September 5th, 2007
02:23 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain: 'Little jerk' comment made in jest

Watch John McCain tell CNN he was trying be funny when he called a questioner a "little jerk."

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican White House hopeful John McCain told CNN Tuesday night he was merely trying to be funny when he called a New Hampshire town-hall questioner a "little jerk."

"He was a little jerk," McCain said with a smile, referring to a student questioner on Tuesday who cited McCain's age (71) and asked if the Arizona Republican worried he "might die in office or get Alzheimer’s or some other disease that might affect [his] judgment?” (Related video: Another teen questioner talks with CNN's Kiran Chetry on his pointed questions)

McCain told the questioner that he was not worried about his age and ended the exchange in his quintessential straight talk tongue in cheek style: “Thanks for the question, you little jerk … you’re drafted.”

Speaking with CNN about the remarks, McCain added that "especially with young people, but with everybody, you got have a sense of humor and exchange."

McCain added, "He's entitled to his views and I respect them and that's why I made sure he was able to respond three or four times. I think that's what young people expect."

Related: High schoolers pitch hardballs at McCain

- CNN's Sareena Dalla and Alexander Mooney


Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Paul, Vancouver BC

    How refreshing. An honest and non-pc politician. I guess this kills his campaign. When does the kid announce his lawsuit?

    September 5, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. Leigh, PA

    Hey, McCain will bring back the draft...he wants ALOT more troops in Iraq!

    The draft is nothing to joke about. He's made jokes about the war before which I find very distasteful. People are dying and suffering as he jokes...and he wants to be commander in chief. What a jerk!!

    I say, Bravo, to the students for asking those questions. Thank goodness somebody is!

    September 5, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. Ryan, Placentia, CA

    I'm fairly liberal, and I disagree with many of Senator McCain's political positions, and I also think he's one of the most intelligent and decent individuals in the current presidential race. High school students respond to humor, especially humor directed against fellow students. It's funny to make fun of people. The student was making fun of Senator McCain, and that was funny (and legitimate), and McCain was making fun of the student, and that was also funny (and also legitimate). Now McCain's stances on gay rights and abortion... those are not funny.

    Slow news day, indeed.

    September 6, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  4. karen, orlando, fl

    There are 135 comments on this topic. What does that say about the topics that we chose to focus on???? Does it really matter that McCain made a harmless joke??? Anyone who takes serious offense to this really needs to get a life.

    September 6, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. Jim, Indianapolis, IN

    I'm with those who have gained respect for McCain for playing along. We're travelling down a dangerous path when we're not able to speak our minds – or joke – without being chastised, criticized or worse.

    September 7, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    I'm a democrat all the way, I'll vote demo no matter what. But anyone who criticizes Mccain for his 'little jerk' comment has got a stick up their ***. Watch the video. It's funny, he handled himself very well, and the guy who asked the question probably thought being called a little jerk by Mccain was hilarious- the audience sure did.

    September 10, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Jenna Applegate, Tulsa, Oklahoma

    I'm a Democrate all the way, but I thought the Mccain comment was awesome. He handled himself very well. And I'm sure the little jerk thought it was hilarious-the audience sure did. Anyone who criticizes Mccain has got a stick up their butt. Watch the video, its really funny. It was said in complete good humor, not snidely at all.

    September 10, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Hana Myers

    i hate john mccaian!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Ron Marek

    Come on now: it's not strange for kids in high school do things to try to get a rise out of people, and, in turn, the "little jerk" comment was more of a poke than a punch to the face. McCain's got a dry sense of humor, and people need to lighten up a little bit.

    January 26, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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