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. BarCee

    Hillary vs McCain? No it's gonna be Hillary, Bill vs McCain

    January 25, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Tom, Boston MA

    Clinton's absolutely right about Hillary being outdoing Insane McCain in war-mongering.

    Only, Billiary think it's a good thing....

    January 25, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Unbelievable


    You are perpetuating the bad images of this election. You run that article about black women, making it sound like they are too ignorant to look at anything but race or gender and are confused since they could vote for either in this election. You print everything FORMER President Clinton says like it matters. You are the ones that are carrying on this debate. You are the ones making issues where there are not. Why don't you provide articles that are informative instead of inflammatory. People want to know where the candidates stand on issues – why don't you do an in-depth look at where the candidates actually stand, and write more than a bullet paragraph on it. You have the chance to be a positive force in this election cycle, but instead, you continue to do the glossy articles that have no substance. If I were grading your coverage on the issues of this election as it is stated by the people, I would give you a D-. You are better than that – show us the great journalism ability that got CNN to be recognized as a leader in news.

    January 25, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. David, Santa Maria, CA

    Oh believe me, if Hillary sees that McCain is blocking her grand ambition to be our Great Leader, she'll try and bury him good. Personally I dont see much difference between both of them.

    January 25, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. joe

    hilary and john are close, just another reason to not vote for old man amnesty.

    January 25, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. USMC 98-05

    Frank, MO

    That is great Frank, because Hillary plays a little dirty (little more than the rest of the Democrats) your vote would go to a Republican.


    I'll bet you that if Hillary was the president instead of Bush, we wouldn't be in this mess we are now, but you'd vote for Bush, probably again, because she plays a little dirty.

    So go ahead, vote for McCain,


    January 25, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Rich In Seattle

    YEAH RIGHT! If how Hillary is treating members of her own party is any indication, just think of what she'll do to a Republican. The Clintons don't have friends who stand in their way. The only have people they need to destroy. If McCain was a friend, that's all gone once she sees him in her way.

    January 25, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Outraged

    Stop making this a race issue CNN! Let the brother Obama stand for himself and making his wife the "black wife!" Do you call Bill Clinton the "white husband." No more affirmative crap. Let him stand (or fall) on his own merits amd making him that black guy!!

    January 25, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Ronald

    Hill-Billy 08, Philander and Thief!

    It's not Bill who will get McCain elected, it's Hill!

    January 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. NotWantingto VOTE

    I think CNN is monitoring and screening the comments to make the Dems look like theyre in disarray. Republican Ted Turner still in charge! I dare you to post this!

    January 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Bo

    As an independent, Clinton and McCain are my top picks. I believe they are our most qualfified candidates. If it were to come down to them, it would be a tough decision.

    January 25, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Oliver

    Who cares if they are close? At least they are both civil and experienced and one could watch a debate between the two of them that's about real issues and real concerns – something Obama and Huckabee would never be able to pull off

    January 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. d, kroll

    Slick willie knows what he is doing. Bill Clinton disgusts me. Look what he did to the cigar industry!

    January 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. Gobama

    Daddy Bush was able to follow the two term Reagan, remember?
    However, the Clintons legacy and Vice President, Al Gore, were soundly rejected by the American people.

    There is a lesson in it all: Clintons are selfish, self-absorbed and self-destructive. They destroy their own legacy by debasing the Oval Office and undermining the US Presidency.

    That was the reason the American rejected Al Gore for the bungling bush, who then set out to empty the National Treasury and squander so many American lives and limbs in a mindless Iraq war. The American people weren't ignorant or ungrateful to the Clintons.
    The American people wanted no part of the Clinton legacy or a CLINTON THIRD TERM!

    ABCD = Anyone But Clintons Dynasty!

    January 25, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Me

    Don't believe or trust either one, being Clinton or McCain. Mrs. Clinton lied about her husband and wanted us to believe her tales.

    McCain divorced his first wife, after a car accident made her to ugly to look at. He is backed by Al Hoffman, who made sure that all of the Bushes, got exactly what they wanted in life.

    Nope! Not interested in any more people with their own agendas. We have suffered enough in this country with bad presidents for too many years.

    It is hard to think of one that was honest and decent. Roosevelt had his mistress. Kennedy had whomever he wanted. Nixon wanted to be king. Clinton couldn't be trusted with a lollipop.

    We have no respect, in the rest of the world. This country has become a joke. To think that any "leader" would allow the barbs that are thrown at us economically is a crime in itself.

