February 1st, 2008
03:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Coulter wants Clinton over McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/01/art.coulter.gi.jpg caption=" Ann Coulter said Thursday she'd back Hillary Clinton over John McCain."]

(CNN) - In the latest sign that a conservative backlash is starting to build against John McCain, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said Thursday she is prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton over the Arizona senator in a general election match up.

Speaking on Fox's "Hannity and Colmes," Coulter took aim at the GOP frontrunner, and suggested he was little more than a Republican in name only.

"If you are looking at substance rather than if there is an R or a D after his name, manifestly, if he's our candidate, than Hillary is going to be our girl, because she's more conservative than he is," Coulter said. "I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism."

Coulter took aim at McCain's positions - particularly his fervent anti-torture stance - and said he and Clinton differ little on the issues. Coulter also said she is prepared to campaign on Clinton's behalf should McCain win the party's nomination.

"John McCain is not only bad for Republicanism, which he definitely is - he is bad for the country," she said.

Coulter is the latest high profile conservative to express dismay with McCain's surging candidacy. Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday McCain's rise was the product of a 'fractured' conservative base and an "uninspiring" GOP presidential field.

"He is not the choice of conservatives, as opposed to the choice of the Republican establishment — and that distinction is key," Limbaugh continued. "The Republican establishment, which has long sought to rid the party of conservative influence since Reagan, is feeling a victory today as well as our friends in the media."

McCain has long been at odds with conservative members of his party. — Exit polls from the early-primary states have shown the he has consistently lost among those primary voters who identify themselves as conservative. But he passed a key test Tuesday in winning Florida's primary, the first early contest that only allowed registered Republicans to participate.

Reacting to criticisms from his party's most conservative quarters, McCain told the San Francisco Gate Thursday, "I'll continue to reach out to all in the party, try to unite the party, until everybody realizes that the only way we're going to defeat the Democratic candidate is through a united party."

- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John McCain
soundoff (445 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth Wright

    Wow...finally something smart comes out of her mouth...

    February 1, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. Laurie

    I wonder what Ann Coulter's motivation is – to hurt Hillary or McCain. I don't trust what she is saying on the surface. I think she has some hidden agenda for saying this. It doesn't make sense for her to want to help a Democrat. I think her true motivation is to have voters think if a person like Ann Coulter is going to back Hillary Clinton, then I'll vote for someone else. Don't trust Ann Coulter. By saying this, she really intends for the result to be quite different.

    February 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Coulter's an untalented hack

    Wow. Even though I'm a registered Democrat, I always kind of liked McCain because he's one of the few in Washington to understand the negative influence of Big Money in American politics and to try to do something about it. But if Ann Coulter doesn't like him, now I REALLY like him! Besides, of all issues to challenge him on, she chose his position against torture? Give me a break. I'd take a former prisoner of war's position who has personally witnessed the ineffectiveness of torture more readily than a hateful nut case like Coulter. I will give her credit, though. Like Howard Stern, she always seems to know just the right outrageous thing to say and write to keep people riled up and the next paycheck coming in. I guess the lesson is, if ya ain't got talent, play to the country's half-wits with emotion.

    February 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Thanh

    Wow, this is a big surprise. Someone as hardcore conservative as Coulter backing Clinton and to go as far as entertaining the notion of campaigning for her is quite amazing. Also, saying that she is more conservative than McCain has got to be a major blow. However, it may stir up some trouble for Hillary if this isn't played right.

    Now, if Rush Limbaugh and other conservative figures follow suit then this may become highly interesting.

    February 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Jerry

    Who is she kidding? Coulter wouldn't be able to stand Hillary, and she knows it.

    February 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. piper


    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. aaaa

    Who cares what she thinks or says? Just another right-wing nut job

    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Amused

    This is one of the funniest things I've heard. You go right ahead Ann, Hillary can use all the help she can get. Your McCain-isn't-in-favor-of-torture argument sounds like a winner to me.

    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. fish

    OK - where is the real Ann Coulter ?? I am shocked !! I thought I'd never see the day Ann Coulter would support a democrat. But, I must say she's right about one thing. If you want someone who is going to represent democrats and republicans and focus on what's best for the Amerian people and consider the human race – then you have only one choice – Hillary Clinton.

    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Fearful Rpublican

    God help this country if McCain becomes president. No one person could cause a divided country like McCain. No one person can destroy our economy like McCain. I doubt McCain will even win the Republican primaries. He won one big state, and hardly even that. It was practically a tie, if Florida would divide it's delegates then Romney would still be on top right now. Romney and Obama are the only candidates capable of improving the economy. Thats what we need right now. Not some crazy warmonger killing us and destroying our nation. We need Romney, We need Obama . If comes down to Hillary and McCain for president, i'm writing in a Romney vote, in good conscious i could never vote for either of them.

    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Sue, Michigan

    Geez, an Ann Coulter endorsement will sink Hillary for sure! Go away!

    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Robert S.

    And we should care what Coulter thinks why?

    How about promoting some people on CNN's homepage with more articulate and more rational political opinions?

    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Somebody please just shut her up

    February 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Anonymous

    I have to agree with Ms. Coulter's view on not voting another Republican into office this year, however, when has Ms. Coulter ever been the voice of reason??

