McCain: Clinton formidable in 2016
© Greg Nash

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Memories may be beautiful, yet… Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Arizona GOP blocked from changing rules on filling McCain's seat MORE (R-Ariz.) said Monday that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDems flip New York state seat that Republicans have held for nearly four decades Dems win majority in New York Senate, but won't control it Chelsea Clinton hits back at NYT reporter over details in new book MORE would be a formidable candidate for president if she runs in 2016. 

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Secretary Clinton would be a very strong candidate,” McCain said at an event in Chicago, according to Bloomberg News. 

McCain said her work as secretary of State had been impeccable, with the exception of the deadly attack on a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, last year.

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“I don’t think there’s any doubt she has widespread support,” he said. “Her work as secretary of state, with the exception of this issue of Benghazi — which isn’t going away — I think has been outstanding. I think she would be viewed by anyone, Republican or Democrat, as a very formidable candidate for 2016.”

After losing the presidential election to President Obama in 2008, McCain was skeptical how much weight his words carry. 

"Being a loser, I'm not sure what I have to say would be very impactful," he said.

McCain joked earlier this year that given a choice between Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision Overnight Defense: VA nominee on the ropes | White House signals it will fight for pick | Trump talks Syria with Macron | McConnell tees up Pompeo vote Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) and Clinton in 2016, he would have a “tough choice.” 

Early polling has shown Clinton the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination if she decides to enter the race. 

McCain also called Joe Biden a “wonderful guy.” Biden is also considered a possible contender for the Democratic nomination in 2016. The Arizona senator said it would be a mistake to “rule Joe Biden out of the mix.”