Bush thinks Clinton will win Democratic nomination
( Reuters ) - President George W. Bush believes Democrat Hillary Clinton will win her party's presidential nomination but that the Republican nominee will beat her in the November 2008 election, a new book said.
Bush broke his silence on offering opinions about the presidential campaign in an interview for "The Evangelical President," a book by a reporter for The Examiner newspaper of Washington, Bill Sammon.
The Examiner published a story about the book on Monday.
Bush, who replaced Clinton's husband, Bill, in the White House in 2001, said he cited the former first lady because "she's got a national presence, and this is becoming a national primary."
"And therefore the person with the national presence, who has got the ability to raise enough money to sustain an effort in a multiplicity of sites, has got a good chance to be nominated," he said.
Bush, whose public approval rating is about 30 percent, has generally kept out of the race to succeed him in the White House, saying he did not want to become "pundit-in-chief."
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush changed his mind because "it's difficult to not talk about the '08 election. There's a lot of interest in it. And it does have consequence."
She added that "the bottom line is that it really doesn't matter what the president thinks about who will win the Democratic primary. There's going to be a showdown at the O.K. Corral and they'll figure out who's going to be the nominee," and that Bush plans to campaign vigorously for the Republican.