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. This soccer mom can whip your hockey mom any day!!!

    You "we will never vote Obama even though we know it is best for our country" Hillary supporters are really getting quite nauseating! I can guarantee you she already knows what her cabinet position is going to be when Obama is elected POTUS. You KNOW that Hillary and the McCain ticket have absolutely nothing in common. Their views are so ridiculously opposite that it defies any and all logic that you would vote for him because Hillary lost. Sexism and Racism BOTH played a role in this election. Hillary and Obama took swipes at each other. I am a DEMOCRAT what I value and my beliefs for this country have NEVER lined up with the Republicans. Had Hillary won, I would be working for her campaign, and donating to her campaign to get her elected just like I am Obama's. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!!!!! GROW UP!!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Emily

    Biden is a good guy. I have to admit I like Biden the best after Clinton as a candidate. He helped women for violence. He has a life story from which he would understand women (he had to be a single father for a while). So I have no complaint to Biden choice. Only I wish Clinton is the ticket. I guess Clintons are the people from the past now.

    I liked McCain in 2000, but not McCain in 2008. What happened to him? The moment he chose Palin, just because she is a woman, I lost my trust in McCain. We are for the issues and policies for women. Palin to make women pay for the examination fees for rape is unacceptable. She is a man with lipstick, that's not what we want. If McCain chose someone like the GOP senator from Texas Kate, who is for choice, he could have swayed us. What an insult McCain gave us. He is trying to trade our soul in this election. He will give us a wish to see a woman on the ticket in exchange of loss of choices and rights of women. That sounds like a devil in Faust. His intention is evil.

    September 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. California Gold

    Bill Clinton is the only Democrat in modern times to beat the Republican Smear Campaign tactics. I am confident Barack Obama will also beat the Republican Smear Campaign tactics. It's September and the Republicans are down to making up stories about banning guns and trying to tell us the economy is strong, fundamentally. Now they can't figure out why they are dropping in the polls. Well hello!!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. Melissa

    After the way Hillary was treated by the DNC why would she ever want to be Obama's second-rate "sweetie"? At least Bill was honest and fair. Obama could never hold a candle to either Clinton, and Bill knows it!

    September 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. maynard hopkins wi

    Amen. Maybe this will put the question to rest about being qualified for the job....

    How ever Obama can not be trusted with the presidency . Why? Look at what he has worn. Look at the allegiance to the flag wont hold his hand over his heart.

    Find out how he got his opponents kick off the ballot in Illinois

    Find out what ties he has with the undesirables in Chicago Area.

    How much did Obama get for kickbacks from the failing or failed lending institutions


    September 22, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Julia

    Oh yeah, like Mike up there is a real person. Ignore trolls 08!

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Sammy

    Unless Hillary says otherwise, I take Bill's word that she didnt want to be VP despite what anyone else says. Beside, if I were her the next job to seek would be governor of New York. Or.... perhaps it's true and a deal was struck to nominate her for the supreme court. Now that would be huge and a deal like that has happened before in the US.

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Anne E.

    Mr. President: And you call this "helping" Sen. Obama?
    I voted for you, I supported you through Monica-gate, but I lost respect for you during this primary season - and now you lost me completely.
    So disappointing that you won't get out there and stump the way we all know you can. Shame on you.

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. Daniel Wagle

    I don't agree with this statement,

    "He wouldn't think so highly of McCain if Hillary were running against him"

    If there is ANYTHING I remember from Bill Clinton running against Bob Dole in 1996 is that in the debate against Bob Dole, Clinton praised Bob Dole's long service to the country. He would praise McCain if Hillary was the nominee. Former Presidents should support their party's nominee, and Bill Clinton does, but I don't think it appropriate to be excessively partisan in the support they give. Sure, they should be out there and campaign, but they shouldn't criticize the opposition too much, but rather highlight the strengths of their party's nominee. Obama's platform is much more like Hillary's than is McCain's and that is a big reason Clinton supports him. I supported Hillary in the primaries and will vote for Obama in the general election. I never really thought that it was in Hillary's interest to be the VP, since if the ticket lost, she would lose along with the ticket and if the ticket won, that if she ran for President in '16 that she would be the sitting VP which usually don't win the White House. She won't be under Obama's shadow when she runs for president again in '16 and she won't have the VP Biden to run against her, because he will be 74 that year. Hillary will be a young 69. McCain for instance, wouldn't have had a ghost of chance this year if he had been Bush's VP.

    September 22, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. CyberFerret52

    The president I want decided for me. Initially I had nothing against Obama but, the more I learn about him the less I like what I see. He seems to tell us anything we want to hear in order to win and it looks as if he has few policies of his own. ( He appears to co-opt the ideas of others). The man is not qualified to be POTUS, especially with the economy in the tank. Barak Obama is not experienced enough to get us out of this mess.
    John McCain co-sponsored legislation in 2006' to increase regulation of the housing sector as he felt there was a growing problem with the way Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac were doing business. Looks like he was right.

    September 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. rachel

    Also people are leaving out the main thing. She would have taken it if asked is what bill said, so apparently she wasn't asked, so that was not what the meeting was about after the primaries.

    September 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. golfer 5280

    It seems obvious that Bill and Hillary can't support Obama. They are trying to support the Democratic party but can't seem to get behind Obama. It also seems obvious that HRC likes her chances in four years.

    September 22, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. jm from sc

    Amen Herman from LA; it will be a great day in America when we all learn how to comprehend the news as it is and not how we would like for it to be.

