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)

    CNN Fire Lou Dobbs he is racist (Bigot). Besides he is too old to change and relize how far america has come. He is still living in the 1950 and 1960. Fire him now he is hurting CNN.

    March 6, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Bro Brown

    Being a POW excuses a temper? Wonder what else might be in there? Anybody read "Manchurian Candidate"? Sort of a scary thought.

    March 6, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Whatever

    Oh go stuff it Dole. You are just a sore loser! And excuse me........I would be much more afraid the Clinton's tempers then McCains! Billary has a reputation of being a....well....female dog!

    March 6, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. jacob

    mccain is a hot head. scary to think if he wins and some country gets good ol' mccain mad, he will nuke them at the drop of a hat. world war 3 is a sure thing with this angry old man.

    March 6, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Unknown

    I know Mccain has a temper, but it can not be any worst the Hillary or her husband bill.

    March 6, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Kris

    I am tired of poeple with tempers. I want sombody through the heat of the moment to give thought and respond to with what is best for the country not with the emotion of the moment. Nobodys perfect but I think Obama has this one guys. We need to give him a chance.

    March 6, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    What individual doesn't have a "temper." That is basically human nature. Better to have someone with a temper than an intravert. Don't worry about McCain's concerned that his judgement is sound in making the right decision.

    March 6, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. Brian

    His temper isn't apparent when he makes comments like "Bomb Bomb Iran" and wishing Castro was dead?

    Remember... with bad tempers come questionable judgments.

    March 6, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Adam

    CNN is more biased than Fox

    March 6, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Mike, Minneapolis, MN

    Wont a 3:00 am phone call disrupt McCain's pacemaker?

    March 6, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Johnny

    Mccain has a temper? Well stop the presses.

    March 6, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Ann

    I cannot help but wonder why so many Republicans praise Obama
    when he has not held one meeting of his appointed security
    committee in Jan. 2007 and has voted present 90 times in Congress. Is it because they know he would be the weaker candidate against McCain?

    March 6, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Larry Heyman


    March 6, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. homey

    If Hilary becomes President and gets that infamous 3:00 AM phone call, she may not be around to answer the phone call because she be trying to find where Bill is at – at 3:00 AM in the morning.

    March 6, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. Cosmic Comedy Queen - Hillary is the Change!

    Go do your ads for Viagra!

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

    People listen UP!!! Psychology101 has taught us that ANGER equates to irrational decisions! Losing your temper doesn't make you a better negatiator as someone commented earlier, that's an ignorant statement, losing ones temper only means you want it your way, even if all signs say that it's a dangerous road to follow, anyone that thinks having a bad temper would make you a better negotiator is ONLY SHOWING THEIR IGNORANCE!!!!

    March 6, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Daisy

    U guys are such losers.
    Who doesnt have a dam temper
    all this stupid news are bias.
    They make u believe what they want u to,
    and the sad part is when u fall for it.

    March 6, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Jake

    John McCain is a time bomb waiting to go off. You can tell by watching him speak, clutching the microphone, lips tight. The Republicans don't mind serving him up since they are convinced he'll be easily beaten by either the disingenuous Obama or the power-starved Clinton. Of course, the joke could be on those Republicans if McCain actually gets elected. Then we all better be ready to duck and cover when he has a PTSD episode.

    March 6, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. fostino

    I fail to see how having a temper could be a good thing. Geez, I guess partisian politics is lowering the intelligence of some of the people involved in it.

    March 6, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. andrew of california

    For those of you that wonder about why didn't Obama use bad stuff against Clinton - there's plenty to use - but Obama wanted to run a campaign of change from that kind of tactic. Bet you $10 that Rush Limbaugh and the "vast right conspiracy" will use it against her, successfully, once the contenders are settled, i.e. Clinton announced as the candidate for the Dems.

    March 6, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. sojournerwolf

    Dole saying McCain has a temper is a case of the pot calling the kettle black if there ever was one. If anyone remembers, it was partly
    Dole's ill-controlled temper that cost him the office.

    March 6, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. Jacqueline Samms

    Bob Dole, go away!

    March 6, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. MISTAKE!

    CNN, in the previous article you have "Clinton Leads Obama in Texas Caususes Count". Obama is leading Hillary! Please fix this headline!

    March 6, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. sw

    Looks more and more like McCain will be the next president. Obama gonna divide the democratic party, if he is the nominee, McCain will eat him, the canadian memo, the rezico link, the empty speech(most written by others or taken from others) will let people realize that Obama is by no means a sunshine boy, he is just another dirty politician trying whatever he can for political positioning.

    March 6, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. Val in Pittsburgh, PA

    Mother always said, Temper, temper! She was right.

    March 6, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8