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. Captain America

    McCain should know and people should listen, he is afterall the smartest democrat they have.

    February 21, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Sadie

    Hillary and Obama was equally responsible for the Benghazi debacle that led to our American citizens being murdered and they did nothing to stop it and COULD HAVE DONE SO. Hillary excused herself from public office so she could distance herself from the Benghazi debacle thinking WE would forget about it by 2016. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN HILLARY!d!!!

    February 21, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  3. Mind

    The great McCain has spoken! Hear ye!!!

    February 21, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  4. victor yao

    Michelle Backman can speak for herself. This nation is definitively not ready for her as president even if she is a male.

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

    The only thing standing in the way of Hillary Clinton and the White House is her health. If she's healthy, she runs for president in 2016. If she runs for president in 2016, she wins. There isn't a Republican who can beat her.

    February 21, 2014 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  6. tatangb

    For 21 years, from 1993 to 2013, there were only three times when Hillary Clinton was not considered the most admired woman on the planet. In 1995 and 1996 it was Mother Theresa, and in 2001 it was Laura Bush. Imagine the respect and stature as the world's leader the U. S. would gain when she becomes the President. It seems like the rest of the world see something in her that some Americans still can't figure out

    February 21, 2014 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. yeah yeah right .......


    ....they push us to vote to cover the fact that we don't matter...the elite have their own show, Their wealth and the games they play trump this nation and its people.

    if we are to survive (yes things are about to turn very bad for us) we need to start working hard to repair this world, these people tell us we cant afford to help the poor, we cant afford to follow even the paltry environmental laws we have...but we can afford decade long wars ...we can afford their agenda ....

    wake up...soon it will be too hot to survive, too hot to grow food, what water we do have they are poisoning.....

    February 21, 2014 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  8. Midwest Mike

    A majority of Americans support a small minimum wage hike, gay marriage, at least some environmental protection and help for the poor, abortion (if it's done early), marijuana legalization, legal status for young illegal immigrants... and young people overwhelmingly support these things. As long as the Republicans (now the Tea Party) are so passionately against every one of these items, there will never be a Republican in the White House. Let's be honest, essentially every 'developed' country is more 'socialist' than America... and while a couple of them are not doing so good, most are doing fine. Republicans, if you want to ever win a national election, you have to silence Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and the dozens of other crazy / angry people who have taken over your party... I consider myself an 'independent' voter – socially liberal and fiscally conservative (I don't believe fiscally conservative means cutting taxes as low as possible – especially for rich people). I do think there are a lot of lazy people who take advantage of social safety nets, and I wouldn't mind Democrats being a little tougher on those people, but, I see the Tea Party as a sort of cult that refuses to acknowledge evidence (or proof) that their policies do/will not work. Peace.

    February 21, 2014 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. Lee NYC

    The left will win. Go Hillary!

    February 21, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  10. Rob

    The truth s that at right now, this very moment Hillary is the next president. I hate it, I look around the world a d see what is happening in many socialist nations, but I realize that the United States has been destroyed by Obama, and Hillary will just continue his destruction.
    I see a nation who gives everything to those who should be given nothing, to those who don't contribute to this nation. I see a mayor on NYC telling illegals they are welcome in his city on the backs of those who pay taxes.
    Hillary has won the election already because the media wants her. Because they will herd the cattle we call the American public Ito voting for her. There is no point ever having campaigns again in America because the media will decide the election.

    I will never vote again in the United States because my vote does not count. And many Americans are understanding that. This is why each election year they talk about low turnout. My vote didnt ask for Obamacare. Now I pay more in taxes, for healthcare, and basic necessities while people who do not work and have kids they can't afford get free handouts.

    February 22, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  11. Marc Parella

    GOP: You have one chance to beat her: Jon Huntsman. Smarter, more experience on foreign policy, and can dance around her all day when it comes to integrity, ideas, and consensus building. But go ahead and choose another Bush, McCain, Romney nominee and see where that gets you.

    February 22, 2014 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  12. elgranreyes

    I voted for Obama because he still represents hope, and I support Obamacare even if I would have preferred universal health coverage, but in this strange country where we see health care as a conspiracy, it was the best that we could do. Now we have to fight the retards just to expand Medicare for people who need it across the country. Who opposes medical care for their fellow citizens in need? Mean-spirited people like Michelle Bachmann, of course. Hillary's my first choice, Elizabeth Warren my second, and it's not because they're women but because they represent the best of America. Michelle does not! And please let's raise the minimum wage already and tax the Koch Brothers.

