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

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


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. David

    Hillary has a BAD TEMPER too! Very unpresidential if you ask me. I wonder how she would respond to our enemies...let me guess...WAR!

    March 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Mary - Independent

    A temper? What about the rest of McCain's "do's and don't's – another 4 years of the same in the White House will be NEGATIVE for this country!

    March 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. simple thought ?

    Hell, we all have a temper, but most keep it in check unless it is a necessity to release it.
    why would anyone hold that against anyone?

    March 6, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. georgia

    ted: 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

    gee, ted, I think that move would remove any possibility of imagining Obama as the "new politician. . ."

    March 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. LEN

    The republicans want HILLARY to win because she will devide the party and John Mcain will come out victorious. She won't get enough votes.

    March 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Fernandez

    What is Dole saying here? Can we trust McCain to run this Country?
    A guy with a bad temper could be disaster

    March 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Brianne

    I heard this interveiw. He sounded kind of old and I wondered if he had dementia.

    March 6, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Yah.. McCain has a temper when sees all the wasteful spending in government

    March 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Todd C.

    Who's Bob Dole??

    March 6, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Snowball

    Mccain is too old, Hillary is the man!!

    March 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. Independent

    McCains bigger problem is Rush Limbaugh who is out stomping for the GOP everyday. Rush was in part responsible for getting Bush elected by speading terrible falsehoods about his running mates and now he is doing so for McCain. The only reason he has not been terminated is because of his stong GOP backing. No a good thing for McCain.

    March 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. LEANIE

    To address "Andrew of California." Obama didn't use any negatives about Hillary Clinton because during Bill Clinton's administration the Republicans tried to dig up everything and anything they could. All they could come up with was Bill's infidelity and somehow made a federal crime out of it. We've all heard every thing there is to hear except how much money the average guy made during the Clinton times or how a war (the Repubs called "wagging the dog") was so well run – and finished during Clintons administration. I notice that Obama is quick to tell how many "Clinton" people he has working for him. Seems like he's trying to have Clinton's administration rub off on him. Hillary doesn't need that. She's a Clinton! THE REAL THING. Oh, and if you want to know something about a family see how their children turned out.

    March 6, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. therealist

    Al Queada in Iraq is afraid of John's temper too. But not Obama's...

    March 6, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Al, Sacramento Ca

    A vote for McCain equals
    -Nationa deficit hits $20 trillion
    -4+ years of the Iraq War
    -More soldiers lives lost for no cause
    -Al Qaida gets stronger in Afghanistan
    -Recession turns to the next great depression
    -Dollar drops even more
    -China becomes the next world economic power
    -European Union becomes the universal coin
    -A continuance of the Bush policies

    March 6, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. look byond

    This is another political tactics the Hilary campaign are using,
    since they know that majority of their viewers or supporters do not verify or do their own research as to the accuracy of the news they received.

    The Obama campaign has already raised almost 6 millions dollars as of 12.00 midday today, but you will not hear them BRAGGGGGGGGGGGG about it.

    This is the campaign that have substance and real change for America.

    GO OBAMA GO...............................................

    WE NEED YOU, WE ARE BEHIND YOU ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Rove's 3rd Chin

    Right Angelina from KY – tell your brother to leave you alone long enough to realize this "librul media" is owned by an oligarchy conglomerate, CAPITALIST group of a few select individuals. But then if you read (if you can), you'd notice that the print media as well as the hate radio is all rightwing. Sorry about your dishonesty. Librul media – yeah right! only when they're not towing the rightwing Christian Taliban line!

    March 6, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. HP Boston

    Oh boy McAncient and McOLD helping each other cross the street!!

    March 6, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. David

    Why won't Hillary release her tax returns? What is she hiding????

    March 6, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Byron in CA

    Curious observation how the media is trying to make the connection of how negative press toward Mr. Obama could have made an impact in the elections on March 4th, but still fail to go further to the connection of how they've affected the perception of Hillary and her campaign over the last 3 months with a constant barrage of negative media toward her.

    What is equally as strange is how now it is accepted/encouraged by the media and seems to be the strategy when Mr. Obama goes negative in his campaign, which they and the media have been very critical of Hillary for supposedly doing.

    The double standard still exist

    March 6, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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