May 7th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Voter tells McCain his temper is 'something of concern'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain stumps in Michigan on Wednesday."]

ROCHESTER HILLS, Michigan (CNN) - What temper? John McCain parried away a question Wednesday about his supposedly hot-headed demeanor by talking up his long bipartisan record in the United States Senate.

“If I had some problem as such has been described, my friends, I would not have been able to work with Joe Lieberman and Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy and all the other members on the other side of the aisle,” McCain said, responding to a Republican voter who described McCain’s temper as “something of concern.”

The voter read McCain a quote from Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who said in January that “the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine.”

“He is erratic,” Cochran told the Boston Globe. “He is hotheaded. He loses his temper."

“I am familiar with the quote,” McCain cracked, as the questioner recounted Cochran’s comments.

McCain then confirmed he does get angry - about pork barrel spending.

“Well, I will confess to you my friend, that I get angry,” he explained. “I got angry when I saw a guy named Abramoff that ripped of Native Americans for millions and millions and millions of dollars that ended up putting him in federal prison.”

“I get angry when I see 233 million of your tax dollars going to an island, to a bridge on an island with 50 people on it,” he said. “I get angry when I see corruption to the point when we have former members of Congress residing in federal prison.

“And you know something? The American people are angry too, and they’re not going to take it any more.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. zemo

    He's too old? Ahh, the prejudice and discrimination that's O.K with liberals...for now. When you boomers dominate the over 70 electorate your usual hypocrisy will show in the candidates who suddenly will not seem so old in a few years.

    May 7, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. t-bone

    CNN quit sensationalizing! We all know who your candidate is. We all know you're going to bash anyone running against Obama. It's expect that now Hilary is pretty much done you're going to pull anything you can out on McCain. So predictable!

    However, we all know this race SHOULD come down to experienced candidates — Clinton vs. McCain. But the Democrats seem bent on destroying themselves in yet another election by voting in Barack Obama. Hello???? Polls state 50% of Clinton voters will not vote for Obama if he gets in office. What that means is 50% of Clinton voters WILL VOTE for McCain, should Obama be the nominee. Statistically, there is no way for Obama to win if 50% of Clinton voters swing over to McCain.

    In addition, Clinton pulled in the superdelegates, meaning the big states. No candidate can win without them. Oh well. Fine with me. I was voting McCain anyways

    May 7, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. James

    The truth of the matter is that considering experience, genuine qualification, sound bipartisan leadership quality and having the proven ability to lead our country in this era of uncertainty–when we are at war with known and unknown enemies seeking daily to harm the US and its allied countries, the most appropriate candidate for the office of the president and Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces is John McCain. I pray that America will give him his deserved honor for his sacrificial service to this country by electing him in November as the qualified president of the USA.

    May 7, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Chad Silvey


    Can I get a sentence without "my friend" or "Friends," in it. It is excruciatingly annoying and a turn off to many people. Sort of like cracking gum. I'm not your friend Gramps, you are interviewing for a job! And not very well I might add.....

    Smart Democrats unite!
    D is for Direction, R is for Recession!!!!

    May 7, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Patrick

    " read a report that terrorists around the world are celebrating in the streets after news Obama is closer to the nomination."

    Where? On Rush Limbaughs site or Newsmax?

    LOL so typical...

    May 7, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Jezcooks

    Lost of control and anger are just one of the symptoms of Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. No, you could not go through what he did without PTSD.

    May 7, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. James

    John McCain has proven that he is not EXPERIENCED enough to become the president of the united states of america. The man publically came out and admitted that the economy is not one of his strong suits. We are now in a recession and you want me to believe that he would be the perfect guy for the job? This is the same guy who claims to have been tortured while in captivity, yet he approves the same methods of torture that Bush and his band of goons have implimented againts those that they round up in their war against terror. He has displayed his anger against a wide variety of people, ranging from fellow senators to reporters to members of the senate select committee on POW / MIA Affairs. The man is no WAR HERO, and does not deserve to become the leader of the strongest country in the world.

    May 7, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Donna Z

    McCain supporters-spend your spare time learning how to spell, not listening to Rush.
    Hillary supporters-get over it. United Democrats can win the election. Would you really rather see McCain in the White House for the next four years?

    May 7, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. mayzebra

    I'm sure ANY president would be mad over those things. However, the person representing a country should be able to control his/her emotions so as to come up with an informed, effective solution (which hasnt happened in the last 7 years). I stilll have trouble comprehending why the people would re-elect Bush. And now do we REALLY want more of the same policies?

    Do you ever notice how unintelligent people tend to think everyone else is stupid? It's because they dont have the cognitive ability to understand what an intelligent person is saying. Besides people, it's so "3rd grade" to point the finger and say... "well, your stupid" ... intelligent people know who the really dummy is. Knock off the name calling and come up comments worth reading or make your party look smarter by staying out of it.

    May 7, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Rich (Charleston, SC)

    You Democrats are all the same LOL As much as you scream about it, Omama can not win a general election across the entire country. NO WAY. A liberal (no, not him being black) with no experience, going to push for the biggest tax increase in the history of the country, and no ideas except the old liberal tax and spend policies of the past is not going to make it. Clinton actually matched up must better to McCain so Thank you all you Democrats who voted for Obama. He can't win anywhere in the midwest except Illinois, can't win Ohio, Michigan, PA, Texas, SC, Florida, Indiana and the South is going to be harder then you think. Presiedent McCain thanks you.

