March 6th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Dole: McCain has a temper, but it's not a problem

CNN

Watch portions of Larry King's interview with Bob Dole.

(CNN) - Former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole said Wednesday night that current White House hopeful John McCain has a temper - but added the Arizona senator “can control it.”

Dole told CNN’s Larry King that his former Senate colleague “does have a… I guess you could say temper. But I always sort of rationalized that because the poor guy had been locked up” in a tiny cell for six years. But McCain, he said, “can control it. It's not a problem anymore.”

Dole, a former Senate Majority Leader, told King that the 2008 presidential campaign was historic because it featured “two very unusual candidates - the first serious black candidate for president and the first serious woman candidate” and because, for the first time since John Kennedy was elected, a senator will become commander-in-chief.

Dole, a long-time Kansas senator, ran for president in 1988 and in 1996, when he was the GOP nominee.

He said Wednesday that one of McCain’s potential fall opponents, Barack Obama, had “sort of become the pied piper of American politics - a great speaker. He draws huge crowds.” Dole also said that if Obama is the nominee, age could become an issue in the campaign.

If his White House bid is successful, McCain would be the oldest candidate elected to his first term.

Dole told King that Hillary Clinton can “play the experience card, but on the other hand I think Obama would say it’s not so much somebody’s experience, it’s your judgment that counts. It’s not who picks up the phone, it’s what you do say when you pick it up.’’

He also predicted that the Democratic race “is going to get pretty rough and tumble in the next 30, 40, 50 days."

– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Bob Dole
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Don

    I hate to correct Mr. Dole, but Richard Nixon was a Senator, from California. He wasn't Senator when elected, but had been previously, and he was Vice President after serving as Senator.

    March 6, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Jon

    Everyone has a temper, and here's mine rearing its head:

    In response to "ted"

    (his comment: March 6th, 2008 10:03 am ET

    WHY, oh why, is no one exposing Hillary's lifelong lesbian issue. Too many people in the FBI, Secret Service, CIA, and even old college connections can attest to this. Obama should be using the information !)

    You ignorant twit. Unless you have personal, first hand, verifiable proof you have no right to say that. It would be like me saying that you're gay just because I think so.

    Even IF she were gay it would matter one iota.

    March 6, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Moodi

    For the bellow news in the political ticker:

    You are showing your endoresement for Hillary ok doesnot matter:

    "Clinton leads Obama in Texas caucuses count." but If you watch you can simply see that it is vice versa.

    Shame on such brosdcasting.

    March 6, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Jon

    Even IF she were gay it would NOT matter one iota.

    March 6, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Peter

    Well, at least he doesn't have distemper.

    March 6, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. David

    Another very comment he said "If Hillary is the nominee, then age will not be an important factor"...
    I believe genuine Republican see OBAMA as a candidate with a potential to unite the whole country around a common good goal. While Hillary can divide her own party!
    David

    March 6, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. jason

    CNN aired 10 mintues of Obama's stump speech and 5 mintues of Hillary and 3 mintues of McCains' a week ago.

    March 6, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Emily Coletta

    Bob Dole is a cyborg.

    March 6, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Kings

    3am roles around a phone goes off in the whitehouse.

    McCain answers " Push the Nuke button! invade France and Alaska! rawrrr, im sleepy"

    Clinton answers " Um... Bill here, no she's not here right now, call back later" "Bill? who just called? " " uh, dunno. didn't seem important"

    Obama answers " OK here's what to do"

    March 6, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. PDC

    Angry old man, in the twilight of his life with his finger on the button.

    Sounds like a great idea to me.

    March 6, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Goodheart

    Democrat here supporting McCain over Obama, unless Hillary is on the ticket.

    March 6, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. LT

    Please correct the headline.

    March 6, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Republicus

    "Clinton leads Obama in Texas caucuses count"

    Wow.

    To think I've defended CNN when friends and colleagues have called it the "Clinton News Network."

    March 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Sara M

    ...As far as Obama is concerned..

    THE EMPEROR ISN'T Freaking wearing any CLOTHES!

    March 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. andrew of california

    Dear curious and lilarose of Oregon: wow, what are they doing?

    March 6, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Obama for President

    CNN FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Clinton leads Obama in Texas caucuses count -- You call yourselves unbiased??? FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!
    Posted: 09:40 AM ET

    March 6, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. kevin from alaska

    Spent six years as a POW and has a temper because of it.

    Wishes death upon foreign leaders.

    Planning for a 100 years war in the Middle East with Iraq and Iran.

    McCrazy/Bush 08

    March 6, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Independant

    Just what we need !!!!!!!!!--– an old man with a temper. Remember Pres. Reagan, a "nice man", but of questionable mental "sharpness" in his final days in office. There was an obvious concerted effort to keep this under wraps.

    March 6, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. DWA

    Both McCain and his wife look like they have had a lobotomy! You can tell when he talks that he is on some type of downer. Maybe that's what makes him so boring to listen to! He could put the fans asleep at the Super Bowl!

    March 6, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. For Obama

    CNN – FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Clinton leads Obama in Texas caucuses count – You call yourselves unbiased??? – Please FIX immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Posted: 09:40 AM ET

    March 6, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Alex Mackin

    All Obama's iraq vote proves is that he's willing to ignore the world's intelligence agencies. We forget that most people supported the concept of the war back then. I find this somewhat disconcerting.

    March 6, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Groucho

    Never say a good leader who wasn't known to have a temper. Having one isn't the problem, its knowing when not to use it.

    March 6, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Sara

    PLEASE CORRECT THE HEADLINE BELOW THIS STORY!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. KMAN

    What's wrong with McWar-Monger telling his senate colleauges to F -you? After all ... he's not capable of speaking eloquently?

    March 6, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. ne,pa

    McCain=temper and trigger happy!

    March 6, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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