(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.
“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.
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