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)

    To William Carrell: You didn't mention "Benghazi" in your rant so you don't qualify for an autographed photo of Ted Cruz. Oh, by the way, Hillary WILL win in 2016 with OVER 400 electoral votes so you and your bagger buddies need to step up the voter suppression.

    February 21, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. korkea aika

    I can't wait for Hillary to announce her candidacy, so I can know where to send my $100. Go Hillary!

    February 21, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Jackson

    William Carrell

    Man that is scary. Here is this person that is as ignorant as obama, pro gay, pro illegal alien, pro murdering babies before they are born, personally responsible for the murder of Americans in Bengazi and who knows where else, no backbone when she caught her husband boning his helper in the white house (no telling how many others she knows about). The list could go on and on. She is a disgrace to our country but then again look who she is friends with= BO and M


    I bet if I asked your opinion of Reagan, it would be glowing, despite the fact that he committed High Treason.

    I bet if I asked your opinion of Bush Jr, it would be glowing, despite lying to Congress and committing war crimes. 4 in Benghazi? How many thousands in Bush's illegal war?

    February 21, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Lilywhite

    Hillary had Vince Foster killed and will do it again if anyone stands in her way. Everyone is afraid of her because she knows the thruth about Obama

    February 21, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Kathy, AZ

    --------–For once, I agree with McCain.------------

    February 21, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Wes

    Hillary is the overwhelming favorite because she has no real opposition. The conservatives continue their civil war allowing Socialism to win. Nice job by conservatives. Such a shame.

    February 21, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. J Russ

    Last time McCain made a prediction in the presidential race was 2008........how'd that work out for him?

    February 21, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. iceload

    If we have to fill a quota can't we at least fill it with someone who will stand for the middle class like Elizabeth Warren?

    February 21, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Jackson


    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.!


    I guess you're just going to choose to ignore those years as Senator because it's just a silly fact that gets in the way of your talking point, right?

    February 21, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. reasonablebe

    michelle bachman is just trying to lessen the pain of her failure, and maybe palin's? did it ever occur to her that no one wants either of them, regardless of their gender?

    not sure about mccain's opinion either though- a lot of his opinions have been way off the mark. and of course, he wants the gop to win, so maybe he thinks putting her out there increases their (gop) chances?

    but to get to the point, the election is still 2 years away, so who cares about predictions for what if it was now?

    February 21, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. JerseyJeff78

    McCain is right.

    The Republican Party has moved so far to the right they have alienated the general population even if they have motivated their base.

    Winning primaries is about your base, winning elections is appealing to the middle – where the majority of Americans political beliefs are.

    February 21, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Jeff

    John McCain is really a great judge of who can win the Presidency – not.

    February 21, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Socrates

    Clinton or anybody else. What's the difference? The 1% will be the winner with any president, democrat or Republican.

    February 21, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. sherman

    who's side are you on Newt? you know full well how the media works. oh dear, find a decent opponent with a new party. find one who hates money, thinks goodness is its own reward and is not afraid of the powers than be... just airplanes...

    February 21, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Jackson

    I find it laughable to watch the conservatives on these forums try to bash Hillary. When it was all about Sarah bashing, wasn't it "you're just bashing her because you're afraid of how good she is" and all that nonsense.

    I guess your "logic", combined with your actions, show you think Hillary must be just that good, then, right?

    Or are you going to be true to your GOP hypocrisy platform and have two sets of rules for things like this?

    February 21, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Barfco

    Why is it if someone supports Hillary they must be in the words of one of the posters "ignorant and are part of the epidemic of stupidity" for having the audacity to support someone they disagree with?

    February 21, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. noteasilyswayed

    Bachmann needs to just leave office and go back to her subsidized farm and her gay husband. I don't even know why the media bothers to quote her on anything anymore.

    February 21, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Jesse

    Hilary is to old.

    She committed domestic abuse against Bill Clinton.

    She suffered a stroke, and is not healthy enough.

    She disrespected the troops and have gotten our people killed.

    While she worked very hard as SECSTATE, she was ineffective and given that POTUS is supposed to be primarily a foreign policy job she will be ineffective there as well.

    February 21, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. chris

    I do not know what the big fuss is about. I would vote her in tomorrow if I could. If your going to make a change at the top for the benefit of America, make it a drastic one. If she ran she would win. Nothing better than getting two Presidents for the price of one. Its a no brainer.

    February 21, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. rell87

    The most hated woman in America. Zero accomplishments other then getting elected. Horrible failure as Sec of State. Definitely a candidate that would appeal to the average liberal voter.

    February 21, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Chief J.J.

    Michele buchmann is not truthful at all.If the country is not ready for a female president as at now, why then did she ran for president in 2012?
    Such dump hypocrisy on the part of republicans is quite embarrassing to America politics!!
    She and Sarah Palin should just keep quiet because they never make any sense but only cacophonous noises!! ( Just like their GOP men)

    February 21, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Carol

    McCain should just switch parties. He hasn't been a real conservative for years. RINO sellout at best.

    February 21, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. jim

    Bachmann should not be allowed to speak ever again, does she think Americans are that dumb...hell she ran for president herself...but thenagain she may not be a woman or even human.

    February 21, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Muri

    Just because the Bachmann household has indoctrinated the women doesn't mean the country has followed suit. We've spent the last couple hundred years stripping off the stigmas of gender inequality. Obvious there are still strong pockets of hold out in the midwest.

    February 21, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Eddie B

    the only qualified candidate who I hope will be running.

    February 21, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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