"He's my life. He really is," she said of the 49-year-old Anderson Cooper 360 host. "He's the one that got away and keeps getting away and gets away all the time."
Strahan left Live! for Good Morning America in May after nearly four years on the talk show. The series has yet to announce a permanent replacement for the television personality and retired football player.
"We really didn't set a timeframe for ourselves. We just wanted to wait until we found the right person," Ripa said of the search. "What we didn't anticipate was that we would have such an outpouring of interest, so our list got very long very quickly. We've been trying to keep it as narrow as possible, but then people pop up."
"We've had a great time. I have to say I feel really lucky and really embarrassed at our good fortune," the star added of the show's many guest co-hosts.
Cooper had said on Watch What Happens Live in April that it "would be a dream to work with Kelly," but later renewed his contract with CNN. Extra host Mario Lopez was among the other stars who were initially rumored to replace Strahan.
"[It's] flattering," Lopez said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I love Kelly. I've guest hosted with her a few times. She's awesome."