    February 22, 2014 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  13. J. Mason Emerson

    McCain is realistic; Bachmann isn't.

    February 22, 2014 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  14. cheeseroll

    What's the difference?

    Obama, Kerry, McCain, Hilary Clinton, all war mongers – all work for the war party.

    Americans are being given an illusion of choice, and so many happily lap it up and feel smug that they live in a "democracy".

    February 22, 2014 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  15. rtkmd

    McCain is a realist on this one. Bachman is an idiot.

    February 22, 2014 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  16. Jack33

    McCain is spot-on correct that Hillary would win. He is merely conveying what is obvious via well-established polling data...and as usual, republicans can't get overcome their reactionary nature to want to shoot the messenger.

    If the majority of republicans are this immature and cannot reason like adults, their Party does not belong in White House.

    February 22, 2014 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  17. Total2199

    America is ready for John McCain's retirement party....which is long overdue.

    February 22, 2014 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  18. chris

    it amazes me how people here claim that the gop's policies have hurt america since reagan, when all evidence is overwhelmingly telling you that the opposite is the case. after carter had plunged the US into misery, it was reagan who brought this country back to strength, economically and politically. similarly, it was thatcher in the UK who rescued britain from the stranglehold of the unions and socialists through tax cuts and privatizations. that story has played itself out many many times, across countries and at all levels of government...just look at NYC under liberal mayors and then under giuliani and bloomberg. to be sure: there are a lot of nut jobs and losers in the GOP as well, but the fundamental truth still stands: before you can redistribute wealth, you have to create wealth. and the democrats somehow never figured that out, to this day.

    February 22, 2014 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  19. Rose

    Greenspam....Ted Cruz is a nut job, he sways one way than turns around and sways the other way. Can you imagine someone like him in office. If a women LIKE lets say Hillary would win presidents seat, she is strong minds, tough, and she is a take charge kind of person, he is the one that wears the pants in the house and she has better respect from world leaders than any other man president that has been in office. She will be my vote if she runs, she is the only person that could and be strong enough to get things done.

    February 22, 2014 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  20. Willllburrrr

    Sure is hilarious to watch the repubs twitch and go into convulsions over this. Wow, they sure can't stand another Clinton in the WH, especially that evil Hillary. HA! Give me a break. Two Clintons as President will be excellent... especially compared to the fiascos with two Bushes in there. Bill was great as prez, no wars, great economy. Hillary is smart and concise in her outlook and direction. The ultra righties can go off the rails and continue with their self-destruction of their party all they want. Still won't change things. This nation is moving forward. And the repubs will be the ones left back at the station looking in confusion as the train moves further and further away from them.

    February 22, 2014 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  21. Peter

    I don't think the democracts will get it. I voted for them in both the elections of 2008 and 2012, but am extreemly disgusted with them. Time for someone else, who doesn't think federal judges breaking the law and illegally forcing gay marriage is okay.

    February 22, 2014 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  22. Dear Leader

    Americans; wouldn't it be great to have a President who didn't have to spend $1 billion of special interest money and 2 years of his term trying to get re-elected? Your system is a corrupt mess.

    February 22, 2014 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  23. dave

    the electoral college will give her an automatic edge. Bill Clinton will give her a political edge and the hard right, theogratic element of the GOP will push the moderates to the left. If the GOP ever wants the white house back they are going to have to get rid of the wackos like Bachman and Santorum and get back to what there suppossed to be about.
    Common sense, making money and helping the rest of us achieve the same. The faith based initiative bought these clowns into the GOP and now they cant win with them. America isnt going to put up with it.

    February 22, 2014 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  24. Serge Storms

    Bachmann was wrong on a couple of things. While some Americans aren't ready for a female president, you only need 50.1% to win an election. I'm sure that many Americans would be fine with a female president. On guilt being part of Obama getting elected, that is ridiculous. Running for office is a game, Obama outplayed McCain, he outplayed Romney, end of story.

    February 22, 2014 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  25. Gerry Ellenson

    I knew the Republican party was beginning to implode during the Terri Schiavo craziness. The implosion continues and the party continues to believe in the emperor's new clothes. The craziness has taken on a life of its own and I doubt the party could stop it even if it had the will to do so.

    February 22, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
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