    February 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Rob, Rochelle Park, New Jersey

    It figures that CNN would play up Ann's comments. Normally she is treated as a crackpot by the MSM and only used to show conservatives in a bad light.

    I disagree with her comments because at the very least John Mc Cain will always put the counties interest first and foremost. Hillary, like Bill before her, would have a focus group approach to foriegn policy. The Clintons are only concerned with their power and the next election cycle.

    February 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Tom

    And at least Republicans know where she stands on many issues and what she will do to get what she wants. The same can't be said of McCain who has taken certain issues and worked almost exclusively with the Democratic party to get a version of a bill that he likes. It would be different if he was writing bills with a significant amount of bi-partisan support however that has not been the case with issues that he has crossed over on. One has to wonder with as much as he points to his war record if that McCain does in fact feel significan't resentment that Bush (a National Guard member) beat him (a combat veteran) in the elections since he almost portrays the view that his veteran status makes him and only him the worth candidate for the Republican party.

    In the end a Democratic win in the presidential race will serve as a final warning to the Republican party that change is needed and that they need to return to their roots of fiscal responsibility and other principles on which the Republican party was founded (and this would not include most social issues because as much as the federal government likes to think that is their realm of control it is a state issue as long as it does not involve discrimination based on sex, race, religion, or any other reason). The end result of a Democratic win will be the fact they will have to deal with the Republicans using their own tactics, primarily the fillibuster, agains them.

    In the even McCain pulls off a miracle and wins the nomination and the presidency regardless of the fact that he will influence members of the Republican party to not vote it increases the chance of the rise of a 3rd party (conservative or moderate depending on who decides to split from the Republican party). If this were to happen it would only be a matter of time before moderate members of the Democratic party broke off due to the fact that as much as the party would like to deny it there are many members of the party who are fed up with the continued move to the left by the party leadership. If the split was to happen it would be a good thing for America because without a strong moderate and non-decisive leader like Reagen (Only one that comes to mind without doing research since he is obviously not the only one) bi-partisan politics do not exist. It doesn't matter what Pelosi says because at the end of the day currently whichever party has the majority tends to shove their agenda down the other parties throat. And sadly there is no current presidential candidate who has shown themselves to be a true uniter capable of reaching out beyond party lines. The only 2 that truly show any potential to do that are Romney (based on his experience as governor of a Democratic state) and possibly Obama (based purely on the way he speaks and the fact that he doesn't display any level of divisive rehetoric like Clinton does).

    February 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Calvin Rittenour

    Anyone with half a brain that reads this will now want to drop whatever they are doing and support John McCain for President. Any candidate that Ann Coulter supports is a candidate most sane people should not.

    February 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Howard, Shreveport, Louisiana

    I am a Ronald Reagan Republican and I am more than disappointed in Ann Coulter. To think that she would vote for Hillary instead of John McCain is sickening. I do not agree with McCain on all of the issues but he is a good and decent man and is a PATRIOT. He has given more to this country than people like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh ever have. His 5 years as a prisoner of war gives him a unique perspective on torture and war in general. Ann, get off your high horse and join everybody here in the real world. You are giving us Republicans a bad name. I surely hope CNN posts this.

    February 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Debra Austin, Texas

    I could barely get through this article because I was laughing so hard. Two points: 1) who cares what Ann Coulter wants since she represents about .0000000001 percent of the American population;
    2) do you really think this "whatever she is" would vote for Hillary Clinton....oh, I just can't stop laughing?

    Hey Coulter, write a book on your vote and take in another million dollars. What a "call girl".

    February 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Will - Miami, Fl

    This is what happens when the party strays from it's platform (limited government, cut spending, lower taxes, individual liberty, no nation building or meddling in foreign affairs). If the party would rally behind Dr. Paul, we would have a true conservative candidate and win the election in a landslide just as we did with President Reagan.

    McCain is a RINO and needs to go away. Furthermore, I've been watching this race closely and firmly believe that McCain is displaying signs of dimentia. He is mentally unstable. Just look at his "stay in Iraq for 100 years" statement. Does that sound like a man that is mentally fit? I think not. He may be a war hero but there are plenty of those in retirement homes that don't know the name of their wife. Is that what we want for our nominee?

    February 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Jenn, Evergreen, CO

    As if we Democrats needed ANOTHER reason to hope HRC isn't our nominee.

    Obama in '08

    February 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. john williams

    whether she prefers hillary or not..Hillary will still be the next president

    February 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Nicholas

    Ann has finally come to her senses. GO HILLARY !!!!

    February 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Kris

    We don't want her. The day that Ann Coulter has anything to do with the Democratic Party is the day the party loses any remaining semblance of respectability. If what Ann says is true(a wildly unlikely thing I'll admit; I don't think she's ever said a true statement in her life), I'll vote for Obama in a second.

    February 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Steve, Chappaqua, N.Y.

    All you need to know about this story is that BOTH Hannity and Colmes laughed in her face when she made these comments. Why is CNN even bothering to acknowledge her.

    Instead they could at least mention the front page N.Y. Times article yesterday that said that Bill Clinton used his influence to help one of his major supporters to get a uranium mining deal worth billions of dollars. I always wondered what the going price for an ex-presidents help is, now I know: 130 million dollars. Now that's worth writing about.

    February 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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