Who's John McCain voting for in 2016? If it comes down to Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul, "It’s gonna be a tough choice," he jokes in a sizable new interview with the New Republic. Though Paul and McCain have famously butted heads before, McCain was quick to qualify his lighthearted remark: "I think that Rand Paul represents a segment of the GOP, just like his father. And I think he is trying to expand that, intelligently, to make it larger," he says. But he offered genuine praise for Clinton, who he calls a "rock star." "She has, maybe not glamor, but certainly the aura of someone widely regarded throughout the world."
He also weighs in on another potential 2016 candidate, Marco Rubio. "He has a bright future in the party. He is a valuable candidate for president," he says. "Some people say [immigration reform] will set him back, but remember, I got the nomination of the party after failing on immigration in 2007." Elsewhere in the interview, McCain still defends his choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate. "She did everything I ever wanted," he says. "She excited our base in a way I was unable to achieve. And then I watched the shredding and destruction to destroy a good and decent person by the liberal media." McCain has more to say on Syria, George W. Bush, and gay marriage at the New Republic. (Read more John McCain stories.)