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. Sally S.

    Why are they sucking up to a creep who told a repulsive joke about their daughter and Hillary? Disgusting.

    January 26, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Tae Nui

    Finally, a potential for a civil campaign. A lot can be accomplished when opponents attack ideas and not the person. It's nice to see that McCain and Clinton can actually sit together and be friends. That's refreshing!

    January 26, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. CB

    What experience does Hillary have...? Failed healthcare attempt.... and the Presidents wife... impressive... lol

    January 26, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. tomw

    with that statement–i now were hillary stands,she is a washed down republican and will help only the rich and powerful. obama 08!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. JDC

    Thank goodness For Bush's Prescription drug program. Hillary can afford all her Prozak and PMS drugs if elected.or, the whole country will need them while she is in office!

    January 26, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Steve Pugh

    It's not going to be an issue. No matter which of the frontrunners win oether nomination, the Republicans will win, becasue none of the Democratic frontrunners are even slightly electable.

    January 26, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. ROMNEY1


    January 26, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. s.positive

    myskylark, your blog shows how dumb you and the likes of you are. If AMERICA is left in your hands, we will become a third world country overnight with china and india around. You just don't get it...

    January 26, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Eli

    People wake up and smell the roses.
    In 2000 and 2004 the country voted for George Bush because he was the one "we most likely would enjoy a beer with"?....No experience but nice guy!

    Are we still so foolish? We need someone with substance NOT fluff. An original.
    Not someone good at paraphrasing great ideas. Someone who stands up quickly
    when knocked down – not a whiner. Lets get with the program!

    We are blessed to have outstanding candidates but we really need someone with
    a track record of success. A hard worker with a viable plan.

    January 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Nick S

    While I think Hillary would beat McCain in the general, he is the most dangerous Republican she could face. Bill Clinton knows this, so he is clearly trying to deter Republicans from voting for him in the primaries by saying the Senators are "close." Smart move, though I don't think it'll work. Bill has always been a much better politican than statesman...

    January 26, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Robert Lingle, Jr.

    This is not a gripping political story. Senators of very different political persuasions have long been friends or admirers of one another throughout American history.

    McCain is conservative. He is just not so strident in his conservatism that he feels the need to tick off every Democrat he knows just for fun. Many congressional leaders in both parties regularly throw red meat to the extreme wings of their respective parties by publically bashing the other side.

    All this says is that McCain does not do that.

    I wish more policiticians in both parties were like that.

    John McCain is the most electable Republican in November and the conservative most qualified to lead.

    January 26, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Jack

    The most civilized presidential elections were for Washingtons first and second
    term of office........he ran unopposed.

    January 26, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Independent

    Can we all just agree that this article is great.
    "First among equals", that would be the apt title for this race, if these two meet.

    Kudos to democracy. God bless.

    January 26, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Judy

    John Edwards, John Edwards, John Edwards, he's the man for President of the United States of America.

    January 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Valerie

    McCain's two sons are serving this country. As a pilot, John McCain proudly served. He undeniably loves the United States. He respects the rule of law and understands the complexities and dangers facing our nation. I, for one, will sleep a lot better at night knowing that President John McCain's steady hand is at the helm.

    Let's give him a chance. He's earned it.

    January 26, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Obama likes square dancing

    Clinton is going to lose south carolina. Her best hope is for second place. Obama is going to win.

    January 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Darrel

    The name Billary is fitting and earned. Is Bill running, or is Hillary? Answer both are, both will have plenty of power to use and abuse. Billary for president – sell us out to the Chinese and the Saudis once again.

    January 26, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. davew

    I'm from AZ, but John McCain let us down on the illegal immigration issue. So now we are for Mitt Romney. We can't trust McCain.

    January 26, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Pat

    McCain, the war hero, earned our respect, but NOT our votes.
    He is wrong on immigration, wrong on tax cuts, wrong on campaign finance, wrong on judicial nominees, and wrong on Guantanamo Bay.
    The McCain/Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Act left our borders open and threatened to overwhelm our schools, hospitals, jails, and budgets.
    McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts…twice! He cannot learn that cutting tax rates stimulates economic activity which increases government revenue.
    The McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Act inhibits free speech rights during the final days before elections.
    McCain’s “Gang of 14” blocked the up-or-down votes for judicial nominees.
    McCain stated that Guantanamo prisoners should have access to attorneys and courts. They are POW’s–not common criminals!
    Finally, the NYT endorsed McCain. If he is their man; then, Republicans, you can be sure he is not yours.
    Vote—but do not vote for John McCain.

    January 26, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. LQ, Rochester MN

    LOL!! Sure she can work with Republicans – she voted for the war!!

    And if you believe she isn't going to play dirty politics if she is the nominee, you are even more naive than I was when I voted McGovern in 1972.

    January 26, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. Jewels

    After seeing that picture in the Drudge Report of 'Her Hillariness' and McCain looking at each other (which linked to this page), some song lyrics came to mind:

    "Me and Mrs. 'C'...We gotta thing...Goin' on!!!"

    January 26, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Ed Cruz

    First Bill tells us that Obama for president is a fairy tail. Now he tells us that the most civil campaign will be Hillary and McCain. Next he will tell us what to eat and when to go asleep. This man just won't retire.......he must have some interns waiting for him at the White House......

    January 26, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. retrometas

    The Clintonistas are absolute garbage, there's a real leech-like nature to the leader of the Clintonistas.

    Some say hate has no place in American polictics. But when you consider what the Clintonistas stand for - insatiable lust for power, pathological dishonesty, contempt for anyone's needs other than their own, contempt for simple decency - the kind that requires an ex-president to leave the White House after a maximum of 8 years, leave Washington itself and never return - perhaps the right kind of hate directed at the right kind of people is healthy.

    We as a nation must dedicate ourselves to ensure that the Clintonistas will NEVER again be allowed anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. again.

    January 26, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. A. Michael

    These elections have brought forward and together some too enthusiastic and power-addicted people – it will get a lot more ugly before it better gets ignored.

    But as for now my biggest complain about the primary is the comeback comparison to a Kindergarten, while a Kindergarten is a nice fun place to be in!

    Understand me right, I love the election circus and all that racing going on, while I make good money with my predictions – but I miss the shame of old elite people when it gets too stupid.

    Right now in SC
    O: 52%
    C: 32%
    E: 16%

    Edwards go home already!

    January 26, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. luke

    Bill thinks everything is a love-fest.

    January 26, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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