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. chris

    HillBilly and the MSM are pumping up mccain...enough reason for true conservatives to say no to mccain...message to the MSM stop trying to pick our GOP candidate for us!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  2. Chris

    You guys hit it on the head. McCain is the only candidate who has continually polled well nationally against both Democrat front runners. He was polling well even before his recent comeback. McCain would almost definitely defeat anyone the Democrats nominate. Clinton knows that he is absolutely DESPISED by the Republicans, and only his wife is despised more. By saying her and McCain are great friends, he is attempting to undermine McCain's rise as a pre-emptive strike. A Romney win equates to a democrat president. The neoconservative alliance that elected Bush is broken. Putting someone like Romney in will collect religious right and hard line neocon votes... that's it, and that can't win.

    January 27, 2008 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  3. Bill

    I can't believe a word Bill Clinton says ever since he lied under oath to us. Why do people care what he says when he lies about everything???

    January 27, 2008 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  4. James , Jackson ,GA

    After viewing the option of McCain, Clinton, and a couple of others, I can only ask 'where's Richard Pryor – None of the Above.'
    Surely Republicans and Democrats can find better. I am not impressed with any of the selections on either party. But, I know I do not want a clinton tag team nor a mccain.

    January 27, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  5. Josef

    No thinking American puts any trust in anything Bill Clinton says. Same goes for his screeching wife. We see the future, while their campaign is stuck in the 20th century.

    January 27, 2008 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  6. One Step Ahead

    Naw. It couldn't be that Billary would choose a McCain as a veep if he WASN'T the Republican nominee, could it? You know they aren't taking Obama onboard.
    For that matter if Obama gets the nod, he could do worse than taking McCain onboard. Either of those could give a Guilini/Romney ticket a run for their money.

    January 27, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  7. Scott K

    If these two win I will write in Mickey Mouse for my vote. I refuse to vote for either.

    January 27, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  8. Joe F Pgh PA

    Yes, they are close. They both opposed tax cuts, favor ILLEGAL Immigration, favor limiting free speech (McCain / Feingold, "Fairness" Doctrine), favor Kyoto like accords that will limit the growth of the American economy. Looks like Hillary wants to take us to socialism on a jet plane, and McCain on a train........same result, just a different speed!

    January 27, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Paul Johnson

    Since Billary is willing to play the race card against Barack Obama, and Barack is willing to cover up his radically liberal positions with flowery, "inspiring" rhetoric, what makes you think either Billary or Obama would engage in a "love-fest" with McCain?

    Colin Powell – Bush’s Secretary of State, Rod Paige – Bush’s Secretary of Education, Condoleezza Rice – Bush’s National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State, Elaine Chao – Bush’s Secretary of Labor, Norman Mineta – Bush’s Secretary of Transportation, Alphonso Jackson – Bush’s Secretary of HUD.....the list goes ON and ON!... Why can’t Liberals be more like President Bush, who has a very diverse cabinet that looks like America?

    When I was a boy and then a teenager it was Democrats 'standing in the schoolhouse door' to prevent minority children from getting into the better schools.

    Now that I'm old enough to qualify for AARP membership it is Democrats standing in the schoolhouse doors to prevent minority children from escaping the public schools.

    Nothing has changed except the rhetoric. The Dems were the pro-slavery party in the 1800s, the party of the Klu Klux Klan in the first half of the 20th Century and in the dawn of a new millenia are still the Party of keeping minorities in 'their place'.

    They say that conservatives respect tradition but there are few American traditions older than the racism of the Democratic Party.

    January 27, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. Led Wright

    the reason that it would be civilized is because they are both Democrats.
    Geez i thought we had a two party system in this country.

    January 27, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Gary Vance

    Want more of the same? Vote: Clinton or McCain Both are Senators who have been instrumental in lowest performance ratings for the US Congress in history. They respectively represent what is wrong in our government from both parties.

