September 25th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
13 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. Carrie Goodeagle Hayden, Idaho


    September 25, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |

    A S ,,,,,,,,,,E L D E R,,,,,,,,,,S T A T E S M E N,,,,,,,,,,,,,P A S T,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    P R E S I D E N T S,,,,,,,,,,,,,P U T,,,,,,,,,,,,A S I D E,,,,,,,,,,,,,,P O L I T I C S,,,,,,,,

    A N D,,,,,,,,,,,T E N D,,,,,,,,,,T O ,,,,,,,,,,B E,,,,,,,,,,,,M O R E,,,,,,T R U T H FU L

    September 25, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. shamous mc

    I have some kind of words for Bill Clinton too.
    Probably can't print those kind of words here.

    September 25, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Steve

    Hillary! Come and get your husband! He got out of the attic somehow!

    September 25, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Can We Sell Alaska Back to Russia?

    Too late Bill...they are going down in history as the worst Persidential ticket of all time.

    Obama 08

    September 25, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Vic

    Being true to the great politician he is. Politics = Hypocrisy

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Corey Gabriel

    Bill is a shill !! He's still pissed that Hillary lost, and he's not going to help Obama at all, he's just talk, and his talk is in support of McCain. Get real, Bill wants Hill to have another shot in 2012, but if she and he don't fully get behind and support Obama, neither will ever be welcome in the Democratic party again. Too bad Bill is such a pill.

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. John .A

    "What are you going to do if you're elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? Sen McCain we've got a guy like that now!" No need for time-out and a president should be able to multi-task.

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. mitchell

    whatever. mccain's still a limp-noodle.

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Accountant Guy

    Who Cares!! At this point the Republicans are a total joke!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Kimberly from Houston, TX

    such cow droppings...

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. the other jd

    Hmmmm...probably had a visit from Palin.

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Jeffer65

    I thought McCain was working on the bailout with Congress. What is he doing at the Global Intitative Forum with Clinton?

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Bill just leaves me speechless, and not in a good way!!!

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |

    Still can't get over the loss huh bill, Well Obama should say ( THANKS BUT NO THANKS I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP. YOU HAVE BECOME A POO BAH.


    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. MD, TX

    Bill Clinton realizes that Obama is awful and without substance. Even the democratic leadership and the Treasury never called to ask Obama for help, as they know he is ignorant of economic issues and has no respect in the Senate.

    Thanks for nothing Howard Dean.

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    Hillary helped McCain during the primaries, now after her loss Bill is helping him to the General Election. Isn't it time to throw them out of the Democratic party already??? Everyone knows she's just setting herself up to the 2012 Election, with Barrack as a running mate then. It's shameful and obvious.

    September 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. nikki

    You know, I am from Arkansas and wish Bill Clinton would shut his face! I thought I would never say that, but he is hurting the party. We all know that Hillary did not win....Bill get over it. He just can not bring himself to respect Brack. Bill needs to remember that when he lied about his relationship with Monica, we all stood behind him even though he was in the wrong. Boy how people forget what you have done for them!

    September 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Mike, Syracuse NY

    My opinion of Mr. Bill has moved up a notch. In truth, he probably feels that McCain would be a better choice than Obama.

    September 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. M in Manhattan

    Big deal. He praises McCain. However, he still believes Obama is the correct choice for this country.

    September 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Brian

    I wouldn't say that's lavishing praise – yes McCain has admitted that humans are partially to blame for global warming, but he appears to be quick to retract that belief now that the right wing, along with his vice idiot, have pressured him to pull back his pro-environment views. It won't be long before he's calling for drilling in ANWR and forgetting entirely about alternative energy sources.

    September 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |

    Mr. Clinton, McCain did this as a political stunt. It's plain and obvious to see.

    September 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Future Ex

    He would say anything to ensure he's close to Palin... Nasty jerk!!!

    September 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Candy West Virginia

    Forget Bill, they have reached an agreement on the bailout and mccain wasn't even part of it! hahahaha. You people are now seeing the real mccain, it was a political ploy not to keep him from debating but to keep palin from debating.

    September 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Frank,MO

    Bill Clinton knows that the Obama/Biden administration will outshine his legacy and leave not even a comparison. He does not like that ... too bad.

    September 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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