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. Dave in Houston

    Keep in mind the Bush slime machine easily defeated McCain in 2000. He didn't react well to the crap that came his way, and there is no reason to believe that he is going to fare well against Clinton or Obama.

    I hoping that we don't stoop to the Rovian garbage to win, but we have to get the White House in '08 to appoint some good justices to the Supreme Court.

    March 6, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Brian


    What is with the "Clinton leads Obama in Texas caucuses count" Ticker headline? That's clearly wrong, unless you know something we don't. But according to the entry... you're just retards.

    Or did Hillary pay you off to write it up like that?! You guys JUST LOVE the Hillary comeback story, don't you?


    March 6, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Paul, Tulsa OK

    I'd like to remind you all of other presidents with great tempers.
    Some of them were our worst, some our best.

    Bill & HIllary Clinton

    & others.

    Many of the above had tempers worse than McCains.
    And some of them would have used nukes without reason if they had had them then.

    Historically, its not even relevant anymore how much temper matters, since the US Presidency is more of a team effort than just one man..
    Thoughthat one man is in charge, he/she relies heavily on the team he puts together..

    March 6, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Bruce Wayne

    Sounds like something that could be easily exploited. I could see McStain getting easily frustrated, throw a tantrum, and kick and scream because he didn't get his nap.

    March 6, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Oliver

    A temper? Well, who doesn't have a temper? It's very healthy. As opposed to Hillary who has outright misdirected anger and hot flashes that'll scare anyone...even at 3am. And Barack should start showing some hutzpah. So far, he's been very...well....vanilla.

    March 6, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Ron

    while i will not vote Republican, i find myself wondering why would Dole bring this up, "if" it's not a problem. Why bring it up in the first place. i'm really tired of both parties submarining each other. Republicans and Democrats, PLEASE SHUT UP AND DO YOUR JOB!

    March 6, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Jackson

    Your headline for the previous post is wrong.

    It says Clinton leads the caucus in texas but really Obama leads. What's up with that?!

    March 6, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    It is also being reported that Clinton's people contacted the Canadian Government in relation to NAFTA-GATE. Come on CNN, report all of the facts.

    March 6, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. MB

    all of you are idiots!

    March 6, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Paul

    Mr. Dole, please stuff it and go back under your rock. You have made your point. Come back again in 4 years for another stupid remark.

    March 6, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. gwen dambrogi

    On the Political Ticker, Please correct your title "Clinton leads Obama in Texas Caucuses Count".

    March 6, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Grif

    Well that comment soon disappeared... But still you have.

    Headline "Clinton Leads in Texas Caucus Count"

    I don't wonder they are confused. In Texas. So am I..........

    March 6, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. John

    See the posting below this one. It says that Clinton is leading the caucus in TX, but the text says Obama is leading. Please fix this.

    March 6, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. SS

    CNN: What ever happened to free speech? Why the deletes?

    March 6, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Mike, Arkansas

    Anissa... I emailed them the same thing.. says one thing on the headline and another on the results page and in the article haha.

    Maybe CNN doesnt want to be blamed from Hillary again so they are going both ways on the information now? They dont even say anything about her controversial past and present that is going on.

    March 6, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Carol Crank

    Change the article's title to "Obama leads Clinton in Delegate Count."

    March 6, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. john public

    Why does the story below this one have no commenting, and a headline "Clinton leads Obama in Texas caucuses count" even though the only text in it says: At last report, with 40 percent of precincts counted, Barack Obama led Hillary Clinton 56 percent to 44 percent in the Texas Democratic caucuses. Counting continues today.

    What does that MEAN?

    March 6, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. NSM

    Hey, can someone please change that misleading article about Clinton LEADING Obama in the Texas caucuses? What is wrong with you editors at CNN? The headline contradicts what's written in the actual article! OBAMA is leading in the caucuses, not Clinton.

    March 6, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Linda

    Some of these comments are so outrageous! Really people, just because McCain has a temper does not mean he's going to "nuke" anyone. Do you even realize the ramifications of such an idiotic act? I am sure McCain does!

    March 6, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Chris, Middletown, CT

    The Democrats don't seem to understand – if they put Hillary up – McCain will win....I will vote for him...

    March 6, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. anakainosis

    I concur with Anissa. Which one is it? Obama leading Clinton, or Clinton leading Obama?

    March 6, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Erik

    Senator McCain is looking old, blinky and feeble these days. He does not inspire confidence.

    March 6, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Sky

    It is frightening to imagine someone with this amount of documented mental instability as our future Commander in Chief.

    March 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    to ted
    you better watch what you say about hillary you might have prove it
    we people in hillary camp do read these coments.from hillry camp

    March 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Yes, many people have a temper. What we haven't heard and should is how does he deal with getting angry. What do current and former staffers say about his temper? Does he deal with it contructively or does he simply lash out and yell? This could prove problematic when dealing with other countries and their heads of states.

    March 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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