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. Dee

    Hillary is the best. McCain is not the best. We here in Arizona still wonder why he is chosen by this state. He is a flip flop politician. He says what he thinks people want to here and then does what he wants. Lets hope he is not reelected our state. We need more open minded people like Hillary in offices today. Our country seems to continue to fall behind, mostly due to religion. We need a major separation and hopefully Hillary can help do that for our country.

    February 21, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. ShawnDH

    Hillary WILL win. I can not wait to vote for her!

    February 21, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. frank thomas

    Christie can put up all kinds of roadblocks to traffic and will never win anything again, I see billionaire democrats are now contributing big time to conter the Koch brothers, the rich dems have more money than all the R,s put together and thanks to the supremes they can spend it and will, to take back congress and keep the senate, Way to go Hilary we are all behind you , Victory parties already planned.

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

    As a reluctant Democrat, I would not vote for Hillary. She is too much the opportunist. I see her allegiance to her philandering, juvenile husband a decision based on positioning herself for future politics, not faithfulness to her marriage.
    The recent release of documents show her to be focused on revenge for past political issues- which only reinforces my thoughts from 20 years ago, when she seemed much too involved in an office that her husband, not her, was elected to.

    February 21, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. glauber

    Hillary's OK. But she'd be pretty old by the time she took office, and she's already had some health problems. She'll be 69 when she'd take office if she wins. We all moaned about Reagan being too old when he took office and he did it for 8 years with only a few minor health issues (aside from getting shot), so maybe it won't be a problem. I just wonder if her time might have come and gone already.

    February 21, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. m123

    McCain is just too clueless
    Remember, Hillary was unbeatable in 2008 until Obama showed her how to do it "Chicago Style"

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

    Yea what difference does it make. dead bodies all the way back in her political career. So long as she tells the right lies the same traitors that put Obama in will place her in the white house also and all the sheep will follow. If libs had one brain cell they would look at the money trail. Stupid people have destroyed this country. remember her husband allowed bin laden to the freedom he needed to attack us.

    February 21, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. MBSeattle

    John McCain predictions are often the kiss of death. He has a predictable habit of looking backwards and missing what's just about to happen. It is a tragic flaw of him and the republican party. I know what I know and I dare not look forward.

    February 21, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. yalibi

    That Hillary Clinton is even considered Presidential material truly shows how irresponsible America is. In fact that became clear when Americans thought she was qualified to be Secretary of State because .... she had been First Lady! Ladies, gentleman, it's Banana Republic time in the U.S.!

    February 21, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. critical thinking

    She didn't win her Party's nomination in 2008 and she will not win it in 2016. Baggage my friends, lots of baggage in the Clinton closet.

    February 21, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. independentlyowned

    We voted for Obama out of guilt??? Who says that!? We who voted for Obama did so because we thought he was the best candidate (or better than McCain and Romney at least), not because we felt guilty for a black man! If anything, there's just as much racial resentment than there is sexism in this country today. Acknowledging that inequalities still exist though doesn't equate to guilt, or choosing someone we think it less qualified just to be nice.

    February 21, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. cc_rider

    1) John Mccain has lost all touch with reality, his opinion is meaningless. He calls piers morgan "my friend", and piers morgan, for all intents and purposes, is clueless. 2) with the intelligence level of the American voter dropping exponentially every year, Hillary actually does have a chance to get elected…but's that's the only way. With ignorant, cheerleading voters casting a ballot for a completely incompetent, unqualified, lying and corrupt candidate such as hillary clinton

    February 21, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Terry B

    She is, without a doubt, the best candidate out there. Her beliefs are based on logic, common sense and fairness to the electorate unlike her opponents. All decent people will contribute as much as possible to get her elected.

    February 21, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Loretta

    And the reason Hilary would win today is that the republicans have such an extreme right wing spouting their insanity. The more people like Cruz, Rand Paul and that idiot Bachmann talk, the more likely we will have a democratic woman as pres.

    February 21, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. candiduscorvus

    I don't think anyone cares if the president is a woman or not. They just want one that won't screw us over for a change.

    Not that they'll get that.

    February 21, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Tim

    "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.".........................So then, Michelle, you ran for President WHY? Are you telling us that you are a man???

    February 21, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. oneontafan

    Some of you need to turn off Fox. The Benghazi thing was a tragedy, but to personally hold Hillary responsible? Google some of the other attacks and refresh your memories. Nobody held the President or Secretary of State personally responsible! The majority of America agree, we have had an election since then and the people spoke. Hannity and the boys won't let it go, hoping the fire will start without any smoke... Same thing with Bill, It was his indiscretion and not hers. Love him or hate him, the country was in a better state when he was in office. The economy was booming, life was good! The Ken Star fiasco stifled his second term and the GOP loved it that he couldn't get more accomplished... Sad to root against the country for Political gain!

    February 21, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Sonny

    Gee...thanks John....could you enlighten us with some more ? How in the hell did we get to a point in this country where Democrats get a pass on corruption or scandals ? If Ted Cruz were in Hilary's position during the Benghazi ordeal, liberals would have gone ape s$&@

    February 21, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Alex in NJ

    As of now, we haven't elected a woman yet so the system's not completely broken.

    February 21, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Terry

    The problem isn't Hillary Clinton. The problem is the ignorant voters who will vote for her. That is the problem. There is a growing epidemic of stupidity in this country and it is only getting worse.

    February 21, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. jojoe

    If so, NOT only the CLOUDS, but the SKY followed by MOON AND MARS will FALL on America: We don't have to launch ROCKETS and Space Ships. ... SOOOO GREAT! LORD HAVE MERCY!.

    February 21, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Claude

    This country needs Hillary as president in 2016. The republicans can not stop the initiatives started by President Obama for eight more years, which will continue to benefit the middle class and the poor.

    February 21, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. wolfyb

    Obviously McCain is not seeking re-election

    February 21, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Soporifix

    Michelle wants to believe that's the reason she's unelectable.

    February 21, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. wolfyb

    Obviously McCain is not seeking re-election.

    February 21, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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