Former President Bill Clinton, appearing Monday on ABC’s “The View,” admitted wife Hillary Clinton, D-NY, never wanted to be Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s vice president and that he likes both Obama and Republican rival John McCain.
"Not really. No, she didn't," Clinton said when asked if Hillary really wanted to be chosen as Obama’s running mate after losing out to the senator from Illinois during the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries.
Clinton, however, did say Hillary would have agreed to run on Obama's ticket had Obama asked her, but that never happened.
"She said that 'if [Obama] asks I'll do it, because it's my duty.' And I had no real opinion. I think it's very important, once a party gets a nominee, it's a very personal decision who should be vice president. I like Senator [Joe] Biden a lot,” Clinton said, referring to whom Obama ultimately chose for his running mate. “He was a good choice."
But Hillary would've been the better choice, Clinton conceded.
"[Hillary] would have been the best [choice] politically, at least in the short run, because of her enormous support in the country," he said.
"She loves being a senator from New York and she has more freedom to develop her positions on the issues and her things."
Barbara Walters, host of “The View," asked Clinton if he thought Obama didn't want Hillary because "he didn't want you in the bargain."
"I don't know the answer to that," Clinton said. "I think he felt more comfortable with another choice. And you have to respect that."
"Was it because he didn't want you along?" Walters said, pressing the issue.
"I have no idea. If anybody thought that, they were just reading the political press and believing it," Clinton said.
Clinton maintains that Obama will win the presidency, but also spoke admiringly of McCain, whom he said was instrumental in his administration’s normalizing of relations with Vietnam, where McCain spent five years as a prisoner of war.
"The American people, for good and sufficient reasons, admire him," Clinton said of McCain. "He's given something in life the rest of us can't match."
Clinton also called Obama a "good man" and "smart candidate. I'll be surprised if he doesn't [win.]"
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