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. Zelda, MS

    "As a dem..if it's McCain vs Billary…I'm either not voting or voting for McCain…any one but the Clintons!! This is not a Monarchy!"

    Here! Here! Kurt in Chicago. I'm with you. I am a true Anti-Hillary Democrat!!!!

    January 25, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Sean

    Bill can claim Hillary isn't divisive all he wants. Much like a lot of what he's saying on the campaign trail, it's not even close to being true, but he can say it.

    Fact is, Hillary is undeniably divisive, and would lose to McCain. I'm a registered independent, and between the two, I'd take McCain in a heartbeat. Make it Obama and McCain though, and I'd vote Obama.

    January 25, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Connie

    Which goes to prove that Hillary is more Republican than Democrat. Wake up Democrats!

    January 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. Herman P Sperman

    Hillary Clinton is a liar. Bill Clinton's endorsement of John McDole is the kiss of death.

    January 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. Tim

    I've got an idea, if those win their party nominations, why not let the general election determine who gets to be president and the other one can be vice president and they can team up to raise our taxes, open up the borders some more, and help prop up some more dictators/rulers to fight today's maniacs who were our allies in times past. All this while the country continues to slide down the toilet. The only candidate making any sense is that Ron Paul guy who everyone (media and other candidates) write off, laugh at, scoff at, and otherwise dismiss him as a nut.

    Hope we survive this mess...I have kids and care about the future of this country. History shows us that all great empires/civilizations rise and eventually fall. Where's the stinkin' common sense, personal responsibility, and work ethic that made this country great...please, none of this war hero stuff because McCain has been a political inside forever and we all know what a scheming, "say-anything-to-get-elected" windbag Hillary (and Bill) is.

    January 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. james

    starting today, mccamnesty will begin a skydive with no parachute...rudy is going to beat him in florida and mccain will be done!!!! rudy will then get his votes back in ny,nj,conn,cal !!!! thank you new york times and the clintons for your important contribution to the demise of mccamnesty

    January 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. BILL5321

    Why can't Hillary talk for herself. Isn't that the point of having a Woman President. A Women President should do her own talking and not have some man that is not running for office do it for her.

    January 25, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. Shirl

    Hopefully this will but both Hill/Bill & Cain out of the race. They all think alike.

    Pick a real conservative to be the GOP canidate..Is there anyone out there that's a real conservative? .... The best one's had to drop out becasue they wouldn't agree to go along with what the GOP wanted them to say & do.

    But you never know one may "pop" up any time!

    January 25, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. Anon

    If only Hillary was fighting so vehemently for soldiers, sailors and marines in Iraq.

    Not every child has the chance to make a 6 figure income immediately upon graduation like yours, Hillary...

    You are seriously deluded and out of touch with regular Americans.

    January 25, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. ITS JO

    THIS, is just another ploy by Bill, as he does NOT want Hillary to have to face say,
    Mitt Romney-the best one for the Presidency-he has the background to get this country moving in the right direction. The Clintons DON'T want to face Romney, with their "sordid background". The problem for me, is that McCain, is a RINO, and I don't trust him-especially if Hillary aligned herself with him, to pretend that
    she made the big effort to "cross the aisle in appearing bi partisan". McCain has done too much with the extreme Left Dems, and did NOT want the Bush Tax Cuts to continue....AND, he is really for AMNESTY FOR ILLEGALS. He has his name on too many Dems projects, when they NEVER from day one, wanted anything to do with being bi partisan as Bush suggest everyone could be. McCain is mean spirited, he is too old-admitted that he knew little about the economics of the country and keeping the wheels of economics running. Panders for votes, just like Hillary, and that, is just too much – Bill KNOWS BY PLAYING UP MCCAIN, THAT IT WOULD BE EASIER FOR HILLARY TO WIN, AS HE WOULD BE "NO STRONG OPPONENT FOR HER....THAT'S WHY THEY ARE TALKING UP MCCAIN.

    January 25, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. pteka

    So Hillary can be "very close" to a current republican and it's OK but Obama makes a general remark about Reagan and he get's accused of favoring republicans ideals. I'm totally confused.

    January 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  12. chas holman

    God I love this country.

    This election cycle is not only going to break new grounds and open new thoughts, we have candidates who are fresh and exciting and others with age old wisdom and experience, old white women and young black men, ex POW's and those who think a war is not worth fighting, a Babtist and a Mormon, a short person and a tall person.. so many people.. OUR people..

    These are really exciting times..

    God I love this country.

    January 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Jenny

    The Media needs to stop playing the race card. OBAMA and HILARY are both good people.The political pundents are twisting everyone's words. We, the voters already know who we are going to vote for. I hope that Obama and Hilary continue to run their campaign as they see fit. I wish them well. May the best one win. I am a REPUBLICAN and I like them both. Republican Ted Turner is in charge. If you're fair POST THIS.

    January 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Steve

    Ronmey just won the Republican nomination.

    January 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. RT

    Bill says Hillary and McCain are close pals. The NY Times endorses McCain and Clinton. McCain is doomed.

    January 25, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. SweetPea

    I just removed my name from the McCain e-mail list. Anyone who admires HRC that much cannot be my candidate.

    January 25, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  17. PS

    Bill didn't do McCain in, the NYT endorsement did.

    January 25, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Patty

    Is this supposed to be news?!!!!

    January 25, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Sidney

    I'll bet McCain was thrilled to get that kind of endorcement from Bill..Not
    Go Mitt!

    January 25, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. James, Missouri

    I agree with a previous post...Sen. Clinton can't even run a civilized campaign against a fellow Democrat, so how can we expect anything but far more bitterness in a general election.

    This sounds, in part, like a feeble attempt by the former President to make McCain look bad to the Republican base just as he is trying to hold off Romney in a key Florida primary.

    January 25, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Mark

    If this quote is true it tells me that Bill Clinton wants desperately to run against a GOP candidate other than John McCain. Otherwise, slightly transparent. I voted for McCain in the 2000 SC primary and again last Saturday.

    January 25, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. Mike

    "Republican Ted Turner"?

    Are you kidding me? He is one of the biggest contributors to NARAL and Planned Parenthood and in 2006 he contributefd over $300k to Democrats.

    Stop hanging out on blogs and learn some facts. God knows how many other wrong opinions you have due to a basic lack of knowledge.

    January 25, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. Lee

    Hey Bill and Hil...what do you suppose caused Sandy Berger to risk prison in order to steal documents from the National Archives ????????

    January 25, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. julie

    Hillary 08 !

    January 25, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Sidney

    Let's see should we be looking for Chelsea Clinton in 2012 ? Gee we could go back to the good old days when we were part of the British monarchy

    January 25, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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