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. 66rock

    No, Ms Bachmann we just weren't ready for YOU to be first woman president. Now scat, go do something and stay off my TV please.

    February 21, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Phil in KC

    Bachmann seems to assume that, because America is not ready for her to be president, we're not ready for any woman to be president. She is wrong, of course,

    February 21, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. woodie

    It would be nice if the Republican's would erase their political platform and start over. They went off the rails about 10 years ago and they never got back.

    February 21, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. stupifyery

    American does want Hillary Clinton. America need a woman with a brain and one who is honest and true in character. Hillary is a fake , hypocritical and not an honest person. Please Hillary do not run for President, it would be your worst mistake.

    February 21, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. newshound

    Can we not do better than more Clintons, or Bushes? Give me a break. End the dynasties, and let's get some new blood in there to repair the country after Obama leaves.

    February 21, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Fiona

    If the average American voter was allowed to go the polls tomorrow and vote for actor Bryan Cranston for president, they probably would.

    February 21, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Mayfray

    Looks like CNN is trying to give a boost to Pierce

    February 21, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Suzanne

    People voted for Obama to occupy the most powerful office in the country out of guilt? Bachmann never ceases to amaze (and scare) me.

    February 21, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Postmaster

    Hillary Clinton won't get my vote.

    February 21, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. dave

    Now I know Obama was elected because of guilt. Wow. Always special when you hold the better and yet pllosing position.

    February 21, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. Rosa

    Thank you Dr. Mc Obvious.

    February 21, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. John Paul

    EXACTLY what Gobsmacked said:
    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 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. John Paul

    Bachman is again just as amazingly stupid as ever.

    February 21, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Smack Dab

    Big D you are a socialist idiot. The reason America is in economic decline is not because of trickle down economics, it's because of government interference with normal capitalist business operations. But never mind that, my little brown shirt, the government should stay out of business, ease unnecessary regulations, stay out of the health insurance business and our private lives. Whining about how capitalism is "ruining" America is the wailing of losers who want "free stuff" from the government, jealous people who are too lazy to go out and earn an honest paycheck, and sit around and moan that life is unfair, and it's the fault of the "rich guy". Pathetic.

    February 21, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Greenspam

    My chips are on Ted Cruz actually.

    February 21, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Tarzan

    Why would anyone listen to anything McCain has to say? The man unleashed the dolt Palin upon us. Hillary will easily win in 2016. The hateful GOP are a dying breed.

    February 21, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Smack Dab

    John McCain should just shut up, he is embarrassing himself. A leader with no followers.

    February 21, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    While I would vote for Hilary, I think the only reason McGrumpy is saying this now is to frighten the GOP base into coughing up money.

    Gotta use manipulation and keep 'em fearful, because Lord knows the GOP trying to win on policies success is a non-starter!

    February 21, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. ss

    It does not matter who is chosen as the president from a party ...but to have some work done..one party needs to be in both house and senate...else nothing can be done... lets face it...till 2010 most of the bills were passed..incl the health care bill.... not that everyone likes it...but atleast these people were doing something...rather than just putting taxpayers money at waste...

    How come Bloomberg did not want to be the mayor of new york anymore....
    How about Hilary Clinton as President & she chooses Bloomberg as Vice President...

    February 21, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Rob-Texas

    I seriously doubt she would win if the eletion were tomorrow. She will have to hit the campain trail and do some explainen before many will vote for her.

    February 21, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. kamarasune

    McCain is such a NWO progressive tool. Bet his handler Nate Rothschild told him to say that....

    February 21, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. ohioan

    Who really cares about what Bachman or McCain says? The only Republican that has a chance of winning is John Huntsman, but he would never make it out of the primaries with the extremists in the GOP deciding.

    February 21, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. barbara

    Well why hold elections then.... let's just give her the keys to the WH. What is the matter with the Republicans that they can't put up a good candidate and find important issues to run on?

    February 21, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Jane Martin

    My apologies: NOT John McCain, but Michelle Bachmann! I like John McCain.

    February 21, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. Lisa

    Tarzan, you are so so right!

    February 21, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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