September 25th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Bill Clinton lavishes praise on McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton had kinds words for John McCain Thursday."](CNN) - Bill Clinton has long pointed out he has enjoyed a good relationship with John McCain, but for a moment the former president almost sounded like a surrogate for the Republican presidential nominee Thursday morning.

Appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, Clinton said McCain's move to suspend his campaign and request a delay in the first presidential debate was a move done in "good faith," rather than as a stunt to halt falling poll numbers as several Democrats have alleged.

"I presume he did that in good faith since I know he wanted - I remember he asked for more debates to go all around the country and so I don't think we ought to overly parse that," Clinton said, sounding a familiar McCain Campaign talking point.

A few hours later Clinton lavished praise on McCain as he introduced him at the Clinton Global Initiative forum, saying Republican presidential nominee had taken the lead in his party when it comes to climate change.

"When most people in his party were thinking that global warming was overstated and maybe even a myth - he decided to look into it," he said.

The former president also described the two trips that McCain took with his wife Hillary Clinton, “the junior senator from New York," to look into the issue.

But Clinton has also been effusive in his praise for Obama in recent days, telling CBS earlier this week the Illinois senator is better-suited than McCain to bring the country out of the economic crisis.

Clinton's praise of McCain also came days after he told CNN's Larry King Live he was looking forward to campaigning on behalf of Barack Obama, but was not planning on "dumping" on McCain.

Watch: Bill Clinton praises Obama, Palin on Larry King

"I just don't believe that getting up here and hyperventilating about Gov. Palin, or Sen. McCain for that matter, is a productive use of a former president's time and is not a vote-getter," he said, adding later he was an admirer of McCain even though the two disagree on several issues.

McCain burnished his maverick credentials largely during the Clinton administration, when he sided with Democrats on several key issues including campaign finance reform. Clinton has long expressed admiration for the Arizona senator, even during the primary season earlier this year when he said McCain and his wife are "very close." McCain did however voter to impeach Clinton however.

"They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other," he said at a South Carolina campaign stop in January.

soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. Abby

    mccain voted to impeach clinton

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Lucas

    Honestly, This is a disaster... what the hell is he doing?? Palin believes that global warming is a myth!! He knows that he can sway the vote and he wants to be back in the white house.... he is interested in himself... not the country and its a discrase!

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. kim

    I used to really like Bill Clinton but I am getting really tired of Bill and this weird attitude. I cant stand sore losers......

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. wayne n

    Have mercy! Have mercy! Lord, have mercy! I can't believe I supported and voted twice for this man who now is so concerned about when, where, and about whom he hyperventilates, especially, God forbid, when it would be helpful to the Democrat presidential nominee. Please forgive me!

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Phillip

    Bill was a great president, and a smart man, but this election has twisted his mind. Obama is almost identical to Hillary on all the issues, and McCain is against everything Hillary stood for, yet Bill is so bitter about the primaries that in a race between the two of them, he would rather praise McCain than say a kind word about Obama.

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. franw

    H E L L O...Palin on the winning ticket is waaaay better than Biden. He sounds like a total dummy. "During the depression, FDR got right on the television anf talked to the people". LOL. Hoover was president and there was no television. Great ticket...radical socialist and illiterate jerk.

    September 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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