February 20th, 2014
10:48 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain: If election were tomorrow, Clinton would be president

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain predicted if voters headed to the polls for the 2016 elections tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would be most likely be elected president - though the former secretary of state wouldn't be his pick.

Asked by CNN's Piers Morgan on Thursday about 2012 Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann's recent assessment that America isn't ready for a female president, McCain said they have a different reading on the current political landscape.

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"I would bet, my friend, as much as I hate to admit it, that right now – this is why we have campaigns – but right now, if the election were tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would most likely be the president of the United States," the Arizona Republican said.

"She wouldn't be my candidate," he added, but pointed to growth in the number of women in the Congress and state officials as evidence to the contrary of Bachmann's judgment.

Clinton has yet to announce that she's running for president in 2016, but that hasn't stopped Republicans from preemptively attacking her record in preparation for another Clinton White House bid.

Bachmann told syndicated columnist Cal Thomas that a lot of people “aren’t ready” for a woman to be president when asked about Clinton’s appeal as potentially the first female commander in chief.

“I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt," she told Thomas. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman...I don’t think there is a pent-up desire (for a woman president.)"

A CNN/ORC poll conducted from January 31 through February 2 showed Clinton as the overwhelming favorite as Democrats' choice for a 2016 presidential nominee. That same poll shows Clinton ahead of potential Republican White House contenders like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, has said he won't launch another bid for the White House but is considering running for a sixth term in the Senate.

CNN's Mary Grace Lucas contributed to this report.

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. Insight

    Ted Cruz and tea party will destroy GOP

    February 21, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. kim

    rethuglicans only have themselves to blame, they can't win elections because they want to live in the times of years ago when blacks were slaves, women couldn't vote........they have refused to grow with our society, therefore are clueless as to what is best for the american people, even when we are screaming it in their ear, they refuse to listen

    February 21, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. islandivan

    Of course she would win, when the bar for success for libtard voters is set so low as in the Obama example and his re-election how can she not win. The lackluster performance of our economy and loss of world-wide leadership throughout the world is just going to continue if she is elected, after all she demonstrated its allright to not protect our people allow our enemies to storm US Embassy's then murder our diplomats as demonstated by Hillary Clinton and not take responsibility for it.

    February 21, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Joe

    Bachmann is a moron saying we have African-American president becuase of guilt...

    “I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt,"

    February 21, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. William

    Look the GOP has done this to themselves! Keep trotting out candidates like Paul, Cruz, Perry and Rubio, all candidates that would not win the Presidency in any foreseeable General Election, and there is no clear choice but to vote for Hillary. The GOP need to come the stark realization that most Americans DO NOT agree with the Tea Party. The Tea Party represents maybe 20% of the country and mostly live in States that lack the Electoral votes to win the White House. We don’t live in a center right country any more. Most Americans are conservative on fiscal issues and wildly liberal on social issues. I mean, I hear Limbaugh complain about a liberal meda, liberal Hollywood, liberal schools, liberal unions, and liberal takers, but in the same breath calls the US a conservative country… I hear Beck telling America to wake up! Well that is the real issue… America has woken up, and they have rejected conservative values! If there really is such a thing…

    February 21, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Joe

    At the end of the day we all know we are just voting for the lesser of two evils.

    February 21, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Pat S

    I am from Canada and I am still confused as to why 2 a party system exists in the US. most other contries, be that leading countries, be that Canada, France, Great Britain as at least 3-4 parties, now some of them very small in numbers and importance. Why not split the GOP into 2 parties, Tea Party being one, GOP being another is its very clear that there is a wide difference within that party itself and why do you have to one party ideas and completely against another. its like if your GOP, anything from a Dem is bad and vice versa. can you not be a economic conservative but be social liberal even a bit. In Canada we have about 4 parties the conservatives, the liberals and NDP and the green party. Some are very close alike but you would say that the con and the far right, the NDP and green party are far left and Libs are bit more left. it not always full left or full right. Were it is what it seems in US. France and Britain as a wider choice where you have different parties from both side of the spectrum far right to mid-right to far left to mid-left.

    Is it a culture thing, or how people are brought up example "my daddy is GOP so I have to be GOP"

    please explain and I am not critizing. I love Obama but some of the fiscal ideas of guys like Ryan sometimes makes sense. Social wise I truly do not agree but this could be just a canadian thing

    Thank you

    February 21, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. ug

    No she would lose I promise it...

