, it depends on what your definition of "civil" is. Anybody that survived the Hanoi Hilton will have no problem with Clinton, Inc.

    January 26, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Men

    This election is rigged, period!

    January 26, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Ray

    I find it ridiculous that most of you think Hillary has any experience on anything presidential in nature. She was the first lady. Not a secretary of state or some important position that matters.
    The whole idea is completely absurd.

    January 26, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Progressive.Student

    I'm glad President Clinton said his wife and Senator McCain are good friends, but I don't want to hyperventilate through out the general election like I have been through the primaries (given if Clinton and McCain win the nominations). I want the democrats to dominate the republicans, the politeness might be a good breather given the harsh democratic environment recently seen, but this needs to be judgment day. The Republican ideas have resulted not only in the monetary failure of America, but that same group echoed a message that yielded a disconnect between Americans and their government.

    January 26, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. lois

    Well, speaking of civilized, it's interesting to me how vile (and unfair) the comments are about Hillary Clinton. Just what is that about? When people play "witty" games like calling her Billary, they only reflect political immaturity and a lack of any grasp on issues of substance. Hillary Clinton is prepared to be president, and she will be a great one.

    January 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Robin

    That statement by slick Willy is the kiss of political death for John McCain

    January 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. nin

    Kind of sad. I used to like John McCain

    January 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Rick Morrow

    I want to puke.

    January 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. David Keaney

    Those who hate Bill Clinton are going to continue to hate him. The republicans do not like Bill Clinton because of two reasons. 1) He is the most successfull demoncratic president. His eight years was the best – – – balancing the budget, etc. after George Bush Sr. drove the country into recession. George Bush Jr has driven our country in another recession. Two things the two Bushes have in common, war and a bad economy.

    But for some demoncrats to talk so evil of Bill Clinton, it makes me sick to the stomach because they are not true demoncrats.

    Obama is a replublican in disguise. We all know that. He is receiving the bulk of his finance from the replublicans because they can't defeat the clintons so they are using him. And that is why he is proudly speaking about Reagan and how the republicans have been the party with ideas over the past 15 years. What did Reagan do for the blacks Obama? How dumb of you to please your republican supporters?

    I am a black. We had a Black Mayor in New Orleans. He did nothing for the Black people. Bill has fought for the blacks, part of why the republicans hate him. For those demoncrats that hate Bill, you are a replublican in disguise. All true republicans like Reagan. All true demoncrats will always love bill.

    January 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Wavy Gravy

    What really gives me cause for concern is that someone from this current group of presidential hopefuls will actually occupy the White House. They all have bags of ambition, but not one has a vision. Obama seems to relate to a lot of people who are seeking change but look at his record. Where is the change? His adventure in the U.S. Senate is lackluster with no record of achivement. Hillary only has enough experience to locate the light switches in the White House. The Republicans are equally as lackluster. With his penchant for wearing lily while undergarments to remind him of his faith, Romney is as questionable as any other Republican. Ron Paul is scary. He clearly wants America to abandon Israel. This clearly unacceptable. He wants to abolish the I.R.S. etc. which is long overdue and shows that he has the distinction of being right and wrong at the same time. He's an educated man with a medical degree. But he has his head up his rectum so much that he should be a proctologiist. Not presidential material. To make this short, none of them has my vote. I voted for Newt Gingrich on myabsetee ballot with a great deal of satisfaction knowing that my valuable vote was spent on the best man for the job that wasn't running.

    January 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Robin

    That statement by Willy is the kiss of political death for John McCain

    January 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. mary winck

    Will Hillary nominate Bill to V.P.???

    January 26, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Annell Cowan

    John McCain and Jimmy Carter, two peas in a pod.

    January 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. mark

    Many comments made on this site are so juvenile and petty.Making personal attacks due to race,age ,or appearance is really lowering yourself and a sign that shows your lacck of intelligence on candidates or what they stand for.I woukd like to have more talk online about actual policy over school ground he said she said bickering .I have more to say but feel it would be a waste of my time.

    January 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. myskylark

    Come, come now. Can't you Clinton-haters get a life?

    Oh, my. The Clinton's so ruthless! As if the other campaigns aren't just as ruthless. This stuff is nothing compared to the GOP slime machine. The so-called code words and hidden meanings are really a joke. If Hillary says "Good morning" what she really means is "Vote for me – I'm the white candidate." And the Obama supporters and the anti-Clinton press screams about it from the rooftops. (The same press that was anti-Gore and anti-Kerry, remember?)

    Last point, what's with you lamebrains with the "Billary" bit?

    I though that juvenile level of name-calling was the patented formulaof the GOP – like Democrat Party instead of Democratic Party. Have you noticed that John McCain , out-of-the-blue, has started to say Democrat Party?.

    If Clinton supporters were to make up some stupid name about Obama and Michelle, they would be labeled as ruthless and racist.

    The level of your arguments against the Clinton's are bogus, press-driven, clueless, and paranoid. Other than that, your comments are just wonderful.

    January 26, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. kevin

    Im not sure why everyone is saying Mccain can't win the presidency. If Mccain wins the nomination he wins the race. He gets democratic and independent votes, not just republicans. The other candidates only get their own party's and when the real election comes they'll have to try to get the people in the moderate political center. Mccain already has the middle, he'll steal democrats away from their candidate. Everyone wants "change" but only Mccain steps across party lines at the cost of his political career. He always does it because its good for America. I guess by change everyone wants another Republican/Democrat that is trying not to offend their "base".

    Mccain 08

    January 26, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. BILL5321

    HIllary should start to speak for herself.

    Bill is a cool guy, but this is not his fight to win. Hillary needs to pull her own weight and do her own talking. Otherwise, she should not be running for office of president.

    Make you wonder if she up to the task of being president.

    January 26, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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