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. Independent in MI

    Never voted republican, but I will this year if Obama gets the dem nomination. He complains too much and refuses to provide any specifics.

    McCain 08

    January 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. ap

    People keep wanting to highlight their dislike for the Clintons and how they have made this primary about race. Does anyone think that Barack is equally as responsible? He did recruit the most famous african american woman in the world, oprah. How does this seem to fly under the media radar? He surely did not recruit her to come to Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada but rather South Carolina. This was not playing the race card? I think everyone needs a reality check. It is all in the spin and both candidates have their issues but surely Obama has been getting a free ride from the press.

    January 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Yeleverton Smallt

    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 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Barbara West

    I am so fed up with Cliton and and Mckane, do they think there is no one alse to vote for??? well for me I just wont vote, He is to old very nice Man and love him for all he has done and all he went thru in the warThank you. for cliton, well we know where she has been and I just dont like her she just loves going to be a President she has so much of a high horse my goodness. For Obama, he is young and makes it real good he cares about the family, and hey, thats what we need . just to let you know I am 7o year old white female , I like to vote for the person and what he's going to do and has done one thing for sure he is a fiter and God Bless him. if this is all we have and obama, or Edwards dont run , it would be the first time I wont vote for President thanks for letting me let off steam

    January 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Big Al, KC Missouri

    They are all members of the CFR. Google it people. Vote for Ron Paul and save our country. Ron Paul is the enemy of these globalist sell-outs. I will never vote for either Body Count Hillary or POW covering up McClown. Period!!

    January 25, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Jim in Orlando, FL

    So, if it ends up Hillary against McCain in the General Election, she'll be singing "Kumbaya" ? Yeah. Sure.

    January 25, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. jake

    God help our nation if these two become our only choices. We don't need or want the 2 headed' multi-personality beast that has shown up as the democratic candidate. she isn't responsible, doesn't have any experience and he is the only modern president to be impeached and disbarred for lying. yes biily the majority of the americans do know your mental illness regardless what you try telling the press you don't control the majority. McCain and hilly been in bed to much with the kennedys. Vote your conscious Americans not what billy and hilly lie to you about.

    January 25, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. Jeremy

    Bill Clinton is no idiot. He knows that McCain is Hillary's biggest threat to the presidency and positioning them as very "close" and good friends hurts McCain in the primary.

    January 25, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Laura

    Barak needs to put on some big boy pants, and quit whining. Welcome to politics on the World Stage!

    It seems he doesn't like to have his record questioned why?

    If you are going for president be prepared to be investigated, prosecuted, and persecuted. Everything you do will/should be scrutinised in the minutest detail.

    That is what it is all about, the press so far is giving you an easy ride. Just wait they will turn on you, or your wife or a family member. If you don't like it you'd bette quit now.

    January 25, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. pax ton

    Who believes a liar? An idiot.

    January 25, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. sukhi (canada)

    As an outside observer, living in Canada, I am just shocked that the American voter is NOT offended by the tactics of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    I mean, this was a president I adored, and thought he had a "a special affection" for visible minorities, and the need for equality.

    This husband and wife team, is full of disdain for anyone who threatens their pursuit of power. How undignified for a former president to be acting in such a demeaning manner.

    I hope Democratic voters get their head out of the sand, and realize another Clinton Presidency will be full of hate, scandals, polarization, and above all getting nothing accomplished for the American People.

    Wake up America, there is too much at stake for another Bill and Hillary roadshow.

    January 25, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Tom

    I guess that means we'd have three presidents running the country–Hillary, Bill, and John. Maybe it would be Bill sitting in his Oval Office chair, lighting a cigar for John McCain (hiding underneath Bill's desk) while Hillary comes in with the morning mail. What a neat arrangement!

    January 25, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Another Clinton "spin." What a joke!!

    He's desperately trying to get people behind his wife's candidacy. . .come on folks, don't let this happen.

    January 25, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. John

    This is just slick willie doing his thing. He thinks that Romney will be easily defeated in a general election. NOT SO! If this trick works, and I don't dispute that McCain and Hillary are buddy's because they share political idealogies, but if it works Romney will upstage her in every debate.

    January 25, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. Billy J Jenkins


    January 25, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Antony

    Karen Reimer says "millions dead in Iraq"??? I say "Prove it"

    January 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Momaduke, Farmington NM

    Don't they make a cute couple.
    Maybe it should be a Hillary McCain ticket. Oh yea! That's right, McCain is a .. .. "republican" ! NOT

    Keep up the good work, Bill, next to


    you, Hill & Mccrap look like a bunch of idiots.

    January 25, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Actually, from the Republican side, I like Mitt Romney.

    January 25, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Karen

    My guess is that somehow Heath Ledger got Bill's medication.

    January 25, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. anon

    Bill tells another whopper- like first thing Hillary will do is send he and George H. Bush around world together to repair image- that was another one. The guy is a pathological narcissist and she's an advantagous enabler

    January 25, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. Paul, Atlanta

    I like Obama but I cannot vote for Obama for prez because if we consider this country to be a mega business then we cannot bring an unexpeienced CEO to run a mega business which has been a failure for the last 8 years.

    But i will vote for Clinton/Obama 08

    January 25, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. Maria

    Wake up people!!!! Hillary may have her husband out there campaining for her but so does Obama have his wife. If you think we are reading EVERYTHING that is said or "stated" in the news, then you are very nieve people. It would be real neat to see a Black man in the White House or a Woman. What everyone is missing here is who is the best one for the job. Personally I am an independent, I live in Arizona and have seen what McCain has done for this state and quite frankly I am not impressed. On the Democratic side, I could NEVER EVER EVER vote for someone who refuses to say the pledge of alligence like Obama does. He just stands there with his hand on his thigh. What a good way to show how patriotic you are! Hillary on the other hand has the most experience, better ideas, and has always been for the people and community far before she ever met Bill. Do the research! My vote is for her because I know she would be the perfect person for the job.

    Deep down you know it to be true as well.

    HILLARY 2008!!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. ZedLoch

    They are pretty close in their hawkish stance towards the Middle East and Iran. Like two peas in a pod.

    But I'm going to second "Unbelievable" in that there is too much coverage of Bill Clinton, and not enough coverage of the candidates. Really, we should be scrutinizing the issues, not what race or gender favors what candidate, or how much any candidate likes the Republicans. That kind of stuff is best left on the playground.

    It may get you ratings, but it won't help our country.

    January 25, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. ChanRobt

    The Machiavellian Bill Clinton does it again.

    Obviously he does not want the Clintons to face McCain in November. So he attempts to give poor McCain an endorsement calculated to be fatal to his nomination.

    Are the Republicans dumb enough to fall for that one?

    We'll find out soon enough. Although this, and the other race, could get decided at the conventions.

    January 25, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. Adam

    The statement denies the real reality. If the election is between mccain and clinton we already know what the policies will be as they are cut from the same cloth.

    McCain just didn't have to walk back his war position as he has a republican primary not a democratic one.

    January 25, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
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