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. T'SAH from Virginia

    Bill Clinton is "RIGHT ON" about the bailout which brings me to this ....

    September 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. America for Obama

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

    McCain isn't ready to be the greeter at Wal-Mart.

    OBAMA-BIDEN 2008-2012

    Clinton is just trying to stroke both sides so he can get his way still no matter who is elected. Bill Clinton is the institution just like Kerry, Bush, Cheney, Gore, Edwards, etc. etc .etc They are all the same greedy family. It's pathetic the media won't call the US government out on this BS!!! Barack Obama is the only candidate in this election, besides Ron Paul, that is honest and represents the people of America. Obama and Paul's are the only two who's familie's will not be directed screwed if they are not elected. McCain's, Clintons, Kerry's, Gore's, Bush's. are all the same. They want to retain power in their elite circles. Obama is anti-institution just like Ron Paul. We have to elect Obama if America wants to know the truth about the last 8 years and the truth about the next 8.

    OBAMA-BIDEN 2008/2012!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. richs

    Who cares what Bill thinks or says? Who cares what those yentas on the View think?

    IS THIS NEWS?????

    September 22, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. sal

    "I think you gotta decide which president you want.” says Clinton.

    One thing is becoming very clear every time you open your mouth: we don't want another Clinton. If this is your idea of party support, you and Lieberman are a perfect match.

    I am sorry now that I supported you during all of your mess.

    September 22, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. pa.joe

    Obama will do for this decade what Clinton did for the 90s.
    That is bring the peace, prosperity, and fairness back that the Bush administration has squandered.

    September 22, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Clinton Supporter

    I can certainly see why Hillary would not want to be the VP. She's better than that. And it fits everything else she's done in her life that she would do it if asked because she would see it as her duty.

    But never underestimate the power of the Democrats to lose even an election like this that should be a no-brainer.

    Hillary got more votes, and she should be the candidate now. She isn't. If McCain doesn't get us blown up in the next four years, perhaps America will come to its senses at long last and put her in office.

    Sarah Palin's overwhelming ignorance and willingness to expose her family to scrutiny that is inevitable is both disgusting and scary.

    She is an awful person, and she is downright mean. Karzai is covering all bases in being willing to "meet" her. Tells this writer that his case for our involvement in Afghanistan is not good as Bush et al would have us believe.

    September 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. I am no more undecided

    Reading between the lines, I think I have gotten my answer.

    Vote for McCain. Thank you Bill.

    Democrat for Hillary.

    September 22, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Jennifer

    I hate to say it, but I thing Bill is in bed with Mc Cain. I have felt this for a while now. And "The View" interview just proved it to me.

    September 22, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Peter (CA)

    Obama/ Hillary would have been nice but it would not have worked. Neither would have Hillary/Obama.

    Right now it's just the Republicans bringing up Hillary in order to cause problems. Any thinking person knows that if Hillary had been chosen, it would have been four months of "failed health plan", "Whitewater", and "Monica". Anything to get the Democrats off of the game.

    But the game is on. The Republicans have failed us on the economy, they have failed us on the environment, they have failed us on foreign policy, they have failed us on education, they have failed us on social policy. 8 years of failure is more than enough.

    September 22, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Matt

    You have to learn to understand Bill. According to the article:

    He praised Biden.

    He said Obama was ready.

    He said McCain was ready.

    He didn't mention that walking disaster Palin.

    September 22, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. RPS

    Bill and Hillary know that by saying that either one could be president they can get their cake and eat it too. If McCain wins, they keep on good terms with him and his administration while she's in the Senate and she can set up for another run in 4 years. If Obama wins, she can accept a cabinet level job or similar and keep in his good graces as well and see what happens down the road.

    Bill and Hillary are very shrewd politicians and know how to plan, too bad they hadn't planned on Obama in the primaries. Guarantee that won't happen the next time!

    Hillary 2012 or 2016..Bank On It!

    September 22, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Laina

    Obama did not ask Hillary because she has NO foreign experience. So, he asked someone who does.
    It had nothing to do with her being a woman.

    September 22, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |

    OMG, CNN please, don't get it started again!

    September 22, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. white independant in small town uSA


    September 22, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Jennifer

    Bill Clinton' s lukewarm endorsement is a travesty..

    September 22, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. Melinda-McCain/Palin Supporter

    I supported Hillary. Now I support McCain/Palin. Obama is not my choice. I did not like him in the primary, and I like him even less now. He is inexperienced and unqualified. His wife is a joke of an American citizen. I do not care what all you bloggers say. McCain has a background of working together with people. Obama has a background of attending a hateful, bigoted church If everyone thinks that is AOK, fine. I do not. I vote McCain. Period.

