March 6th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
14 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. RPF

    Yeah, someone with a temper... exactly who we want to answer the phone at 3:00 in the morning. Don't freak out, Mr. McCain!

    March 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Houston Texas

    I hope McCain has a temper. That's a healthy sign.

    March 6, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. Chris

    Why do all these Republicans want Obama to win?

    March 6, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Jeff from Jersey

    Obama will have the answering machine on at 3 am!

    March 6, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Michelle

    So...if POW excuses a that Bill Clinton's excuse as well?

    March 6, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Jayson

    McCains temper may be a strength in some instances because this Congress could use some yelling at when they consider their personal agendas more important then their constituents and the American people.

    March 6, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. Jackie

    Gee I saw this interview last night. And I have to tell you that Dole was not endorsing Obama. You have taken the comments that acknowledged McCain's temper....ignored the comments that were favorable to Hillary Clinton,,,and picked out his most favorable comment about Obama,,,

    Reading CNN is almost as bad as watching CNN....

    March 6, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Jorge

    Duh. Of course he has a temper... have you seen what he has said to fellow Republicans?

    Does that mean he's unfit? No.

    I would be concerned by a politician that was a robot emotionally.

    March 6, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. JIM

    Just another Loser go back in your hole!!!! Hillary08!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. 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 !

    March 6, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Ron

    We surely dont need a hot head as President.He could push the button and Bam we are gone

    March 6, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. GGamma

    Yeah right!!! probably he is planning for another war any ways, I doubt it.

    March 6, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. Kris in AL


    March 6, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Steve Freedman

    I am glad McCain has a temper. After all, he works with a bunch of no-good self-serving politicians! Those politicians deserve much more grief than McCain blowing up at them once in awhile. Millions of Americans are mad as hell that our so called leaders are throwing America's hard fought gains into the wind.

    March 6, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Jerry

    Has a temper, has access to the bomb/military, and finds it amusing to sing "Bomb Iran"? Hmmm, a little concerning.

    March 6, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. freepak

    Dole is old and senile. He should not be making such silly statements in public!

    March 6, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. jazzgal

    Hillary, also, has a temper.....known to be a baaaad one!

    March 6, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Andy

    Ok–so what? Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are known to have a temper meltdown.

    March 6, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Walt, Belton,TX

    If Dole had had a temper, he might have been elected President and that would have eliminated a good bit of status quo leadership that we did get.

    March 6, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. James, PA

    Say NO to another American aristocracy. It's bad enough Hillary has USED her husband to get into the Senate, but now she's using him, and HIS not her's, experience to try to get into the White House. It's deplorable. America is better than 2 "elect" families.

    March 6, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. the108

    I was so waiting to see if he spoke about himself in the third person Bob Dole cracks me up. I think what he said about Hillary and Barack is spot on.

    March 6, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. michelle

    As a republican I will not be voting for Mr. McCain, unless of course, if he had Elizabeth Dole as his VP then I may consider it!

    March 6, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Rplat

    No kidding . . . and who thinks Hillary doesn't have a temper. Furthermore, go poke a few big problems at old Obama and let's see how he keeps his cool.

    This is one of the biggest non-issue I've read lately.

    March 6, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Celia Cipriani

    Everyone should stop the nonsense and concentrate on helping us the public that are going to the poor house fast with the outrageous fuel, utility and food prices. This is all because there is a war going. It happend during WW1 and WW2, Vietnam etc.

    March 6, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Curious

    OK, my comment is not even pending, it totally disappeared and I didn't say anything to cause it to be deleted. Was I supposed to be insulting in order to be posted here>?

    March 6, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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