April 1st, 2008
11:17 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain calls temper 'very minor thing'


Watch Dana Bash's interview with John McCain.

(CNN) - John McCain Tuesday brushed off suggestions his well-documented quick temper may hinder his ability to serve as President of the United States.

In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, the presumptive Republican nominee acknowledged he can get angry from time to time, but called that face a "very minor thing" compared to his accomplishments in the Senate.

"[My] leadership qualities required an even temper and those abilities to reach across the aisle and work with democrats for the good of my constituents and the country are clear indications that that’s a very minor thing as compared to my record of accomplishment."

McCain also said he thinks voters will expect him to get angry at times.

"When I see corruption in Washington, when I see wasting needlessly of their tax dollars, when I see people behaving badly—they expect me to get angry, and I will get angry," he said. "Because I won’t stand for corruption, and I won’t stand for waste of their tax dollars and I will demand that people serve their country first and the special interests second."

McCain has long been known by Senate colleagues for his at-times angry outbursts. Most recently, he issued Texas Sen. John Cornyn an apology after shouting "F- you' at him during last year's heated immigration debate.

Cornyn endorsed McCain's presidential bid in February.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. lamotz

    His shouting doesn't bother me as much as what he's shouting about. He co-authored the failed amnesty bill (Bush-Kennedy). Illegal immigration is a serious issue. The existing laws are still not being enforced. Criminals are not only being tolerated, they're being rewarded while American citizens pay for their healthcare, education (to the tune of $7.1 billion since 2001) and incarceration. If this man is elected, our young men and women will remain at risk in a place that we had no business entering while our country is losing its internal sovereignty to criminals (and corporate entities) who feel that we're ripe for the picking. No to McCain, no to amnesty for illegals, no to war with Iran!!!

    April 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Big Mike

    The only chance that Mccain has is to campaign on "change", but how can he do that when he practically mirrors the failed policies of the incumbent president? The very fact that his temper is an issue, is enough to worry the American people. If he is president, I guarantee we will be invading Iran at some point in his term. Can people not see that we need "Change" in this country, that it is the greed and selfishness of traditional Washington politics that have gotten us where we are. I think John Mccain is an honorable patriot, and has served this country well, but a vote for him is a vote for the same inexplicable policies of the past 8 years, one of the worst presidential terms in the history of this country.

    April 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. DJ, LA, CA

    This man does seem to have anger management issues after launching the F-bomb at someone in his own party.

    Not to mention how much that immigration debate alientated him from so many within his party.

    Yes and the debt caused by war in Iraq that is not even part of the budget is devaluating the dollar and putting the nation at risk of financial ruin.

    April 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Christi

    I'm glad he thinks his anger is a minor thing. Just keep his fingers away from buttons. Considering that approximately 62% of the people of this country think our current war (Iraq) is a mistake, I don't see how he can run on this war as his main point of the campaign. Billions every week, credibility in the world lost and he wants to keep it going. I just don't understand this...and this doesn't even touch on the fact that he could be too old. He scares me...

    April 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. paul

    John McCain is a man of great intergrety. He has a record of not taking Pork and has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle to do what is right. As for being too old, he has shown that he can hold on to stress when he was a POW . I would rather have a leader who has shown his courage, knows the terror of war and is fiscally responsible as our President. Obama or Hillary will only raise our taxes and shove national healthcare down our throats. McCain is going to be our next Pres. because the real Americans can see thru the democratic junk.

    April 1, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. RightyTighty

    Conservatives don't yell F- you in heated debates. That's a liberal tactic used to deflect facts..

    April 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Guaymas Jim

    No one seems to be asking and McCain has refused to release his medical records, so I will.

    McCain, as we all know, was a POW for years. POW status is a presumptive "trigger" for PTSD. One very common symptom of PTSD is uncontrollable anger. (I should know, I deal with it every day of my life!)

    My questions:

    (1) Has McCain ever been dx with PTSD?

    (2) Has McCain ever been treated for PTSD?

    (3) Is McCain currently on PTSD medications?

    The truthfull answers to these questions are both relevant and necessary to deciding who to vote for in November.

    April 1, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Deb

    HA–and Bill and Hillary don't have tempers?? As do most driven, executive types.
    But keep calling McCain "old man" and watch your elderly patrons cast votes in some true righteous anger!
    Obama is an genial but aloof wimp, an empty suit, on the far left of the political spectrum.
    I don't need a self-appointed Messiah for President.
    John McCain is a centrist, and a funny fellow to boot.
    McCain will dominate in November.

    April 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Joyce in Florida

    Senator McCain, you are getting to old for this campaign. One thing that you should really be angry about is this so-called Iraq war that you want to drag out for 100 years. Are you getting senile now? You apparently are not seeing reality very well.

    Democrats need to be running the White House. We do not need any more of the Bush Administration!!! If you can't see what is really happening here and abroad, you don't belong campaigning for President. Time for you to go and get much-needed bed rest. You look like you need it.

    HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 1, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Joel

    My friends, it's easy to lose your temper when you are a 239 year old dude who wants to wage war, my friends, in the Middle East until he is 339 years old, my friends.
    Seriously, my friends, with all due respect my friends... can't we maybe try someone other than an Old White Guy for president? Good grief, my friends.

    April 1, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Ashley

    I've seen him get angry AND rude one two many times. Not exactly the right image to give when he's not even in the White House yet. How will he react to a real crisis? I shiver the thought.

    April 1, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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