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. Joe

    Well, of course. McCain is more dimocrat than republican. Why vote for McCain the pseudo socialist when you can have the true socialist in Hillary?

    January 25, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Dave

    Is this supposed to make us feel better about Hillary?

    January 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. Layla

    Both Hillary and McCain would be disasters! My choice? A Romney/Thompson ticket!

    January 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. maxmcgloin

    After this primary I am sure the Clintons would knee cap Gandhi to be President.

    January 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Juan Carlos(Vegas)

    Hillary or McCain is what we need. No Hope, No CEO's

    January 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. hyd

    Gimme a Break!!!

    January 25, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Joe

    CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC and all the drive-by print media are only ones who believe anything 'Bubba C' says. He's the ultimate con-man.

    January 25, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. Maggie, NJ

    The thought of either the "Return of the Clinton Era" or John McCain as President makes me fear for the America that my new grandson will grow up in! Neither truly wants to secure our Southern border, campaign rhetoric aside.......Neither thinks that people who educate themselves, work hard and achieve any degree of financial security have any right to what they have earned.......(please notice that they are very secure financially themselves for various reasons)......can we tolerate another Clinton in the White House to bring our standards and morals even lower in this country? At 63 myself, I think that John McCain is too old....aside from my political differences with him. We are in a global ecomony now that needs someone who understands, from his gut, how we need to operate within it to survive, especially with the security threats we face. I support Romney as the only candidate who has the natural abilities..........and none of the taint of the corruption that reaks from Washington.......Please consider him!

    January 25, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Jeni

    I like both Clinton and McCain. If the latter does not win the Republican nomination, wouldn't a Clinton/McCain ticket be wonderful and innovative? I would be so glad to see a ticket reach across petty party lines.

    January 25, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Mike

    After I have watched several reporters ask people on the street questions about the election coming up I am postive that we should not let the people elect the President , to many of them are just either to stupid or uninformed and most of them don't have a clue about anything. I 'am suprised that they can get home after work.

    January 25, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |

    Juan McCain and her thighness, both hate conservatives, so it's understandable why they are so close.

    January 25, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Andrew

    Kids in my high school were friends with McCain all the time. It was no big deal.

    January 25, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Jack

    I think it's a ploy by Clinton to try and cost McCain Republican votes! Next thing you will know, he will say that McCain is for illegal immigration, voted agains Bush's tax cuts and wants to give terrorists Geneva Conv rights.

    January 25, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. c'est moi

    Lemme guess – she's got John's in a lockbox, too?

    January 25, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. Pat Mitchell Aptos CA

    When McCain ran eight years ago I recall him saying, when it appeared Hill would be the Democratic nominee, "I'll beat her like a drum." He may be polite, but friendly?!

    January 25, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. Furious

    CNN–It's interesting how you screen out responses you don't agree with. I bet you won't print this one: Liberals are in the tank for McCain because he and Mrs. Clinton are one and the same. If McCain wins, they still get their liberal policies enacted. If McCain loses, they still get their liberal policies enacted. I dare you to print this. Bet you won't !!!

    January 25, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Brian

    John McCain is a NWO / CFR / Bilderberg puppet. Ron Paul 2008

    January 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. Patch

    Slick Willie strikes again. Every statement he makes is dynamite. This one, "She and John McCain are very close," is no exception.

    If you're in the GOP, and running against McCain: You hit him hard in Florida saying "He's as close to a Democrat as you can get as a Republican." Marginalizing him as a moderate, only adds to his further detachment from the GOP base.

    If you're a Dem., you encourage the Party to realize how close a November election between Clinton and McCain would be (and how uncertain a Democratic win of the White House would end up becoming).

    As to the level of "friendliness" these two dynamic politicos will be as Party Nominees, just look back at the two of them making an appearance on Meet the Press back in 2005. They were sitting side by side in Iraq discussing their collaborative work on the funding and progress of the Iraq and Afghan wars. Buddy buddy indeed. They even mused over a Clinton/McCain or vice-versa ticket in 2008.

    Same old politics. Well, so much for "change"?

    January 25, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  19. Debie Pruitt

    Like each other. They are so alike in beliefs that people in the GOP should worry.

    January 25, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. Anonymous


    January 25, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. David McConkey

    Say it isn't so. Hillary and John McCain are a "couple"; I just can't see it. Liberal, quitter, dictator, get even, my way or the hiway, kicking butt and taking numbers, etc is Hillary's way of leading. McCain-I thought-all this time was strong of heart and will, and clearly a conservative. Somewhere in this relationship lies the real truth. As a result of this confussion, I am for sure not voting for either of them. DMc

    January 25, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. J. McKinney SW MO

    I can't get over some of these posts. Words misspelled, words missing, sentences that don't make sense. And so many repeating things that they think sound "convincing" to slam the Clintons, but used incorrectly, so that the posters often sound like the "idiots" they ask if we think they are. I think most of these Clinton hating posts are by teens having fun roiling up the waters, and/or by Republicans. Mostly uneducated Republicans, apparently. Also obviously by people who just repeat the hatred spewed by previous posts. EDUCATE YOURSELVES, PLEASE, PEOPLE!
    Also I get a kick out of all who say they WERE for the Clintons, but now blah blah….
    They never intended to vote for Hillary, so it would be nice if they quit making this foolish claim. And if you are so shallow and childish that you will vote Republican if your candidate doesn't get in……..you were never much of a Democrat in the first place. GROW UP, PEOPLE. Learn to spell and write, and when you have educated yourself, you will vote for HILLARY!!!

    January 25, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. VahMonter

    McCain and Clinton understand the legislative and political process. If one or the other is elected we will finally see progress on the issues.

    In contrast to Romney's message, McCain presents a positive approach to governing and is the ideal Republican nominee. For all but four of the past thirty-two years, the White House has been occupied by a former Governor. The result has been gridlock and partisanship rather than progress and cooperation on the issues important to the American people.

    Mitt Romney is wrong for the Republicans and wrong for America.

    On the Democratic side, all three remaining candidates have the skills needed to work with others to move important legislation through the House and Senate.

    Whether we have McCain, Clinton, Obama or Edwards taking the oath of office in 2009 is not as important as having someone other than an ex-governor occupying the White House. Thirty-two years is far too long to have our government held hostage by partisanship and bickering.

    In 2008 we need to elect a President who has spent time in the U.S. House or Senate and understands that real change comes from working with others rather than ranting and raving about how Washington is broken. While the premise of Romney's criticism is essentially correct; little has been done to address a multitude of problems, we do not need another former Governor with no experience in the legislative process.

    January 25, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. Curtis

    The Clinton's must really not want McCain to get the GOP nomination if they are making statements like that

    January 25, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. Jim Beavers

    TweedleDee and TweedleDumb are the same. Why would it not be civil?

    January 25, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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