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. ted

    McCain wow ! He can comment about something other then War. I'm shocked!

    February 21, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Big_D

    I think we are ready for fresh blood like Elizabeth Warren. Hillary is good but she is a little past her prime.

    February 21, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Martha in CF

    Of course Hillary would win. All the redumblicans do is say no, no, no to everything and obstruct everything because they are not in control. Obama had his work cut out for himself when he got elected president. Things are much better but not for all. What a nation we would be if everyone worked together and came up with solutions to what is wrong in America. If the rich would give a little to the people in need. If everyone would get along and help one another out.......I know-quit dreaming

    February 21, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Rick in L.A.

    Here's the question: if all our elected officials were so good at their job, why is our country so polarized and falling into an abyss? Why do we bail out banks yet let children live homeless on the streets? Why are Iraq veterans not getting the benefits they need after serving? How long will they continue to raise the debt ceiling? Do they think we're that stupid?

    February 21, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. gustifer53

    Of course Hillary would win POTUS in ** 2016** BECAUSE. The Republicons and Teabaggers have NO viable candidates to put into the arena. They have a lot of misfits, who entertain America with their ignorance plus the late night comedians just love the material they get. Hell with people like Perry, Bush, Jindal, Trump, Rand Paul, Ted "Fidel Castro" Cruz (LMAO) Paul Ryan, Sara "The Stupid One" Palin and whomever else they can scrape up off of the Outhouse floor will more than keep those late night comedians in material for years. Thanks for all the pleasure. No seriously, thanks...:-)

    February 21, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. clos

    Go Bill Clinton! Who said you can't re-elect a former president! Go times coming!!!
    Hillary is the favorite in Vegas... at 5 to 1 odds...lmao

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. GGinSandiego

    Bachmann, just close your mouth. You make such inane statements when you speak. The majority of people voted for Obama out of guilt? That's plain nutty. As Mark Twain said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and prove it."

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Ian Hayden Parker

    Wait, did Bachmann say that Obama is the president because of black slavery guilt among white people? This is what I love about her and Palin, they both are so whack they remind independents why republicans are bad choices. Even the republican party tries to sweep their dirt under the rugs, but these little mites find their way into the general public anyway... and it pleases me. 😉

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Steve S

    McCain knows his GOP well..
    The clown car of potential GOP Presidential candidates, certainly isn't pretty.

    February 21, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. jhonny Ausemkock

    No Michelle, we don't have problems with women in leading roles, we just have a problem with the prospect of YOU in a leadership role. I won't be voting for you or Mrs. Clinton. Not because you're women, but because neither of you as humans have any business anywhere near the Oval Office. Give me a female candidate who isn't crazy or a pathological liar, and she will receive my utmost consideration. Neither of you qualify, but there are plenty out there.

    February 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. ProtectAmericanJobs

    The problem in trying to elect good leaders for The United States of America has nothing to do with the color or gender of our politicians. It's our politician's, from both parties, lack of honesty and the lack of willingness to do right by the US citizens that they're elected by and should be representing.

    And certainly before Hillary Clinton runs for president, Americans need to remember that it was her "husband" that got us into bed with China in the first place. – How's that been working out for the American people and the real American economy?

    And what about that whole White-Water/Vince Foster deal?

    I don't trust the Clintons at all.

    The ONLY REAL FIX for our great country is to RAISE REVENUE, by Bringing Back Businesses and Jobs to TAX-PAYING AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    Unfortunately most of our politicians are a joke – Only it's not so funny, because over the past several decades, all they've been doing is screwing the American people, by stalling, spending, removing protections and allowing illegal aliens to continue to pour in and American jobs and industry to pour out, and all while collecting their American tax-payer funded pay checks, benefits and whatever else they get on the side from their various lobbyist friends.

    It seems to me that over the last 2-3 decades that both parties were always able to distract and polarize voters with insignificant peripheral social issues like gay marriage and abortion, which got most voters so caught up in the BS that they'd always lose sight of the bigger picture.

    We'd really all be better off by just cutting through the BS and all the my team vs your team name calling nonsense and really focus on America and improving the future of the American people.

    Once they're elected, our leaders should be working together for the good of the our country and our citizens by using combinations of the best ideas from both sides versus just trying to make the other side look bad so they lose the next election. – How's that been working?

    All the nonsense just allows the puppet-masters to continue to do what's best for them at the expense of the American people while we're polarized and distracted.

    But, let's face it – Neither party is actually running our country – Powerful puppet-masters play both sides to make sure that they get what they want. Unfortunately what they want is not usually in the best interest of the majority of the American people. (American citizens)

    Foreign Lobbyists here in the US promote sending US jobs to countries like China, where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. It also doesn't help us compete when these company's factories are subsidized by China's communist government. Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues – We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules.

    The so called "Global Market Place" is not a level playing field. Companies may have made higher profits by "out sourcing", but they've been putting middle class Americans who are a good part of the world's customer base out of work.

    The American people need American leaders who will start putting some sensible measures in place to stem the tide or this is going to continue to have a devastating effect on the United States of America and the American people.

    Aren't there at least a handful of these powerful puppet-masters that are fellow Americans with enough of a conscience, guts and loyalty to America and their fellow Americans to start trying to turn this trend around?

