(CNN) - Play word association with the name "John McCain" and "maverick" is certain to pop up.
After all, McCain's presidential campaign repeatedly dubbed the Arizona Republican "the original maverick" and late last month McCain's former running mate, Sarah Palin, urged a crowd in Tucson to "send the maverick back to the Senate!"
But there's only one problem: McCain, who faces a difficult primary challenge from the right, says he's no maverick.
"I never considered myself a maverick," the senator told Newsweek this week. "I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities."
McCain faces a primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth and has come under criticism for being too moderate on a variety of issues, including immigration. Several leading Tea Party activists in Arizona have decided not to endorse McCain or Hayworth, criticizing both of their records while serving in Congress.
Palin, who remains popular with the conservative voters McCain is hoping to court, campaigned with the Arizona senator last month. It was the first time the two appeared publicly since their 2008 bid for the White House came to an end.
Following Palin's recent appearance for McCain, the senator's campaign released a 90-second video of the two .
I lived in AZ for 6 years and, like many of those in Phoenix, still can't figure out why there isn't a decent Democratic candidate for Senate. The Red state could turn Blue very easily against old John & J.D.
Talk about wearing your flippy floppys.
These lapses of memory used to be amusing, but this if I were a Arizona voter, I would want McCrypt to submit to a cognitive test!
He is losing his mind right before all of our eyes. I still go back to the time in the campaign where he was asked about Viagra and you could see the mental meltdown.
Wow – This is too much. John McCain is much better than this. He doesn't have to take this sharp right turn first time in his entire life to avoid losing to JD Hayworth. He should learn from his fellow "Maverick" – Joe Liberman (don't like him either but still). Liberman lost in the democratic primary, ran as independent and beat the same guy in general election. McCain could win the same way and wouldn't have to sell out to everything he is not.
So isn't this technically a flip-flop?
To keep me from getting more confused:
1. Senator McCain IS a maverick in election years when he is running for president.
2. Senator McCain IS NOT a maverick in election years when he is running for a senate seat.
But what is he during election years when he is not running for anything?
Senator McCain – you are proving yourself to just be another politician. "Maverick" was all we heard during the 2008 presidential campaign. Now all of a sudden, you claim you never considered yourself to be a maverick.
You just opened the door for your opponents. I'm sure they are going to find much footage of 'maverick".............................
McCain needs to retire. He has no platform of ideas and never even bothered to develop one when he was running for President! He had become the typical negative Republican who thinks they can win by telling lies and spreading fear about their opponent.
McCain has become unstable, changes positions on issues depending on what people respond to most, and is really scraping the bottom of the barrel to get Palin to endorse him!
McCain is throwing more temper tantrums on the floor of the Senate, keeps mixing up facts, and appears clueless most of the time. I don't like his nutjob tea bagger opponent but we need to get rid of senile Senators.
I pity John McCain. He was awesome circa 2000
He will say anything, endorse anybody, and do anything to stay in office. He has already proven this. I think the truly "maverick" image he represented to people in the middle a long time ago was, unfortunately, an act.
This too funny, first McCain gets out flanked on the left and now he gets out flanked on the right,
Just face it Johnny, your days are sooo numbered. But you have had good run, go on to one of the many homes you have accumualeted over the years on a senators salary and slowly fade to black.
McCain has turned into the ultimate "snake". Shedding his skin for all seasons and campaigns.
No wonder politicians get the grief that they so dearly deserve. He has lost all sense of dignity.
I would still vote for him rather than that Tea Bagger!
We certainly dodged a bullet when this increasingly senile old man lost the '08 election.
At least in his current capacity he can only harm Arizonians.
Thanks be to GOD you're also NOT President of the United States!
Can you imagine? (shudder!).
McCain is a RINO. We need a true conservative candidate to clean the house of progressive garbage.
This is too funny, first McCain gets out flanked on the left in 2008 and now he gets out flanked on the right in 2010. He is all over the place.
Face it Johnny, your days are sooo numbered and you are toast.
I think we have heard enough from this two-faced lier. Remember that he is the one that brought Palin into our lives.
I've been saying since before the last election – he's maverickety.
When they start sounding pathetic it's time to retire them. Sen. McCain's been a politician so long he's forgotten how to be a man. Send him home, Arizona, send him home.
I am a democrat. I will probably always vote democrat. But I will never degrade or disrespect Senator John McCain. He served his country faithfully, not only in the military, but in Government as well.
I don't believe for a moment that he doesn't do what he feels is right for this country and that's all you can ask of someone. I happen to disagree with his stance on many different issues which is why he doesn't have my vote. His concession speech after loosing the race for President, was everything I expected of him and set the bar moving forward. Class Act.
Apparently, you're never too old to have an identity crisis.
Oh come on john. You know that you and old Sarah got all “Maverick” during the 2008 campaign. Now that you have to attempt to suck up to the base to attempt to get re-elected, you just look pathetic!!! But since you will soon be unemployed, you’ll have plenty of time to reflect on your poor decisions!!! LOL, I can’t wait to hear your concession speech!!!
No doubt that Senator McCain served his country and survived his time in Vietnam as a prisoner. Clearly, he deserves respect for his service.
However, he must have pulled to many g's when he crashed one of the 7 airplanes he is credited for.
This changing of facts and positions is endemic of politicians, not just Senator McCain. It is as if they think we are not paying attention, or have no memory. Well, I'm not as old as Senator McCain, and my memory is mostly intact. It is time for this "Maverick" to be put out to pasture.
"Somebody has to be the grownup here! I volunteer, how about you?"
You're as nutty as Senator Palpatine up there. If the best you can come up with is that the Dems are crackin' wise at the memory-impaired fuddy duddy in response to the entire GOP bringing DC to a screeching halt for over a year with some of the most despicable misinformation campaigning and demogoguery most of us have seen in our lifetimes, then you're right...you should volunteer...just be ready to dodge a few eggs and wisecracks before we're once again ready to meet you in the middle.
You old maverick, John, should not run; rather you should walk or at the least take rest now. Give time to your family and live a life rather than a politician. You dug your own hole when you chose Sarah as your running mate. That was one of the biggest mistakes you did in your career. Why do you feel ashamed of admitting that?
Is John McCain so delusional that he thinks people won't remember what he has said in the past? It sure seems that way.