    Gas prices. Mortgage frauds. Investor scams. Health crises. What more can occur to a country that is struggling to survive?

    The food is imported, as far as meat, fish and produce. The automobiles are put together after the parts are shipped in to the states. The electronics are made overseas.

    What are WE doing here for ourselves? Who is helping us? Where is the leadership?

    Nope! I do not want to see anyone elected that has commited adultry. I have no respect for the back-biters. Cannot deal with those that take money from the questionable crooks that they deal with.

    Clinton took money, and shaked the hand of the man that handed it to him. Now, he is in prison. Guilianni plays games in the dark. We still don't know who he is dealing with for his money.

    I'd rather see Romney take the first position, if it means that he was backed on his dime only. Not having to pay back anyone. Huckabee seems honest.

    Edwards seems ok. But, the others make me want to cry. I just don't trust them.

    As I sit here, worried about how to pay the bills next week, I only dread more years of the same. No one in Wash., DC that we can be PROUD of.

    January 25, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. chuck

    I think it's becoming increasingly obvious that Bill Clinton believes HE is running for president again, and he may be right. But I wish his ambition would allow him to retain a little dignity. He had made great strides in becoming a respected elder statesman, and he is squandering that legacy daily.

    From these posts it's clear he is in the long run doing far more damage than good for himself, his wife and his party.

    While I do believe Hillary could be a successful president, I would love to see an Obama/Edwards ticket.

    January 25, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Independent Thought

    One thing Bill forgot to mention is he doesn’t know who the third party candidate is going to be. We Independents are going to have a say in this as well. Wonder how Bill would feel if perhaps Mr. Gore decided to run as an Independent, not saying that he is……but he has started stating his stance on issues and who better to put the Clinton’s in there place. Remember he hasn't said that he wouldn't consider the possability.

    January 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Mark, Tampa, FL

    McCain is close with Hillary.

    McCain is close with the New York Times.

    McCain is close with Ted Kennedy.

    McCain is close with Russ Feingold.

    McCain is close with Joe Lieberman.


    No more McCain Amnesty!

    January 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. john

    The Clintons coasted to victory in '96 running against another old war horse,
    Bob Dole, and know how to use that playbook again in '08. The question
    posed is whether the GOP is going to repeat that old mistake again?

    January 25, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Lev Klinemann, CA

    Civilized campagn?

    I dont think so, as much as I respect McCain, I hope Hillary beats him, and she probably will. Hillary is giong to go for the throat (well her people are, she'll stay out of it herself, thats just how it works), and the GOP base are not crazy about McCain. Its going to get bloody, and Hillary will be the one standing, why you might ask?


    Al Gore took the high road, he actually won, but Bush got into the whithouse.

    Kerry took the high road, he could have destroyed Bush, Bush won the election.

    If John McCain takes the high road, and he will probably try (at least in the beginning) he will lose.

    Just the way it works folks.

    January 25, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Jimmy Baldwin (SC)

    Great – Hillary is a right wing Republican then?

    January 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. aware

    Hillary 08

    Sounds good to me! 🙂

    Obama next time around! Maybe in a few years he will be able to mount a more substantive campaign. I hope so!

    Please remember, even though we might not like it, all politicians and ad makers "run with scissors" or cut and paste selectively. Come to think of it surrogates do too.

    January 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Ruth

    I just have to wonder is Bill is underhandedly trying to sabatage his wife campaign. You know his guilt over his indiscretions must be haunting him and his wifes eloquent and forgiving attitude must eat away at him every day. Now wouldnt it be a tremendous blow to Bills ego if his wife ended up doing a better job running the country than he did?

    Has anyone noticed that there are no articles about Ron Paul? The man who is ahead of Rudy Guiliani? The man who came in second in Nevada? The man who was only asked 6 questions during the debate?

    Is there anyone out there that has noticed the biased , degraded, manipulative way the media excludes candidates?

    I have also noticed that my post honoring Ron Paul have been viciously deleted.
    Not just here but at the other networks. HMMMM?

    January 25, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Chief

    Obama backers sound like Hannity. Are they truly Democrats? They trash Hillary for being negative and then are totally vile when they mention her. Where does this vile-ness come from. Is this vile behvior coming directly from the Obama campaign.
    Could be Bill and Hillary right about him. I intend to vote for Hillary, but I will vote, and vote for the Democratic nominee.

    January 25, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. JB in CA

    He's probably right. Hilary would play nice while Bill played attack dog.

    January 25, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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