    If there aren't any, we're screwed.

    The bottom line is that "Our Government" has to protect domestic industry and the jobs that those industries provide. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

    Bringing manufacturing back to the US not only gives jobs to the US citizens who would be working in those manufacturing facilities, but to the people that would be working in the businesses that would spring up all around them. This should also include the safe harvesting, production and distribution of our own natural energy here in the USA, rather than paying for fuel from countries where they hate us. Let's keep that money and those jobs here in the US.

    The lack of businesses and good jobs in the USA is what's really going to rob us, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the potential of a prosperous or even decent future.

    It's all happened because, over the last 25-years, our government has allowed our country's industries to get sucked out to China, India, Mexico, etc and allowed illegal aliens and H-1B foreigners to come into our country and take away tax-paying Americans jobs and drive down domestic prices and wages.

    That's where our government leaders have to step up and put some sensible measures and incentives in place to keep jobs here in the USA or the real economy and infrastructure of the country we love will be destroyed along with the future of the American people.

    Nowadays it's obviously not about being either lazy or uneducated as many try to profess, but about wages, expenses and regulations that are not even remotely close to the wages, expenses and regulations in our country.

    Regardless of what the Free-Traitors keep trying to sell us, we can see what's real. The American People need to just trust their own instincts, common sense and what they've seen actually going on all around them versus all of the nonsense that the free-traitors are still trying to sell us.

    The ONLY REAL FIX for our great country is to RAISE REVENUE, by Bringing Back Businesses and Jobs to TAX-PAYING AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    The American People need Our Leaders to start remembering that they are elected by the Citizens of the United States of America to represent the interests of those citizens and the country itself.

    They are NOT elected by or to represent the Global Market Place, Lobbyist or Foreign citizens!

    February 21, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. ANNIER

    This republican party is so ridiculous that it censured a tightly-wound, buttoned-up conservative like John McCain, to recently be censured for "not being conservative enough". GMAB!! This isn't even the party of G.H.W Bush! The GOP has allowed itself to be hijacked by what is nothing more than today's John Birchers. If Hillary runs, she WILL win, as Senator McCain states. I have formerly voted for a Republican candidate when I felt they were the right person for the job. The extreme loons like Rant Paul and Cruz make my hair afire! Until they change their party, reasonable people like myself will NEVER vote a Republican vote again.

    February 21, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. ANNIER

    Obviously, i typed faster than my thoughts in my "censured" duplication!

    February 21, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. KennyEee

    I'm not so sure of that!!

    February 21, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. Gorio

    McCain needs to go somewhere and sunbathe. Useless Rhino Plick.

    February 21, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Bachmann is (and has been for years) carrying a few bricks less than a full load. As to Clinton winning right now, right this instant–probably. However, I predict we will get to choose between Ms. Billary and the New Jersey Kid come election day.

    Christie will patch the leaky balloon to rise again as the Repugnat's Best Hope. Billary will be nominated by a screaming, panting, bonged-out wave of Dumbocrat fervor.

    February 21, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. mike

    Why would McCain say this? Oh yeah, he is a card carrying liberal disguised as a Republican. But even in Arizona the disguise is falling off. This guy isn't even going to get re-elected. He's toast.

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. LOL

    It depends who is on the vote..... Normally, US people voted between BAD, REALLY BAD, and REALLY REALLY BAD. This way Hillary will be BAD? If someone comes – someone people don't know how bad that someone is – she will be moved to REALLY BAD. Will be hard to win then

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. JY

    Too bad McCann was not this honest and smart in 2008, I WOULD have voted for him and not write perot in again.

    "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." This statement is typical GOP/Tea Party(bagger) mentality that women are a lesser species, bordering on not quite to the level of a black male.

    February 21, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. me

    Justaman, you are so Right! To imply that President Obama was elected out of some kind of 'guilt' is insane. The same goes for women. Maybe she's feeling it but thinking ppl don't use that measure. And anyone that would campaign with Nasty Pants Nugent is digging their own grave. I've heard the excuse that he was young. I don't care how young he was, it is about character then and now. It shows just how low someone will stoop to get what they want. And look it up. He did not use a diaper.

    February 21, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Lucas

    Only taxpayers should be allowed to vote. Period.

    February 21, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. 54StarryNights

    If Republicans were honest, they would just admit that they oppose Hillary Clinton because she is a strong, intelligent, smart, politically savvy woman who has a bigger pair than any of them. They fear a woman they know they cannot manipulate or control.

    February 21, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Common Sense

    remember the tv ads in 2008 about who we would want answering the white house phone at 3am??? Remember that Clinton campaign commercial??? Well, the phone did ring, Clinton dropped the receiver, and four Americans died...On top of that, she goes to congress and says, "what difference does it make"...........

    February 21, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. CFL

    I mostly lack support for Hillary, but I applaud her for taking initial accountability for Bengazi in which no one had the balls to do so. The Democratic Party lacks balls, but I'm at least glad to see that she has them and I won't be completely disappointed when she wins.

    February 21, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. Patriot American

    As a Republican, I hate to say it just like John McCain she would win. But who would beat her Michele Bachman????????
    that would be a joke. We need some one like Perry if only he would remember things a shame.

    February 21, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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