    May 7, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Michael Whitston

    Cantr wait for the McSame -Obama debates. We will ALL be able to witness McCain's temper as it were-because nothing is going to elicit a flareup more than an exchange with an intelligent,honest man who is more competitive than he. I imagine the Obama team will simply "bait" him and then we can watch the changes;red-face, veins bulging on his head/neck, blood pressure increase, voice weakened by confusion/frustration as the soft-spoken Republic realizes he's overmatched, poorly prepared and cannot escape his presumed legacy of Bush 3. This is going to be a train-wreck in slow motion.

    May 7, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Diane Panama City Fl

    This is for Paul in Kissimmee:
    Mark my words you equally stupid republican – we don't want some one in the White House like McCain who thinks that G. Gordon Liddy is an American patriot! For those who may not remember, Mr. Liddy was one of President Nixon's henchmen that broke in to the Democratic Headquarters back in 1972 and served four years in prison for his role in the Watergate burglary. Watergate was the reason Nixon resigned the presidency – remember!!! Liddy is now one of McCains' s biggest supporters. Or do you think it is ok for a presidential candidate to be palsy-walsy with an ex-felon that now happens to have a talk show, and was very, very deeply involved in a secret White House effort to subvert the U. S. Constitution? McCains campaign conveniently refuses to answer any questions about the McCain/Lddy relationship. Perhaps you can answer for him. We all should be concerned about more than McCain's temper. it seems McCain has his own Bill Ayers-type relationship to answer for.

    May 7, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. NH Student

    I personally find it rude and some what ignorant to call Mr. McCain insane, and old, well he may be older than you or I, his age has no bearing in the election process. To turn around and say all of that after a man called him and tempermental, the candidate knows what he is saying, he cares about it, and for those of you who bash him, because he is old or insane is just down right stupid. In my opinion anyone who says anything negative about his/her government, especially a president such as George W. Bush, or candidates like Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton or Mr. McCain are fools. I do not see you out there putting millions of your dollars, your time, your years to run for president or even make a change in this country. I am a Republican, and disagree with Obama and Clinton for the most part but I am not going to sully their good names, because I am an American and have respect for political figures, regardless of their flaws.

    Yes, I am a NH student, I still am in school, college I should say, Yes i am going to better myself, I am studying political science, and am a criminal justice major, so do not say I do not know anything because I do, and who ever negatively responds to my comment, more than likely did not get a proper education. That is all.

    May 7, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Greg Pa

    An American president needs anger . Bill Clinton was never mad . As a mater of fact his lack of anger led to lack of response which led to 9\11 . Read some history and you will learn that in some places in the world anger is the only way.

    May 7, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Cortez

    Obama will eat McCain alive in a debate. McCain is clueless on the war, clueless on economy, has flip flopped on Bush's tax cuts, immigration and gay marriage. He will always have the Keating 5 over him. He's had soooo many shady business dealings that its pathetic. He wasnt good enough in 2000, 2004 and he aint good enough now !!

    May 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. No McSame

    To vote McSame because Hillary didn't win is helping to prove Rev. Wright right when it comes to race and White people in this country. If you would rather shoot yourself in the foot rather than vote for Obama and turn around and vote for McSame is NUTS. America will show it's true colors to the rest of the world for sure this year. This country is all about race. If Obama had 20yrs in Washington he still would not be good enough for some of you. Work hard to better yourself and you people still shoot us down. What a hate filled home we live in.

    May 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Me, Brooklyn, NY

    McCain is not just older, he is wiser. You will see how he will wrap around his finger those two younger and quicker speaking, but sometimes not thinking, Democrats. To be angry when you feel taken is a good response by anyone.

    May 7, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Brian

    This is so stupid. There is not a single person alive who could escape a presidential campaign without a label from the media. Any action will be blown out of proportion and if there isn't anything, somebody will make something up.

    The idea that McCain is a war mongerer is absurd. What person who has suffered through war the way he has would go and create that same risk for others? It's illogical.

    I think anyone who says, "Candidate X is evil," loses all credibility. Once you focus on personality and move away from the issues, you end up with a nice guy who could do anything once in office.

    May 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. kari

    He is a fool, those who say they would vote for him over Obama are fools, do you read the paper?, do you watch TV? Do you want more of our precious young people to die for some old fools idea of "winning".Don't these young people deserve a wonderful life too. Would you like your kids called by a draft? Because that will be the case, we don't have enough of the all volunteer Army to sustain a war for several more years. We the US citizens don't need to worry about someone coming to the USA to destroy us, we are beinging destroyed from within, the enemy is us. No jobs, high gas prices, mortgage issues, jobs drifting away to other countries, billions spent of a war that is unwinnable, whatever winning would be in the first place. vote or don't vote this is your country. Just remember In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” pointed out; “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.”

    May 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Dr Paul

    Republicans are for creating war in the world so that they can make money from their own tax payers. More tanks, jets, ammunition and of course US soldiers that they care NOTHING about! Much less the innocent people of the country they are invading. McCain is old and angry! Hmmmm... perfect! Thats what we need right now... an old angry republican that was a prisoner of war who will keep Bush's mad legacy going on until the end of his term. The world will be a dangerous place if he is in the white house. Anyone but McCain.... absolutely anyone!

    May 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Jodie

    Make no mistake Republicans. I used to be one of you, but now I am switching over to vote for Obama, and I know lots of other republicans who are doing the same. Be Afraid, be very afraid Republicans. Your time is up. We are taking back the white house. Who the hell does Rush Limbaugh think he is. It makes me sick that someone like him is trying to make an American right a joke. This is not a game, this is people's lives. This is why I am not voting republican anymore.

    May 7, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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