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. Bubba

    I'm not crazy about Hillary but if the Reps can't come up with a reasonable candidate she will surely get my vote!

    February 21, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. more2bits

    I doubt it. Independents will shock the world during the next election. Everyone is tired of the same old same old time and time again (corrupted idiots).

    February 21, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. paouser70

    Really could bachmann be a bigger idiot? Just when you think the answer is no, she opens her mouth again and proves us wrong. What an embarrassment to this country in general and to woman in particular.

    February 21, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. Woe

    Remember Benghazi people!!!!

    February 21, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. sbraee

    does it horrify any other americans that john mccain is considered a "maverick" in his party because he occasionally speaks his mind instead of repeating the GOP party talking points like the other 99.9% of the republicans? The GOP needs to start facing reality – and realize that just because karl rove and roger ailes says something it doesnt mean that its true. An organization without its members having the freedom to lead and speak their mind is incapable of leadership. If hillary Clinton decides to run – she is going to absolutely trounce whatever weak candidate limps out of the GOP primaries in two years – and her victory will be absolutely justified

    February 21, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Miami 305

    Mrs Bachmann don't no what she talking about...for African American it's guilt that why we vote for him what guilt he is the best candidate that why we vote for him not because his color skin ..now you said this country not ready for a female .what world you living mrs Bachmann ..what did you accomplish while you was in congress ..as a independent voter I will never vote for you Bachmann you just only talking none sense ..please go

    February 21, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. DisReverant

    All of a sudden, McCain is a genius. Lol.

    February 21, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. Miami 305

    Every time this lady open her mouth is a bad thing that come out if it ..why can some GOP tell her to zip it go some where because she hurt them ..

    February 21, 2014 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Joe

    McCain doesn't like her because she is more conservative than he is. Bachmann is wrong, it is just a matter of which woman.

    February 21, 2014 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Brian

    Although Clinton has a small loyal following, I believe Obama initially won as a result of the anti-Clinton vote. He was in the right place at the right time. I don't think she is a shoo-in .

    February 21, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Homestead2

    Age is not on her side – even if that came true, she wouldn't enter office for another 3 years and when you're over 60 that can mean a great deal. Had she run in 2008 or 2012 perhaps, but she may have waited too long – the math is not on her side...

    February 21, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. OrmondGeorge

    Can we count on your support John?

    February 21, 2014 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. Tyler Durden

    Is this the same John McCain that thought Sarah Palin could be vice president? Who cares what this panderer thinks?

    February 21, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. nielsen

    God help us all. ; ( Hillary has way too many skeletons in her closet. I am amazed she can live with herself. I wonder if she ever thinks of the people who have died because of her. She knows who they are. America can do better. America should do better and find a more ethical individual.

    February 21, 2014 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. Pittster

    Bachman's opinion is about as important as a 2 year old's! She is nuts, and I wish she would go away already! It's extremists like her that have given the once decent Republican Party a bad name!

    February 21, 2014 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. bellarue

    But really, who cares what Michelle Bachman thinks. She is an utterly irrelevant human being.

    February 21, 2014 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. MikeB

    If the election were tomorrow, today would be Monday, November 7, 2016.

    February 21, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Dr. Rice

    Bachmann– full of misinformation, as usual! Why does anyone listen to her?

    February 21, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. Rick

    The decline of the middle class started during the Reagan administration. Giving tax cuts to rich people doesn't create more jobs. It just makes rich people richer. Trickle down Reaganism has done more harm to this country than WWII ever did.

    February 21, 2014 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. 4F

    McCain is no good at predicting winners. His is however an expert on failing and failures. He is a loser and knows all about losing. Having him pick Hillary as a winner is a sure kiss of death for her and her campaign.

    February 21, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. Charlie C.

    The reason Clinton will probably win in 2016 is the GOP didn't "change" like they promised they would after 2012. After 2012 several prominent Republicans talked about change but talk was all that happened. Here it is 2014 and the only thing they've done is go even further to the right politically. Much of their recent legislative agenda is practically a gift to Democrats because it isolates their support to mostly just ultraconservative WASPs. For decades, that has worked but demographics are changing in this country and that isn't a viable strategy anymore. The GOP not only runs the risk of handing the WH to Hillary in 2016 but potentially never having the WH again in a lifetime or even worse down the road they run the risk of political extinction. It amazes me how many other prominent Republicans can see this coming but nobody has the courage or ability to change it.

    February 21, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  22. alistair

    hillary will beat the crooked christie in a landslide-bill will raise $500 million and carville will be pulling all the deals and tricks-easy win!!!

    February 21, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. ddurham46

    Let's get on it it.....we could use a huge change in this country.....

    February 21, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. jimbo

    Bachman and Palin are both of a kind-complete idiots. Yea Hillary!!!!

    February 21, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. foreverflag

    Mc Cain should shut up, wouldn't have gone so far if it wasn't for Palin. NO to Hilary. No to Clinton's

    February 21, 2014 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
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