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. Pat Huntington NY

    And this is what the Republicans want as our next president? A hot head Irish drunk?

    March 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. An Army Veteran

    Grandpa Munster better keep that temper in check, he may have a stroke. But you can't blame the guy for being a grump, how would you like to get poked with sticks ina tiger cage for 5 years.

    March 6, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. Pepou

    We know he takes his Geritol everyday but is that sufficient ?

    March 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. David

    I believe genuine Republican see OBAMA as a candidate with a potential to unite the whole country around a common good goal. While Hillary can divide her own party!

    March 6, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Shannon Shiflett

    america, don't give bush a third term by voting for mccain. if you hate the country that much, then just leave.

    March 6, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. PH

    So..if it isn't a problem, then WHY in the hell bring it up????? Long ago I realized that news agencies' purpose in life was not to report the news, but just to sell as much of their product as possible; in order to do that they have to sensationalize it as much as possible!!

    March 6, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Progressive.Student

    CNN, you're ridiculous.

    Who cares...

    March 6, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Jake V

    Way to go, liberal CNN. Who doesn't have a temper?

    March 6, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Will from Cleveland

    Check your Clinton leads Obama in teaxs causes title..

    It is Obama leading Clinton..Wake up …It is Morning already

    March 6, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. NW Independent

    What, because Mr. Dobbs is not afraid to question the actions/words of anyone he should be fired? Because he does not toe the liberal left line he should be fired?

    I thought reporting was supposed to explore all stories no matter whom they may concern?

    Mr. Dobbs and to some extent Mr O' Rielly are the only two on any of the networks who regularly bash both the left and right. They bash idiocy and don't neal at the alter of ideology!

    March 6, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Samantha

    I thought Dole was considered to have a grumpy personality during his campaign and that it wasn't till he did the Viagra commercial that people really saw his sense of humor.

    Anyway, the new Dole was very appealing, and it might have been different if people had seen the new Dole with personality during his campaign.

    I haven't seen McCain's temper. I would think that anyone with terrible responsibilities and the mettle to make the hard decisions would have a temper. But maybe we can see the new McCain, with personality, during his campaign and not wait for the Viagra (or maybe now it's Levitra) commercial.

    March 6, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Decline to State - San Francisco

    Is Bob Dole bucking for Howard Dean's job?

    March 6, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. my comments lost

    Oops, looks like my comment contained too much fact (with .gov sources) and not enough drama thus it got deleted.

    go cnn go

    March 6, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. NW Independent

    Are you all idiots out there? The bomb Iraq song was a mix of words used by some computer programmers and then put on U-tube! Senator McCain never sang that song! Didn't you notice that the song sounded spoken not sung? I'm an independent and don't know who I'll vote for yet, but you far lefties out there that have deluded yourselves into hating McCain based on a pieced together song scare me!

    March 6, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. manlius

    Dole says that McCain's temper "is not a problem . . . ANYMORE." Doesn't that mean that it has been a problem in the past?

    March 6, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Paul

    What temper are they referring to. This man has been in dozen of debates. His speeches in the senate has been broadcast often. He's been in governement for 20 years and ran in several elections already. I haven't seen the this just another desperate search for dirt on Mccain? Give me a break!

    March 6, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Jack

    McCain/Iseman '08: "I did not have proper relations with this woman"

    March 6, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Ytteb

    Re "Ted's" comment early in the list. Where do you get your information, sweetie, Fox News? That is such an idiotic comment to make. I guess you must know all those FBI & CIA agents, huh? What a bigoted moron you must be. If you enjoy digging into personal lives, why don't you also tell us about the rumors of McCain's indiscretions or Obama's drug use (by his own admission). Tell us about Obama's Mom collecting welfare while at the same time sending him to one of the most expensive private schools in Hawai'i. It's so obvious you just can't handle the thought of a woman being more successful than you. Get over it.

    March 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Kathryn Irby

    Americans will never know, because John McCain will never become President, thank God!

    Metairie, LA

    March 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Channell

    He is right about the Democratic race getting rougher and one wants to play by the rules anymore and people are getting desperate.

    March 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Jack from California

    Bob Dole says that John McCain has a temper but, that he can control it, really. The "bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran" impulse, the 100 year war in Iraq, the "worlds policeman", and a temper to boot! Sounds like Barry Goldwater all over again – "Nuke them until they submit" – is this the world we want to live in?

    John McCain just needs a peaceful rest in a nursing home or a time out in the corner NOT, the leadership of the worlds most powerful military!

    March 6, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Rico

    Sorry but this is such a waste of everyones time .
    Why would anyone listen to Bob Dole.
    On another topic why do you continue to allow Cafferty to rant like a disgruntled old man.
    It is plainly obvious to me what the rest of the panel are thinking about his conduct.

    March 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Dave

    whatever Bob! it is a problem with this sawed-off hothead. he is a war mongering and lying neo-con. can't belive it but the GOP has been hijacked by his like. this is no longer a party of fiscal, constitution loving conservatives.

    March 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. doug marcus

    john could use that anger at everyone who has let us down. john has always pissed folks off especially those that are incompentent or self-serving. you know what, so are most of us and that is why this anger is a non-issue.

    March 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Joshua Lobdell

    Dole was also ran for President in 1976 with Ronald Regan as a running mate. I would think CNN would know that

    March 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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