    February 21, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. liamnc

    If we elected that shrew to be president then we didn't learn ANYTHING from electing Obama into office.

    The stupidity of our country truly knows no bounds...

    February 21, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. George Dixon

    HillaryBill'sWife, she is Inevitable... again. She was inevitable in 2008 too.

    IF Hillary wins, John McCain would be first to grovel at her feet.

    February 21, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Lando

    We are always ready for Hillary but not for any Republibans....

    February 21, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Robert

    The American people once thought that they were not ready for an Irish Catholic President, not ready for a Black President. Based upon the not overly great track record of having male Presidents, maybe it is time to give a women a try? If she does not work out you can elect someone else after four years.

    February 21, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Mike B.

    Constant turnover. This should be the motto of every voter in this country for the next 10 or more years. Please try to vote for a new candidate in every local and national election from now on. Sooner or later, hopefully good citizens of this country may realize that they may get elected without needing millions of campaign money or a certain lobby, etc.

    February 21, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. TX JIM

    Polls... who cares what the polls say.. I talked to Jesus.. and he told me that Obama was elected because of white guilt and Hillary wont be elected because she is a woman.. I dont need no stinkin polls to showing me that Hillary is smoking any and all comers.. I trust only in what Jesus told me..

    -Michele Bachmann

    February 21, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. 1234ideclarethumbwar

    I personally would leave the country until she was out of office. I think it's time we have some new blood in the white house, someone not related to Bush or Clinton.

    February 21, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    I would prefer a different Democratic candidate than Secretary Clinton, but I doubt the GOP will put up anyone I'd consider voting for. Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson might be the only one. As for "takers," all I can say is that I know a lot of lifelong Democrats, and they're all middle class taxpayers with full-time jobs. Some of them are gun owners. The divisions in America that politicians and talking heads go on about don't necessarily reflect reality, in my experience.

    February 21, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Joe

    Pat S – we only have 2 because we couold not deal with a third group of idiots trying to "take control" as they put it.

    February 21, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. seagrandma

    In my opinion men may not be ready for a woman president, but the women are so fed up with the men, they are more than ready! Men have had more than 200 years to screw up our government, it's past time for a eoman to be in charge. I would vote for Hillary in a heartbeat, but I think Elizabeth Warren might be a good choice also.

    February 21, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. jeremy

    Some of you are idiots. If you recall history it was the DEMOCRATS that were for slavery and no rights for women.

    February 21, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. john houston

    poor republicans think they still live and dominate in the 1900's.wake up people,minorities of all races,cultures and backgrounds dominate and will choose the next president.republicans,like I are old dinasours on the way to extinction.

    February 21, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. More bad news..

    rethuglicans only have themselves to blame, they can't win elections because they want to live in the times of years ago when blacks were slaves, women couldn't vote........they have refused to grow with our society, therefore are clueless as to what is best for the american people, even when we are screaming it in their ear, they refuse to listen

    Kim, you are so far off the mark it would funny if it weren't so tragic – if you really think what you're saying here, then you're the one who needs to grow, mature, and understand that blanket statements such as the above are wholly inaccurate – if you really believe that all Republicans believe that slavery should exist and women shouldn't vote – you are delusional & would certainly qualify as the village idiot. Grow up and contribute something meaningful to the conversation.

    February 21, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. William

    Joe make a solid point, and Pat,

    I've lived in American all my life, and I still don't understand the two party system. In fact, our 1st President was a vocal opponent of the two party system. The best way I can explain it is that the money interest like the two party system, because it makes it easier to divide people. that’s why I think the campaign finance reform is the only real issue in the US today. It's the only way to get Gov more representative of the people. I also like Obama and respect, and agree with many of the points Paul Ryan makes.

    February 21, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. petena

    I will vote for Hillary because she IS THE MOST QUALIFIED person to be president of the United States. Period. Bachman, Palin and everybody else are just jelous.

    February 21, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. dc

    The general public didn't know of Obama in the years before he first began campaigning. It's possible that there is another dark horse (don't read into that) out there that will sweep this election too. I can't stand either Clinton or Christie so I'm hoping for one. It doesn't much matter for anyone in the middle class anyway. Both parties screw the middle class anyway while Republicans favor the rich and Democrats favor the poor. It's money versus numbers and the rest are along for the ride.

    February 21, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. cherriberi

    What are Hillary's accomplishments as a NY Senator or SOS?

    February 21, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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