Tags: Barack Obama | Chris Christie | Christie Bridge Controversy | Hillary Clinton | John McCain | Michele Bachmann | CNN

McCain: Bachmann Wrong, Hillary Would Win If Election Today

By Greg Richter   |  

Michele Bachmann is wrong if she thinks Hillary Clinton doesn't have a good chance of winning the presidency in 2016,  Sen. John McCain says.

Bachmann, the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, told columnist Cal Thomas in an interview published Wednesday that Clinton doesn't hold the same advantage as Barack Obama when he first sought the White House in 2008.

"I think there is a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt," Bachmann told Thomas. "People don't hold guilt for a woman."

McCain, appearing Thursday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live," disagreed.

"I would bet my friend, as much as I hate to admit it … that if the election were tomorrow Hillary Clinton would most likely be the president of the United States," McCain said, then he admitted, "She wouldn't be my candidate."

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There are many more women today in the U.S. Senate and in the House of Representatives than just a few years ago, he said. There are also many more women serving as mayors and as governors.

"I just have a very different reading of the American political scene," McCain said.

McCain also said he condemns rocker Ted Nugent's recent description of Obama as a "subhuman mongrel." Texas gubernatorial GOP front-runner Greg Abbott has taken Nugent off his campaign events, but hasn't condemned the comments.

"It's a free country, but that kind of language doesn't really have any place in our political dialogue, McCain said. "It harms the Republican Party. I'm sure that it harmed that candidate there. And it should be obviously repudiated."

"I am a severe critic of President Obama, particularly on national security, but that kind of language … he's the president of the United States. He's been elected and re-elected. I believe we should treat him respectfully."

On the troubles of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, McCain said he was hopeful.

Christie, a moderate Republican like McCain, is still a serious potential presidential candidate despite the Bridge-gate scandal that has engulfed members of his administration since early January. The lane closure scandal has caused his poll numbers drop from a clear GOP favorite for the White House to middle of the pack.

McCain noted he survived his own scandal in the late 1980s as a member of the "Keating Five," during the Savings and Loan crisis to become the Republican presidential nominee against Obama in 2008.

"I'm hoping he'll continue to improve and regain his status," McCain said. "But you never know in one of these things when another shoe is going to drop."

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Michele Bachmann is wrong if she thinks Hillary Clinton doesn't have a good chance of winning the presidency in 2016, Sen. John McCain says.
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