September 22nd, 2008
02:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton: Hillary didn't want the vice presidency

(CNN) – Sitting on a couch shmoozing the ladies of The View on Monday, Bill Clinton said Hillary didn’t want to be Barack Obama’s running mate, but that she would have taken the job if she was asked.

“She would have been the best politically, at least in the short run, because of her enormous support [in] the country,“ Clinton said. “She said 'If he asks, I’ll do it because it’s my duty.'”

Clinton praised Biden and said he was a “good choice.” He said he had “no real opinion” on whether or not she should have been his running mate, but that the decision is personal and that he chose to stay out of it completely.

Clinton praised John McCain for his time spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and said the Arizona senator had been the only Republican candidate this year who could win the election, but predicted that Obama will win in November because of the state of the economy.

“I've made everyone in the world mad in this election,” Clinton said. “But I genuinely like both of them. I genuinely admire both of them. I think we make a terrible mistake believing we have to find something wrong with the people we can't vote for.”

When asked about Obama’s experience, Clinton said he was the same age as the Democratic nominee when he stepped into the Oval Office. He said he thinks both candidates are experienced enough to be president.

“Having been there, you could argue that no one is ever fully qualified to be president until you take it, because it’s such a unique job, you have to learn things as you go,” Clinton said. “But I think he is ready to be president, and I think McCain is ready to be president, I think you gotta decide which president you want.”

soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. tiffany in ohio

    I know what president i want an its OBAMA the only rational thinking person in this election.

    September 22, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. 50%of americans are illitrate's

    I think clinton should be one sided...
    I dont know where he belongs.

    September 22, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. Herman In LA

    She wasn't running for Veep she was running for the presidency. McShame did not pick any of his running mate so why is this an issue CNN.

    September 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Flap Jack

    hilary who?

    September 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Lucy

    Wish I could vote Bill in for another 8 years. He would fix things up!!

    September 22, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Paris

    I love the fact that Bill never puts his full support behind Obama.

    September 22, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. sophia

    Thanks President Clinton for being non committal. You did nothing to help your party.

    September 22, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. America think for you

    Vote smart this November. Vote good judgment. If you say that our economy is good now, you are an elitist and you do not know our struggle to put food on our bellies and gas in our cars. John McCain that elitist think the economy is good and has no plan to help us. He wants more wars, more tax cut for big corporate that ship our jobs oversees. Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania I know that your economies are hurting and you must vote smart and vote someone who understands your economics’ struggles. It is not time to support someone who does not understand the economy, it is time to take our country back and get our respect back around the world. Vote Democratic this November if you are a true American who put America first. We need change in Washington and the Democratic Party has that change for us this November.

    September 22, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Understandable

    I can understand Hillary not wanting to be VP, same for Obama he didn't want to be her VP. This doesn't represent anything negative about either. If I was on a job interview with another qualified applicant, if he got the job I wouldn't want to be his secretary.

    September 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. McCain lost another one

    ok you have to "decide which president you want"-BC

    that's a good point Bill, but i have to say that any respect i once had for McCain is gone...all of the lies and dirty attacks he has made, McCain still has given no substance only slogans (and most of those he stole from Obama), the fact that McCain has 169 lobbyist running his campaign, sang Bomb Iran, is in bed with Phil Gramm, pick an incompetent VP, has lied about Obama's record as well as his own, has flip flopped on EVERYTHING including his latest on regulations, is against equal pay for women, abortion, wants to continue the Bush tax cuts for the rich and so much more...these are just a few reasons i in all good faith and love of country CAN Not and WILL NOT vote for McCain

    September 22, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Brenda

    I admire the Clintons and I advmire OBAMA. The Democrats are the winning ticket!

    September 22, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Kara

    Vote OBAMA , the SANE choice.

    September 22, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. Pedro Penduko

    What party are you from again, Bill? Sounds like you don't care who wins. What a wasted opportunity!

    September 22, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. wicth

    I can just hear it now, how the woman on The View weren't hard on the Pres. how they didn't pick his bones. I enjoyed this show today would have liked to hear more about some of his projects.

    September 22, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. Mike

    No way, no how, nobama. Obama blames lobbyist, special interest while he has them on his campaign staff. What a hypocrite.

    McCain 08


    Hillary 012

    September 22, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Maggie From Virginia

    That's what that meeting , right after the primaries, between Barack and Hillary was all about. Barack wanted Hillary as his VP but she made it very clear that being VP wasn't in her plans.

    Alright PUMA's and Hillary supporters backing McCain, what's your excuse now? The truth shall set you free!

    September 22, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. think people

    See, people? So many have said it for so long...HRC didn't want it. Now get over yourselves, don't spite the rest of us through sour grapes, and vote the way any sensible Democrat/independent/ Republican with open eyes will–especially those who claimed to ever be a true, thinking supporter of Senator Clinton.

    September 22, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Charles

    Former President Clinton said it. Hillary did not want to be VP so please Hillary Clinton supporters remember what she fought for remember that the Clintons are not the Democratic Party. Remember that the Democratic party is bigger than Obama or the Clintons. If you believe in what Hillary fought for then you must vote for Obama. Hillary herself stated that the differences between her and Obama are small compared to her and McCain. Do we really want someone in office who says that the will cooperate with an investigation in their home state to only flip flop when the become the VP nominee.

    September 22, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. Checkmate Them

    Great that she was willing to take one for the team though ... Now let's see Hillary on the stump non stop for the Democratic ticket.

    September 22, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Paul, NY

    Now can Hilary Supporters believe that?
    No.. is the answer.
    Obama will still be to blame! Even if there are rumours that he will choose Hilary for secretary of state

    September 22, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. ladan

    "I think McCain is ready to be president" Bill Clinton
    i don't think that he's near ready to be president because of economy policy

    September 22, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. Sarah Palin and African Americans in Alaska

    He wouldn't think so highly of McCain if Hillary were running against him. Clinton's, they are never to be trusted.

    September 22, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Kris In Atlanta

    Of course Hillary wanted to be vice president, and like many other DEMS, I had hoped she would get that nod-but she didn't, so let's move on and focus on the things that unite us as Democrats: Real health care for all Americans, getting out of Iraq, boosting the economy, protecting senior citizens, and ensuring civil rights and equal opportunity for everyone. Those are things Hillary believes in, those are things Democrats believe in, and those are things Barack Obama believes in and we need to get him elected in Novmeber.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. McCain for Pres.

    Hillary said she did. Bill and Hillary have no choice but to back Obama.

    September 22, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. Lynn in NM

    Whatever!! Sour grapes. Doesn't look like she's doing much campaigning for him either, is she?

    September 22, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
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