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. Lourdes

    I think Obama is more of a loser now then ever!!

    McCain '08

    September 25, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Bill, I worked for two of your campaigns and I have a great deal of respect for you and always will. But you are doing something here I cannot abide by my friend. If you feel the need to endorse Senator McCain, go ahead, but that does not mean I will follow you down that path.

    September 25, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Peggy - TX

    Pres. Clinton, has regained my respect 110%. In his speech at the convention he brought clarity to a complex reality. Recently, his advise has been right on target. Clinton will be a valuable advisor to Obama in the Obama Presidency. I hope to see Pres. Clinton have an active role in the UN and negotiations with foreign powers.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. tornado1972

    Not very brave, smiles in Obama's face then speaks his code in every statement he makes. Looks like he just can't let go and realize where the power is in the Democratic Party. Get over it Bill and do the right thing!!!!!!!!!!

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Alaska for Obama

    Let's not forget he was the first president to be impeached... dude, you're not helping... shut the hell up. Hillary will be too old for 2012... do the country some good, you arrogant bastard.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Misty

    Whose side are you on- Are we thinking 2012- Bill Clinton bever did anything for Al Gore, Kerry and now he praises McCain and Palin (he should know to lay off Palin– she looks too much like you know WHO??? with the blue dress).

    Obama Obama

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Paizley

    Bruce, that was so wrong but so funny!!!!!

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Kate

    dreaming on Palin in the oval office Billy boy?

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Avenue A

    Boy has your tune changed since the DNC, Bill!

    sniff. sniff.

    What’s that I smell?

    Another political gimmick?

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. lia

    Bill and Hillary should stop and think.Hillary would need the black vote to win if she runs again.If I was a betting person I would say that's not going to be enough.They have shown their true colors.They both need to find something else to do or should i say half way do.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. silencedogood

    Biff September 25th, 2008 1:54 pm ET
    at least Democrats CAN be civil to other Americans….

    This is a joke right? See 48 comments above. A little self reflection goes a long way.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Kelby from Houston, TX

    He's right, McCain has had to fight his party to do the right thing on every issue. He has always tried to convince Republicans to do the right thing.
    Does anybody see a problem with that? His party is ALWAYS on the wrong side of an issue. And he has to battle them. History has shown us, he doesn't always win those battles. Maybe he gave up trying to get his party to do the right thing and decided to follow his party into the abyss instead of leading them into the light. That is why he abandoned everything he believed in and stood for. He wanted the support of his party instead of the right thing.


    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Kathy

    Just like in the primaries where Obama faced two foes:
    Bill and Hillary.

    Now he is facing Mr. Magoo and Bill.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. DR in Los Angeles

    I'm so sick and tired of Bill Clinton! He’s a sad and bitter man… Hello?? Obama is the Democratic candidate; Hillary is not! GET OVER IT!

    Obama in ’08!

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Ann

    This is sad, transparent and infuriating. Bill Clinton's narcissism is pathetic. His disloyalty outrageous. And if he thinks the Democratic party will stand behind him and his legacy and Hillary and her future when this is over no matter the outcome he is sadly mistaken. He has a history of thinking he can do ANYTHING and then get forgiven. On this he is wrong.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Al Deist

    President Clinton can't speak the truth of how he feels. Wall Street money and CNN News beat Hillary in the D.P. And Obama's money people are helping her out of her 30 million dollar debt. Blackmailing her.(no pun intendend).
    And now........It's the Obama money backers on Wall Street that are broke and the country is in a bind. The real deal here is this: Mr. Wall Street is walking down main street and busted us. He needs a tax cut for the middle man to keep his top men employed. But there will be no new jobs for it. I wish I could debate him. He has such an elemetary mind it's unbelievable. I was thoroughly convinced Elvis was dead when Lisa Marie married Michael. If Obama wins....I will be totally convinced America's brain is dead.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Doug R.

    Sit down and shut up Bubba.
    At least when Bill Clinton was President, gasoline was $2/ gallon. Then we get the two oil men (Bush/ Cheney) and the price more than doubles.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Joseph Adewole

    Huuuuuu . AMERICA, the world is watching what the definition of your 'world leadership' claim really mean. I am not surprised neither is any of my friends all over the world.

    September 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Irma in North Carolina

    Boy this is kind of sad that he is praising Mccain, now its all because he likes the looks of Sarah. I dont think the Obama camp should even let Bill campaign for them. He will only make matters worse.

    September 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Bills Hormones

    If Ah say nice things about that old crazy McBush. Maybe he will invite me to the White House and I can see Sarah. Oooo

    September 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Cheri

    I used to love Bill Clinton but lately that love is fading.Is he trying to lose this election for Barack Obama if he isn't he has a funny way of showing it.Hillary needs to come and get him and lock him up.

    September 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. T GUY



    September 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. oppressedworker

    McCain demonstrated leadership and country first when he suspended his campaign to address an issue whose fall out could result in another great depression. Obama didn't have a clue how serious this is. He blew it off with a multi-task comment. Get your head out of your butt it may not improve your looks but it will sure give you a clearer perspective as to who should be in the White House.

    September 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Cathy

    Bill Clinton has really turned into a joke. He is still upset that Hillary did not win the nomination. Get Over It Bill! She lost! Let's move on and elect Obama.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

    September 25, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. Lesley

    Get real with this Ticker. The big news is that a bailout agreement has been reached. That should be the lead off. Whoever arranges these news articles needs to be replaced by a machine that works.

    September 25, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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