(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 .
Poor old maverick. Old age tantrums and now he forgot his montra....he is so worthless...go away old man........you are simply a liar
That's not what he kept saying in 2008. The man needs to retire. He was a hero in war but, his constantly making every issue that comes down the pike a matter of honor wore thin long ago. If he had represented the wishes of the people who nominated him rather than posturing himself above the fray in 2008, maybe we wouldn't have that Karl Marx protege in the White House.
I wasn't impressed with the "maverick" title, but if John had been a conservative in truth, instead of just a talking point, he could very well have been elected president in 2008. Many Republicans stayed home rather than vote for the Liberal on the Republican ticket.
The straight talk just went full circle. This guy is a washed up old liar.
The comment from Retardingan hit the mark. I really think that the good Senator is now suffering from dementia.
Come on America, claim your country back, kick all incumbent senators and reps out in November. Let's show them who they are suppose to work for. We need term limits for senators and reps NOW!!!
What the?? New health care laws and McCain ain't no maverick?! The World is coming to an end!
A sad time for a guy who has given a lot to his country. His snap judgements over the past years have shown he has real issues with process and need to shoot from the hip without really thinking things all the way through.
A very good senator and a poor chose for President.
Thanks for the memories.
Well, McCain hasn't been any kind of maverick since around 2006, so I guess he is right. He had some moments of challenging the GOP establishment, but those days have been long over - he is nothing but the regular old school GOP clone now.
Just another example of a Republican rewriting history to suit his current predicament.
I don't know why so many are expressing such outrage. McCain isn't the first politician to use a label to his advantage, only to abandon it when it becomes an inconvenience. Like the rest of the Senate and the House, he's so busy trying to keep his job that he's failing to actual DO his job. Let's fire the lot of 'em!
Wow, that's a switch, now that the ultra right in the Republican Party is running things, "it's I am no maverick, and do you mind if I sit on Rush's lap".......
Term limits for congress – now that is "mavericky".
J.McCain has served enough time. It is now time for people like Mehgan McCain.
Maverick or not, he is a leader that stands according to his moral judgments. When McCain speaks, not only does the nation listen, but the world. His experience and respect in the senate gives his state unprecedented voice. Maverick or not, he's a leader who lives to serve the American cause, which remains steadfast.
Duh. His party threw him under the bus in order to court the right wing extremist fringers so they could exacerbate the extremes, divide the country and create a political vaccum in the center...which they hoped would tug people further right. It worked in some ways (will backfire frightfully in others), so true right-of-center GOPers like Kaptain Kangaroo up there are going to get slaughtered. Probably would've helped him if he could've gotten on board more with the Deebaggers.
I suppose what he might have meant was that he never considered himself to be a maverick, even though other people called him a maverick. Then again, it could be a primary election ploy to keep the far right members of his constituency from remembering that he used to be famous for reaching across the aisles. These days, the ability to reach across the aisle to actually get something done is not a very prized capability in the Republican party.
John McCain was 'my guy' in 2000 because of his sense of independence and willingness to do what he believed to be right, not what was expedient EVEN if that mean dealing with Satan (the Democrats) if it was in the best interest of the country.
Not so much in 2008 when he 1) cozied up to the Republican hard right to win the nomination, and 2) selected a know nothing nitwit as his running mate in an attempt to.... hmmmm... can't really come up with any good reason for THAT move.
Now, he's totally abandoned any pretext of independence in a bald attempt to hold onto what little he still has; his Senate seat. Talk about a tarnished end. Where are your principles John?
Bye bye Johnny boy!
You're never too old to have an identity crisis.
yes he si a flip flopper but he is still better than that numbskull J D Heywood Jablowski.
We never considered you a Maverick either, John. More like a Republican shill.
Horse puckey. McCain said exactly that, REPEATEDLY, during the 2008 campaign.
Better tell Godzilla from Wasilla to stop lying about that and everything else, old man. Oh, never mind, she lies as easily as she breathes like all "good Christians" from the "real America".
Mr. McCain, were you lying to us during the Presidential campaign or are you lying to us now? Looks like you have been hanging around Sarah Palin too long.
I really is sad to see how low you have stooped since 2007. You used to be a highly respected Senator. Now you are just another lying, flip-flopping, angry, grudge-holding, cant get over losing the election whining, anything to get elected saying, political has been.
Do us all a favor and move to Alsaka to be near your moose hunting, Russia seeing, thanks but no thanksing, low IQ friend.