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. cherriberi

    What are HRC's accomplishments as a NY Senator or SOS? Many posters here are bashing Bachman, Palin, etc. which is your right but I'm not seeing testimony on what she has accomplished to make her a great candidate for POTUS.

    February 21, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Dick Jones

    It's pretty clear the John McLain is suffering brain damage from his incarceration in the Hanoi Hilton.

    February 21, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Tim Liao

    McCain is right, Bachman like always – is wrong. The thing is, people that would vote for a woman usually vote Democrat anyways. Those neoenderthals that can't vote for a woman would never vote Democrat anyways. So what Michelle Bachman should have said was that Republicans are not ready for a woman president.

    February 21, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. cherriberi

    Kim @ February 21, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |

    You have your history quite skewed. It was the Democrat party that enacted Jim Crow laws, slavery, segregation, and the KKK. War on women? Lets ask Bill Clinton or any male Kennedy about the war on women.

    February 21, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Jim Rome

    I have "guilt" for Minnesotans who voted for Bachmann, a delusional sociopath. My God, people. What on earth were you thinking? How were you manipulated? She's got more cray cray than Britney with a hanger.

    February 21, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Bachmann said America is not ready for a female president? Just what was it she was running for a few years ago?

    February 21, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Stephen Mc

    Hillary was supposedly a shoe in when she ran before, same results this time.

    February 21, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. John S

    I see Hillary as being too mature in politics. We need outside the box President. One who objectively see's all Americans as one. We must find a more equal balance between our resources and our environment. Stop with the Health care BS where we help a few and hurt the many. You don't fix things by breaking things. We don't need Righties or lefties. We need common sense and compromise as our founding Fathers managed to do. They created something that to this day still rings true. Yet, we are starting to muck it up. We need a government that defends our freedoms not chooses which ones we have.

    February 21, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Common Sense

    a voice speaks softly off-camera while at the same time, a child is shown lying peacefully in their bed at night........the voice begins, "it's 3am. Somewhere in the world there is trouble.......at the same time, the phone rings in the white house. who do you want answering that phone?'

    fast forward four years later. The phone rings in the United States Department of State Emergency Response Room................................and rings, and rings, and rings..........you know the rest of the story..

    February 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. William

    Just to be clear I wasn't calling anyone a "Taker" And I’m pretty sure you didn’t take it that way either. I think there are a few people that game the system, and they get most of the attention from the right while real hard working people that, do need a little help, get lumped in and called lazy. I find the lack of empathy staggering from people that claim to be Christion.

    February 21, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Liz

    She lost my vote. 4 died, who lied? Benghazi, we deserve better then a liar.

    February 21, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. I AM

    I don't even know why they talk to Bachman...she has nothing to say that is important. It's on the same level as asking Palin to write a symphony or a novel..it just isn't a reasonable thing to expect.. I would like to see a good GOP candidate, and I'm a Democrate, just to have some intelligent debate . There are some good ideas coming from both isles, but there is a inpenatrable wall between them now.

    February 21, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. CaesarXIII

    I think this country has had enough of Clinton's and Bush's in office. This is why we have so many problems is because we just recycle around the same politicians who are creating all the problems.

    February 21, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Jill

    As sad as it is, she will be elected. She is the nail in America's coffin.

    February 21, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    McCain is just making the compulsory noises that he needs to make, so that he can get through his primaries. Don't forget. John McCain has been officially excommunicated by some conservative groups in Arizona. They don't think that a man who sings songs "bomb, bomb, bomb, ...." is conservative enough.

    February 21, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. pale blue dot

    Yes she could win......the GOP have no one the go against her except those the GOP follow that are so far out there they will never get back.A same how those with big mouths and old ideas sway the rest. The GOP needs to come to the 2000,s and stop living in the past.

    February 21, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Big Ben

    Oh my did McCain have to give us that pinhead known as Sarah Palin? Ms. Pigmouth was the start of the decline of the GOP.

    February 21, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. gobsmacked

    Once again, the tea-leaning right has failed to do what they are always proclaiming others should do: take personal responsibility. So, now President Obama was elected because of "white guilt". And twice at that! People loved what he proposed when he ran, agreed with his ideals. Isn't that what republicans vote for when they vote? Someone who they agree with politically? The GOP has to stop looking for reasons other than the true one – that most of us just don't want what they are selling – to explain their losses.

    February 21, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. navaJohn

    The Republican party has gone rogue since being taken over by the tea party and libertarians. Jon Huntsman was their only REAL candidate in 2012 and they ditched him. Go figure.

    February 21, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    America is not ready for a woman President? But, but, you took a shot at it, and lost?

    Is missy admitting she is actually a man in drag? That would explain a lot about her "marriage"...

    February 21, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. LarryT

    McCain should, obviously, be an authority on who would win! Still clueless, after all these years.

    February 21, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. JustAnotherComment

    Hillary may as well run. Her party is really getting old without any fresh ideas.

    February 21, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. randomguy9999

    I'm a serious republican and it's completely obvious that Clinton will be a slam dunk in 2016 unless the GOP drops the BS conspiracy theory approach to presidential races....

    and for you guys wanting HRC's qualifications... you are kidding right? Legislatively active first lady, Senator, Sec State, distinguished attorney, on and on... Most importantly, she and her hubby are international respected and the number one thing we need as a country is to be respected again... it's the way to economic employment, growth, success in the WOT

    the GOP contenders like Rubio are jokes and we republicans need to stop hiding our heads in the sand....

    end of story and if you don"t recognize it, you are delusional.

    February 21, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Robert Dupuy1

    Michelle Bachman is partially right, but her conclusion is wrong.

    Male and female relations are simply not the same as race relations, that's true.
    And also, the way the country is divided politically, Clintons 'female first' supporters are already in the democratic camp for the most part.

    But she's wrong about Hillary not winning. If the election were today, she'd win. It's still about name recognition, it's still about organization, it's still a country that rewards political dynasties.

    And we are still a two party system. Hillary locks up the Democratic nomination then she's one of the two contenders – whether the country wants another Democrat or demands 'change' really depends on external factors like the economy.

    "not ready" for a female president? No the country is ready, it's just they won't vote on that alone in the general. Although expect the democrats to vote on that alone within the primary season.

    February 21, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Big_D

    The GOP should be honest, it's not just their candidates that stink it's their policies too. Trickle down economics has hurt the USA since Reagan and the GOP just can't stop thinking it works when it doesn't and it is immoral to boot.

    February 21, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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