    Together we stand and divided we fall. The republicans was very upset about Palin, but they got on TV and lied as if she was the best thing since ice cream was invented.

    A little tip about Palin's approval rating in Alaska: I read where Steven, a republican elected official in alaska won handly against a democrat one month after he was indicted for a crime. Therefore, it is fair to say that Alaska votes republican no matter what the quality of person on the ticket. With that being noted, it is no wonder why Sarah has such a great approval rating there.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Jen

    Dr James Cone's Description of BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY, from his book "BLACK POWER AND BLACK THEOLOGY", used as the basis for the vision statement of Obama's Church, Trinity United:

    "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. . . . Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love."

    Among the Obama's charitable donations in 2007 was the generous amount of $26,270 to Trinity United Church of Christ.


    September 22, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. half breed in America

    If I am half german and half indian, does that make me a frau squaw ??? and would you hold it against me because I have olive colored skin ? speak with an accent..?? no, because no one ever has, BUT, you hold it against Obama because his "half" black side tinted his skin so you over look he is WHITE too..the only few blogs on here are fromn the really "adult" people, who have put bias aside !!! if you live by people of all colors, work with them, go to church with them, expect to see them in heaven too ( they WILL be there ) thens whats so difficult about electing a really smart, intelligent person of mixed color ? I dont fear ANY color..why do you ???????????????
    for Obama

    September 22, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Colleen

    BILL IS ONLY OUT FOR HIMSELF!!!! If he was a true democrat, and not such a poor loser, he would endorse Obama with much greater enthusiasm.....Just because his wife lost the primaries, he cannot be man enough to support Obama more, even though Obama and Hillary's positions were almost identical. He is a disgrace to the Democratic Pary!!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  17. mac attack

    Thanks for your support Bill

    The Straight Talk Express is on the Brdige to Now Where!
    Mike, Crwal back under your rock. You've obviously been nodding off
    the last 8 years. Moron

    September 22, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. Glroia

    wow.....sounds like President Clinton is endorsing Sen. Mccaine.....he's right!

    This is I can tell what Bill is really thinking and that is Sen. Mccaine is the only one ready.

    September 22, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Short Campaign Canada

    We (in Canada) our facing our own election campaign – thankfully it is limited to 6 weeks and not 2 years and the long drawn out and expensive campaign in the United States. It is interesting that George Bush appears invisible already months before leaving office. Remember America you voted him in twice and by all accounts will go down as one of the worst presidents to ever govern – Whoever wins, it will be interesting after the oath of office is taken and the honeymoon is over and Americans will soon turn on the newly elected President.
    Sorry but you can't forget George Bush and you are to blame American because you elected him!!!

    September 22, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. Of course

    Sure sure sure Bill. America believes everything a Clinton says. Do you really think we are as dumb as you hope we are? or are you just to stupid to realize we see through you?

    But by all means keep complaining an whining like the loser you are just to get some headlines.

    The Clinton Dynasty is dead in America and the Obamabots killed it. Please do America a favor and shut up and go away.

    September 22, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. ran

    CNN come on guys this is not news. Where is the news on the bailout?

    CNN be in the forefront on breaking news we can use to make informed decision in this next election.

    Be brave CNN and break the mold of not going after the truth, you can do it if you want to.

    September 22, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Hillary

    If Hillary were the nominee the race would be over. Obama might win, but it will not be by any landslide. He is not who dem, voters really want. I hope McCain takes it – Obama will do nothing but get us in more financial trouble than we are already in and he is no leader. He will be weak when it comes to protecting us. I hope people do not vote just on the economy but also on homeland security. McCain can straighten out the economy better than Obama can anyday.

    I blame the Media and the dem. party for this race being such a close one. I hope you are all happy that you got what you wanted so far. I hope you do not get the end result you are looking for.

    Hillary supporter for McCain/Palin

    September 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. TRW

    @lol. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. The DNC didn't push any candidate down anyone's throat. That is another straw man argument that is based on lies. I find it interesting that suddenly, everyone thinks that the DNC was in the tank for Obama, when Hillary was the one who had the best political machines because of her relationship with members of the party, not Obama. He was an outsider, Hillary wasn't. Also, for all of the moaning and complaining about those "crooked" caucuses, I noticed, no one had a complaint UNTIL Obama started to win them. Now they are evil and must be banished. Oh, and the MI/FL debacle. don't kid yourself. The GOP did the EXACT same thing to those two states and others for violating the rules. And although people seem to get amnesia about this FACT, HRC not only signed up for the rules about stripping those states of their delegates, but one of her chief campaign advisers, Harold Ickes, was responsible for creating the rules.

    So enough. If you prefer Hillary to Obama, that's fine. But please stop with the made up myths to justify your support.

    September 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. rd

    I agree with President Clinton that both McCain and Obama are good candidates. And I understand that he wanted Senator Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. But now that Obama has won the nomination and the election is getting so close, can't he just get over it and throw his support for Obama? I'm starting to wonder how much he actually loves this country. As one of the leading members of the Democratic party, he should be stumping for Obama at this point. It almost seems like he's about to pull a Joe Lieberman.

    Senator Clinton, on the other hand, is doing a great job supporting Obama graciously. I'm proud of her for trying to pull the Democratic party back together.

    September 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. Chuck

    I work for what I have, I've never held my hand out because it's "my right,"I guess that makes me an elitist?

    The special interest socialist bigots will ruin this country.

    McCain/Palin '08.

    September 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
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