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. evelyn

    We need a different generation president that's understands older and a younger group of citizens. It's about home and protecting the people.

    February 21, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. floridares

    Hey Bachmann...the American people wouldn't vote you in...nobody in right mind would want loony bird woman like you as President! But smart woman like Hillary would be elected. I am woman who would vote for her!

    February 21, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. ALLuh

    Hahaha, he picked Sarah Palin for a running mate, his opinion is therefore irrelevant

    February 21, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. KC Yankee

    If she runs she will win. The only question is whether she feels like she's had enough fighting with Republican criminals. I can't imagine why anyone would want to try to do anything with that party in control of Congress. And they have gerrymandered to guarantee that, don't kid yourselves. Obama was one of the best men to come into the job in three decades, and the Republicans will have wasted eight good years of his life and ours by the time his second term is done

    February 21, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    One of the few intelligent utterances from this man, this century.

    February 21, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. jake

    McCain says that Hillary is not his pick… But I bet he'd vote for her! The Right-Wing Nuts threw him under the bus. Hillary 2016!!!

    February 21, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Kyle

    John is right, Hillary would win. Now that we've had the first African American President, the door has opened for the first Woman. Hillary would not have to "run" to win the WH, it would be handed to her on a silver platter. My concern is most people would vote for her just because she is a woman and voters want more equality in politics.

    February 21, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Rob

    No way she wins

    February 21, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. resident

    "Get ready for a solid Republican conservative anti-liberal president to fix the mess this incompetent made."

    Good luck with that...maybe you can find another actor like the one who ruined the country from 1980-1988? Millions of jobs lost, thousands of factories moved overseas, hundreds of towns and cities devastated, seven dead astronauts. But hey, he sure looked good on TV, didn't he?

    February 21, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Cin99

    Nothing like insulting the electorate who re-elected the President by over 5,000,000 votes in 2012. Why is she still in Congress? Why is Cruz, Lee and Goemert in Congress as well for that matter? Absolutely useless and unproductive folks.

    February 21, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. tjp44

    that's how stupid this country is...we woudl elect a lying, corrupt, menopausal lunatic to the most powerful position on earth...LET'S HOPE NOT!

    February 21, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. NorCalMojo

    If McCain rang today, Hillary would win.

    It's time for him to retire. He's an old school military-industrial complex pork-winner. His time has passed.

    February 21, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Dude

    This isn't a lead up to an election, it's a lead up to a coronation. We have no say.

    February 21, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Jon

    Hey, it is only 2014 – – – can we POSSIBLY be concerned with more important things for the next 2+ years rather than ONLY concentrating on the 2016 election? That is all politicians really care about – – – just getting elected (and then doing as little as possible once in office.) Nice..

    February 21, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. samb

    Why isn't Bachmann in jail yet for her campaign fraud?

    February 21, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Bob

    "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."

    Duh! You think he is going to give up the government tit? Yah yah, I know. His old lady is rich. So is every member of congress as they leave office. Not before they enter on a modest wage..........after. And, the longer they remain on the teet, the much more lucrative that pocket change becomes. Besides, who is going to let go of a job where you are compensated at the rate these scum bags are accustomed to with little to no effort. You Arizonans keep puttin 'em back. I know it's tough to beat a war machine like that, but come on. Someone out there has got to be a little fresher than that war mongering dimentia case.

    February 21, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. betterdays

    Just about anyone would be an improvement.

    February 21, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. LEK

    Not to be a wet blanket, but lets wait to see who else is out there; not a big Hillary fan. (either way) Name one accomplishment to her credit. The talking heads aren't being fair by pushing her out in front. They didn't get it right for the heir apparent in in 2008 and I have a feeling that they are setting her up for failure again.

    February 21, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. Bob

    Ronald Reagan was president while Alzheimer's was in full control of his brain.

    February 21, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Wilma

    Says the woman that ran for president.. Why do we pay attention to anything she has to say?

    February 21, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. yoshimoto

    take it from a dinosaur like McCain to admit defeat – Hillary is a joke as a leader – she has never run anything – a strong leader can beat her – but, the GOP is so divided and keep pushing the loser social issues like gay marriage that they will literally give this election to her – find a young hipper candidate like Scott Walker or Christie who will push on being EFFECTIVE and not push social issues and work on getting jobs for young people and tax the rich to show everbydoy needs to share the burden and Hillary can easily be beat – but the old guard GOP sitting in their stuffed chairs will never see this...

    February 21, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Ratickle

    Could John McCain please just go away. No one wants to hear from him anymore.

    February 21, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Brian

    As a Democrat, she would win because Republicans are out of touch with the general electorate. They win by gerrymandering districts and running on the divisiveness of garbage social issues like abortion. The Electoral College is the only thing even keeping them in the running for the Presidency. If we had proportional representation, they would either have to tone down the crazy or resign themselves to being a fringe right party.

    February 21, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Matt

    Even the republicans know Hillary will be the next president. This is all but a sealed deal.

    February 21, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. ritmocojo

    Yep. She'd win today, tomorrow, or the next, or next year or in 2016. Hillary Clinton/Wendy Davis 2016 would be the dream ticket.

    February 21, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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