    September 22, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. Sandy - PA

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. She didn't get it, now says she didn't want it. But she did say she was open to it at the time, that she would do "whatever was necessary for Obama to win." Sounds to me like she fully expected to be the presidential nominee, and that she thenfully expected the vice presidential nomination when she didn't get that. She petitioned enough of her well connected backers to fight for her, didn't she?

    Yeah, just sour grapes. And these days, nobody like Bill Clinton or cares what he has to say anyway. Hillary lost the presidential nomination because of him. But then, she wouldn't even have been running in the first place if she hadn't been married to him. So who cares?

    September 22, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. Patrick

    YAWN. OLD NEWS. WHO CARES. Obama up 3 and 6 with 2 polls in VA..Obama up in Colorado.. WOW.

    September 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. rachel

    I can see Obama supporters are in a tizzy again, because some praises mccain and not just Obama. I can see they will take their hate out on Hillary. People leave Hillary alone. She has done more for Obama than he would have ever done for her had she won. She help raise 5 million for him. While he has barely asked his supporters to help with her debt(a little flimsy by the way hillary needs money at the end of speech doesnt cut it) She could have let the roll call vote go all the way she didnt. Since has campaigned for him in Ohio, nevada, florida, New Mexico, and california(this doesnt even include the appearnce she put in for him at the end of th primaries in June.) She backed out of an rally out of respect for the Obama camp because organizers didnt invite Obama or biden until the last minute. She also started a drive called Hillary sent me to battle ground states for Obama. Obama has done nothing for her. So just get off of her she had done more than any form presidential canidate has done for the winner. Why isnt pelosi and dean out stomping for him ? Edwards the weasel is still hiding, and poor biden keeps making gaffes.

    September 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. lol

    the dnc shoved obama down america's throat. the FL and MI mess, and their crooked caucus's were designed for obama to win. what a joke the democratic party has become. hillary would have been the best candidate for president. sexist obama picked the MAN with a few thousand votes, over the WOMAN with over 18 million. bad judgement and lack of experience are what obama brings to the table.

    September 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Kate Fergus

    The Clinton's are backing Obama because he is the only rational choice. It would be hypocritical for them to back anyone whose political views are 180 degrees in opposition – just as hypocritical as John McCain's change and reform position. After 26 years in the Senate and having voted 90% of the time with George W. Bush, this man cannot take a position that he is a change agent!!! What hypocrisy!!

    Obama/Biden in '08

    September 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. jm from sc

    Comments like that is the reason we as democrats are so divided. Bill Clinton should have said if Hillary had dropped out of the race when she really lost the nomination instead of running to gain the popular vote, knowing well that it wouldn't count, she would have been properly vetted and consider for VP. I am sure the Obama's vetting team looked out for his best interest as the seek a person who fully supported Obama rather than one who was thinking of ways to derail him.

    I love Hillary, but any one with common sense should realize that she dropped out of the race for president during the convention.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Clinton Supporter

    What should Bill Clinton say about how ready either candidate is for the presidency?

    The Clintons are not running for the presidency. Bill Clinton owes Obama and the Democratic Party NOTHING.

    He's been the president – and presided over unprecedented prosperity. The party "leadership" wants to keep him, THE ONLY SUCCESSFUL DEMOCRAT IN A HALF CENTURY, under wraps.

    How dumb can you get?

    His fellow party members show no respect, and very little recognition, of his accomplishments.

    Right now, he's just Mr. Former President. He likes everybody. Whatever you do, I'm not part of it. He's done more than most Americans, living or dead, for this country.

    We owe him thanks. He owes Obama NOTHING. He owes the Democratic Party NOTHING. He owes his fellow Americans NOTHING...GET IT?

    Obama's greed and lust for power got in his way on this one, and he is On His Own. He thought he was so very smart, so savvy, so clever in the way he out maneuvered everyone, Chicago Style.

    And he just can't shake McCain. Obama guessed wrong on this one, as did Howard Dean and Co.

    They deserve whatever they get.

    The trouble is, America deserves better than McCain, and we won't get it.

    September 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. shannon

    People here say they admire both Obama and the Clintons, how can that be, Obama told us Bill Clinton is nothing but a racist. Isn't that what he said. Why would Obama now want the help of a racist to win the campaign, how can you admire that. or was Obama saying anything to win. Has to be one or the other, either he's a racist, and that is unforgivable, or Obama was saying anything to win....which is it.

    September 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Bill, I love you guy, but please get behind Obama and stop trying not to hurt anyone's feelings. You know, as most of us, that McCain/Palin would be a disaster for this country. You know, as most of us, that we need the democrats Obama/Biden in the White House. You know, as most of us, that John McCain is not suited to be President of the United States. We can't afford another government that is not transparent and honest with the American people and the world for that matter. Who are you voting for Mr. Bill? I'm confused.

    September 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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