    January 27, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. Jane

    Has everyone forgotten about the FBI files that the Clintons have? They have
    no doubt plenty ln McCain which is why they want him. Not to mention all of
    the money from the chinese,

    January 27, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Steve


    Graham,Martinez,and now featuring Dr.Juan Hernandez.The two Senators are amnesty pushing members of team McCain while the other Dr.Hernandez is a frequent talking head we see on tv pushing for open borders making statements about Mexicans now and in the future should thingk Mexico first and wrote a book calling illegal immigrants from Mexico the NEW PIONEERS of America.He also is a duel citizen of Mexico and the U.S and was a former member of the Vicente Fox administration.

    McCain has been and always will be a open borders guy he and the Dems have exactly the same position.McCain may be good at guarding the front door but he'll leave the backdoor the border WIDE OPEN.Border patrol have detained many Middle Easterners but countless others have gotten through of that you can be sure of.We will sit out 08 election if McCainis the nominee let's see him win without a lot of Republican votes!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. americanism

    It was a Clinton "aide", not a Clinton "side". Are most journalists too lazy to proof-read their work?

    January 27, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Edward Kelly

    Mccain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-illegal immigration, etc.
    McCain's record speaks for him. He will never receive the Conservative Republican vote. What Clinton says is immaterial.

    January 27, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Ann

    If I wanted to vote for a liberal I would vote for Hillary. Why is it you democarts do not get why we not want McCaine?

    January 27, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Jimmie - NV

    I have to agree with S-positive about myskylark, yes, we are all entitled to our beliefs in what is taking place during the campaigning of the candidates. Yes, Billary is a great name for Hillary because it is obvisous that Hillary is riding on Bill's back to get the nomination. And, yes, Bill will be back in the White House directing Hillary. I commend the person who thought of the name Billary – I love it! It's not name calling – it's a new name to put on the ballot. Bill has a temper and when confronted to state his position about the "racial" thing, he all but blew his stack at the reporters. I am glad the reporters stand up against Bill. Bill needs to go home and do what he does best -NOTHING!

    Remember myskylark, actions speak louder than words and who else is out there attaching the other candidate with "gender" and "race" as the issues. I am overjoyed to see that Obama kicked Hillary's butt in SC. But, Obama and all the other candidates have a long ways to go before being elected to the White House.

    If Hillary's name is on the ballot, I will switch to another party for my vote.

    January 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Maxin

    They are close because they have the same vibration of dishonesty, moral compromise, and underhanded arrogance. I don't trust either one

    January 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Bonnie H. Heiman

    When I was a little girl my Mother, especially during election times, would always
    say, "People who value their privileges above their principles – soon loses both."
    I've always remembered these words of wisdom, especially during election
    time. How true, how true.

    January 27, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. ace

    God Bless George W. Bush!!! A true American, Thank you for the great years you have given us. I have made a ton of money and live in a big house on the lake...Thanks W. and God Bless America..

    January 27, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Fred

    Bill Clinton has become everything he decried in his first presidential election campaign. His unilateral injection of race into the Democratic Nomination process will be viewed as a second tragic stain on his career..

    January 27, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Rich Ravarino

    Hillary is an out and out socialist. Anyone who identifies themselves as conservatives ought to be hearing HUGE warning bells going off in their head as McCain starts to surge right now.
    The problem the last two election cycles is choosing the lesser of two evils – if these two charlatans came out on top would we even have a choice? Maybe a choice of Male or Female but that is about it.

    January 27, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. LDC

    Can't vote for Obama as I don't want to listen to Jessy Jackson or other black leaders get things all messed up whether OJ did or didn't do..

    January 27, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Jack Sanderson

    I believe Bill Clinton was telling the truth. McCain and Hillary are cut from the same cloth. Enough said.

    January 27, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Martin Edwin Andersen

    The idea that Hillary and war-hero John McCain are "very close" is so wrong on many points. including the fact that the Arizona senator has been vocally opposed to the practice of torture while Hillary Clinton supported it until last year–and Bill still does. (And I am not referring here to his conduct on the campaign trail, either.)

    January 27, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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