September 22nd, 2008
02:15 PM ET
13 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. Debby

    So he must think Palin is experienced to since she is a Governor just like he was and didn't have an ounce of foreign policy experience. I feel sorry for Pres. Clinton he has to back Obama for his party not because he is qualified. Hillary's economic plan would have helped us more out of this mess without all these taxes Obama will put on us.

    September 22, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Lynn in NM

    Is she going to take the position when Biden drops out of the race after the first debate? That's the rumor going around.

    September 22, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. suzyku

    I long ago stopped caring about what Bill Clinton thinks! It's time, past time he stood up and said Obama is the best choice for this country! His half hearted responses are stale!

    September 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Pennsylvania

    Hillary is better off not being the VP nominee. Obama will lose this election and stil try to blame Hillary. She cant win for losing.
    But Obama continues to send her all over to stump for him, because he knows she is incredibly popular.

    September 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Joyce, nj

    he's just calling it the way it is. it's really up to the american people what kind of president the country wants.
    for those that think barrack is a radical change and want to go for something that feels safe they might go for mccain.

    but then again, this is the time when america needs to try something different. obama has the best grasp of the issues. and a vp pick that he could actually rely on important issues such as foreign affairs. mccain's selection is a dangerous one.
    because of his vp pick, i for one will not go for mccain. apart from his seeming lack of attention to details and grasps of issues.
    america can't afford these types of risk anymore. america needs calculated risk. obama is risky because he is young and new to the scene. but we've witnessed for over a year now how he runs things and his judgements and temperament and intelligence. he is what i would call calculated risk.
    i would go for that.

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

    why would she want to be vise president for a man who could only win by labeling his opponent a racist. Why would she give up every thing she believes to run with a man who supports FISA and the Cheney Energy bill. The only way Obama can win is to tell his ignorant followers that everyone is a racist, and that working women are bad mothers. Hillary is better than this, and thank god she didn't team up with this empty suit. He has to whine to Bill Clinton now in order to win, the same man he called a racist. What a desperate joke this man is!

    September 22, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. Silence Dogood

    "...have no choice but to back Obama."

    We all have choice – we can vote our conscience and vote Green Party. Don't let the empty corporate suit tell you what to do.

    September 22, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Susan


    September 22, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. james

    Of course she didn't want to be the VP....She wants to be president, but she will have to wait until 2012. She knows Obama can't win.

    September 22, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. FL4OB

    I believe there are bigger plans for Hillary Clinton in an Obama administration (cabinet post, Supreme Court, Senate leader, etc.).

    No way, no how, no McCain-Palin

    Eight is ENOUGH

    September 22, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |

    It is all for the best. Really, Bill.
    We can have a fresh start. The young people know that it is time.

    Palin, as a woman, is the worst pick McCain could have made, but
    McTrick had his fun with it.

    Out with the old and in with the new. Its someone else's turn.

    Experience? Did Bush have experience. He was partying when his
    dad was Pres. And, as for McCain and experience? OMG. He wants
    to go to war with Russia and Iran. That would be 4 wars at one time!!!.

    I am very happy about the real possiblity of Obama Biden win.

    VERY HAPPY. I like Obama and Biden. They both tell the truth to
    the American People, which is what our good Country deserves.

    September 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Jan

    I think I Bill Clinton a democrate???

    September 22, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  13. The View from here

    Don't get me wrong. I think Bill Clinton was the very best president this country ever had BUT I don't think he wanted Hillary to be president. Just think about it. He was angry most of the time he was out on the campaign trail and did and said a lot of things that always put Hillary in a negative light as far as the press was concerned, which reflected back to the public. Lets get real. Can you see the two of them 8 years down the road IF she had been elected. With those two egos, they wouldn't have been able to live in the same house... LOL...

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

    Clinton showed why is so different from Obama and his followers. Bill Clinton has is not a hater. Clinton has done whatever Obama has ask of him in this campaign. It is Obamas responsibility to sell himself to voters across this nation.
    There is a reason Clinton left office with a 62 percent approval rating.

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

    What a lie,the Clintons are tryin to hurt Obamas chances of winning in November,did you noticed when Obama was trailing in the polls after the republican convention the clintons was no where around,but when Obama regain the lead lastweek the Clintons are everywhere prasing sarah palin,its obvious they dont want obama to win,its obvious hillary wants to run in 2012,so the Clintons are up to no good

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

    September 22nd, 2008 6:06 pm ET

    "I think McCain is ready to be president" Bill Clinton>>>

    I'm sure we will see this soon in a McCain ad. Never mind the fact that he also said Obama. Was ready also,. Thanks a lot Bill.

    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Marie

    I love all the Obama supporters here who think Bill Clinton should support Obama. OBAMA CALLED HIM A RACIST, who would support someone after being called that. Bill and HIllary Clinton spent their whole lives working for the rights of others, and along comes Obama and spews his hate, and now you whine when Bill Clinton just won't accept Obama's dirty politics. Maybe that's your idea of hope and change, it sure isn't mine, and it must not be Bill Clinton's either. What a joke!

    Anyone but Obama 08

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



    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. lillietoo

    Read "John McCain, In His Own Words" and "Meet John McCain, Part I" at and judge for yourself what McCain's own words not only say about his position on the issues, but what they reveal about his character.
    Vote for Real Change

    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. Aaron from Ohio

    I believe Bill when he says that Hillary didn't really want the VP job. She wanted the top spot and the Vice Presidency wasn't it. Second place on the ticket isn't what she ran for. I'm not really sure she would have even accepted the VP spot. My guess is that she'll go for the New York Governorship when it comes up to burnish her resume for 2016. Hillary is not the type to take a back seat to anybody. John McCain needs to watch his back. Governor Palin knows she is more popular than he is and I think she has plans of her own and Senator Mccain isn't part of them.

    September 22, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. PUMA 4 HILL

    Come on Bill, you can say it. Hillary and you and all us PUMA PAC supporters know what happened in the Caucuses. We all know Hillary is the REAL winner with the popular vote and the battleground states...

    Check out CAUCUSCHEATING.COM if you Obamabots want to know what your cult leader really did.. of course if you were involved you already know.

    McCain '08 for Clinton '12

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

    That last statement Bill Made, sounds a bit bipartisian to me.
    Whose side is he on, for GOD's Sake???? OMG. I think Bill has
    to do better than that!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. Janine

    I admire the Clintons. Bill said it right. Both McCain and Obama are ready to be President. You don't have the experience to be President until you are President. You have to choose what kind of President you want. Obama's plan is closer to Hillary's and McCain isn't the type of person I want to be President. It's scary that he lies so much and he seems like a loose canon with "Bomb bomb bomb Iran".

    September 22, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. Ben

    JOBS . . . I haven't heard either candidate talk a great deal about how they are going to work to create more jobs. It was the creation of jobs in the New Deal that allowed us to recover from the Great Depression and spending more $ on bailouts without creating more jobs nationwide isn't overly bright.

    I'm for Obama, but the man needs to come through with a reasonable economic plan in a timely fashion rather than just blame others.

    Baltimore, MD

    September 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. FactCheck

    > McCain 08
    > then
    > Hillary 012

    Bwa ha ha ha... funniest thing I have read. Trust me, if Obama doesn't win, his supporters will come out in drove and elect Miss. Pitt-Bull Vice President the next leader. What's good for the goose...

    September 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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