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. Angelina Julie Lexington Kentucky

    I like the way you twisted the front page headline to make John McCain look bad when the words out of Bob Dole's mouth were actually pretty complimentary . Typical liberal sensationalistic slant by the ever-loving liberal media. How do you guys sleep at night?

    March 6, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. sadie

    We have had enough temper in the white house. enough my way or no way. NO More REBUBLICANS.........................

    March 6, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. frank

    and this is a story why???? must be another slow news day at Clinton News Network.....

    March 6, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Fact Check

    Clinton News Network and her campaign workers running CNN's production team, get your headline right on the Texas caucus results.

    Obama leads Clinton, not the other way around.

    March 6, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. ben

    I would never vote for McCain, however I am tired of you ignorant blogers who keep harping about his age. I am 80 and I am twice as smart as you dolts.!!! You want a list of smart people? Here is a list of the supreme court of the United States,and they are twice as smart as I am, so where does this put you on the evolution ladder?
    John Stevenson(87)
    Antonin Scalia(71)
    Anthony Kennedy(71)
    David Souter(68)
    Clarence Thomas(59)
    Ruth Ginsberg(74)
    Steven Breyer(69)
    Samuel Alito(57)
    John Roberts(53)

    March 6, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Lilarose in Oregon

    CNN thanks for posting my item.

    Here is a question for you (don't have to post this).

    CNN is just now saying that Florida is considering a re-vote and they might even allow Independents to vote this time around.

    In Oregon Independents can't vote Democratic or Republican on the primary ballot.

    How can it be legal for Floridians to do it but not Oregonians?

    This is just one more example of unfairness in our elections process. We need NATIONAL standards, not politica expediencies!

    March 6, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Niko

    Are we sure that was Bob Dole? It may have been Kodos.

    March 6, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Jose Card - Independent

    Before Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was accepted, little help was offered to patients with PTSD. Senator McCain copes with his past stress extremely well. No one could have said it better than Union Leader of NH:

    "What is most compelling about McCain, however, is that his record, his character, and his courage show him to be the most trustworthy, competent, and conservative of all those seeking the nomination. Simply put, McCain can be trusted to make informed decisions based on the best interests of his country, come hell or high water."

    March 6, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. Greg Harrison

    Good. I'm glad he has a temper. We need a President with guts. And no one fits that bill than Senator McCain.

    WHat really matters though is his ability to cross party lines to do what's right. What a nice change that will be.

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

    Lilarose, the reason we don't have a national primary on the same day is because all of the campaigning will take place in the population centers– Boston, NY, Philly, DC, Atlanta, Miami, Houston Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Sand Francisco, LA– and a few more.

    Primaries are spread out to encourage candidates to visit all areas of the country and campaign.

    March 6, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. andrew of california

    why has cnn stopped adding comments to this site?

    March 6, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Chris W.

    Just a note about a different ticker entry.... the topic says "Clinton leads Obama in Texas caucuses count" when it should read "Obama leads Clinton in Texas caucuses count". Appears to be a typo. Thanks!

    March 6, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Gee, Bob – tell us something we don't know. McCain's temper is about as well-known as your use of Viagrga....

    March 6, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. Lamps

    Uncle Sam says it all. Nobody's perfect. I would rather have that than a robot. Former POW, current Senator, Future President.


    March 6, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Jose'


    It's better than being a wishy-washy panderer like Hill-Obama!

    McCain '08

    March 6, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. karyn

    thats what happens when u type fast. oh well, my mistake, CAUCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!
    CNN post my correction

    March 6, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. TJ Earle

    Yes Anissa is correct Obama is leading. What hell the is going on at CNN? One moment it bias toward Hillary, next Obama, now John McCain. Is this called fair and blanced reporting?

    March 6, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. dodea

    headlines have become universally misleading and sensational - it is worse on the Web where the space alowed for a headline is very restricted

    March 6, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Katie

    Hey CNN,

    Your blog entry "Clinton leads Obama in TX Caucus" is wrong based on the text of the article! It should read, "OBAMA leads Clinton in TX Caucus."

    Please fix this error!

    March 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. A "Decline to State" - San Francisco

    Apparently, Bob Dole is bucking for Howard Dean's job.

    March 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Andrea

    It appears that a person with a bad temper only seeks to cause division to have their own way. Just like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum.

    March 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Old (72 years), Temper (irrational decision making) and short statue(confidence problem).

    Yet you Republicans picked him for your standard bearer. WOW what a bunch of dummies.

    March 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Concerned Repub

    It's seriously pathetic that McCain is the republican nominee. Too bad now I have to vote Democratic...

    March 6, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. j hawk


    March 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. andrew

    CNN change that ticker tha says Clinton leads obama in the Texas caucuses, when you write after that : with 40% reporting Obama leads 56 to 44. Like the previous blogger said i don't think it is a conspiracy either, but your brainwshing in favor of one candidate is obvious. What ever happened to journalism?

    March 6, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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