April 1st, 2008
11:17 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain calls temper 'very minor thing'


Watch Dana Bash's interview with John McCain.

(CNN) - John McCain Tuesday brushed off suggestions his well-documented quick temper may hinder his ability to serve as President of the United States.

In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, the presumptive Republican nominee acknowledged he can get angry from time to time, but called that face a "very minor thing" compared to his accomplishments in the Senate.

"[My] leadership qualities required an even temper and those abilities to reach across the aisle and work with democrats for the good of my constituents and the country are clear indications that that’s a very minor thing as compared to my record of accomplishment."

McCain also said he thinks voters will expect him to get angry at times.

"When I see corruption in Washington, when I see wasting needlessly of their tax dollars, when I see people behaving badly—they expect me to get angry, and I will get angry," he said. "Because I won’t stand for corruption, and I won’t stand for waste of their tax dollars and I will demand that people serve their country first and the special interests second."

McCain has long been known by Senate colleagues for his at-times angry outbursts. Most recently, he issued Texas Sen. John Cornyn an apology after shouting "F- you' at him during last year's heated immigration debate.

Cornyn endorsed McCain's presidential bid in February.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Go PSU

    McCain will destroy the democrats. The democrats can't even unite or manage their own party.

    April 1, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. case

    Temper a minor thing, not with this guy.

    I cant wait for Obama to start talking cirlces around this puppet as the debate turns to war and the economy.

    I used to like McCain before he had to suck up to the failed policies of the GOP and the worst administration of all time.

    This guy swears in the House of Congress. His policies are based in fear and are old, just like him, old.


    Independent for Obama

    April 1, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Dave in Houston

    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt!

    Whether you're an alcoholic or rage-aholic, saying it ain't so doesn't mean it ain't so.

    I predict he'll blow a gasket in October and then it will really, really be over.

    April 1, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. LA

    American may be able to deal with a quick angry temper; but can our allies and enemies?

    Think before you VOTE people, what do you want america to be viewed as by other countries? It does matter, that is why we are losing our soldiers to date..

    April 1, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |

    Talk about corruption in Politics? Don't China own us. And
    can't we change that? How can taxpayer paid cronie trips be taken
    for granted, when our country is going bankrupt? Do we owe China
    so much that they control us? Talk about corruption. This all happened
    under your eyes, Mr. McCain. In order to have changed the policies,
    you would have had to take a stand against your own party and go
    on national t.v. to make the voters aware and you did not. You have
    had your chance, Mr. McCain. So has Hillary Clinton.

    April 1, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    What is he saying. That it is ok to get angry at other world leaders, his aids, the press etc. please somebody rouse him from sleep and tell him that it is wrong, wrong, wrong for the president to tout his anger bouts. it may be the difference betweeen war and peace; pushing the dreaded nuclear button or scaring away aids from giving sound advice. He needs to get a grip or get out.

    April 1, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Tanya

    I don't believe for a moment that McCain temper is caused by all these lofty, idealistic reasons.
    His long history in politics shows that he is an unbalanced man who throws tantrums when he can't get his way.

    April 1, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Dia Akin

    Uh oh.....yet another blow! We all know what happens when we speak out of anger? Who says he wont have one of his moments when it hits the fan and decide he wants to deploy troops elsewhere because some foreign leader "pissed him off?"

    DEFINITELY not presidential material! I need a leader who keeps a cool head in time of crisis. We've already seen Clinton's PMS moments and the way she mismanages her campaign. So that only leaves our only hope for TRUE change.....

    Obama or nothing.......

    April 1, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |

    I do not know why Cnn and others in media give this old coot a free ride. Is it because he sooooo boring that you all forget that he's there?

    April 1, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Look byond

    Hope he doesn,t push the wrong BUTTON in a haste.
    These are sign of triggers, when someones's temper runs wild.

    We know what this can mean for some one with bad temper.
    It's just like addiction, when things don't go their way , we used the " F" word to solve our problems, and when the medication expires, we regret what has been said or done.
    He serves this country, so do millions too, and we are very very proud of John Mccain.
    But, the reality is, he will not be able to run this country base on his military background.

    We have seen past presidents, who have done well without a military background and have run this country well because of the great people they surround themselves with.

    So my point of view depicts that, while John Mccain is a fine military Personell, he is not ready to be commander-in-chief.

    He has to know more about the economy and byond to be the commander-in-chief.

    April 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Wilberto Jimenez, Monmot, MD

    That's alright. I seem to recall a similar headline in 2000: "George W. Bush calls drunkeness 'very minor thing'".

    April 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. sophia nyc

    Crazy madman.

    If you like war with Iraq, you'll LOVE war with Iran.

    April 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. La Raza

    Never McCain. Never.

    April 1, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Obama For 2 terms!

    Minor like global warming? Minor like the little skirmish in Iraq? Minor like our deficit? minor like our ailing education system? Minor like our failed healthcare policy?

    Define "minor" grandpa munster!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 1, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. steve

    McCain , while you are on your biography tore , let us know that your great-grand father had a plantation and had more than 52 slaves who worked and bled for your family's prosperity; not only the war hero line.
    You are an opportunist.
    No more McBush

    April 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Tim

    You dont tell another senator to go eff themselves with a minor temper. How many times are you gonna say the same thing to China, Iran, or Russia?

    This man is angry and suffers from dementia. He is the epitome of the crazy bitter old man and should not be president.

    April 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Rock Johnson

    Great, it shows he's a man, and not one of the compromising 'uniters' and 'defenders' like Obama.

    April 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. United Dems for Obama

    No Grandpa Munsters...LOL

    April 1, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Raylene Mertle

    He is a danger to our country.

    Now he wants Military veterans to be teachers in our schools. Just because he is a war munger he wants to take our children and train them to be war mungers as well.

    He continue to link Al Queada to Iran, we cannot have a president who cannot get his facts together. American already made this mistake once and do not need to make another.

    And thinks voters will expect him to get angry at times when things don't go his way. Wake up America, there is something wrong with this picture.

    April 1, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Yes, DM again Arlington, TX

    Senator John McCain,

    You have it all wrong, many service personal are dying and for what a lie. Our economy is suffering for what a lie. America is deep in debt to China, Inda, South Korea for what to support a War that should have never begun.

    Senator John McCain I don;t think you get it. Bring our families home.

    April 1, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Tanya K

    I am a democrate, but compared to Obama's childish inexperience, and Boo-hooing, if Hillary is not on the ticket he sounds like he might get the vote.

    April 1, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Ponte

    Powerful, productive, successful men and women have tempers and get angry at stupidity and time-wasting indecision. You think that Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton didn't have tempers? Or Nancy Pelosi? Or Trump or Bill Gates or Warren Buffet? Letterman? Or Hilary!!??? We see her self-righteous temper every day, now that she's falling further behind in the polls and is being called on to get out.

    C'mon folks, don't be silly bomb-tossers on this subject. Just consider all the successful people who have tempers, both the famous people and those who you might know. A temper is a personailty trait of smart, productive people. It doesn't mean that someone is "gonna blow in October" like someone said earlier.

    April 1, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Tex'un

    To be fair: Eisenhower had a strong temper and he is usually considered the most successful Republican president of the 20th century.

    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. andrew

    here we have another bush

    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Paul from Kissimmee

    Nothing wrong with a little temper. Better than looking like a cowardly liberal.

    April 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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