May 7th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
14 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. CJ

    If he calls the voters *my friend " one more time I think I will lose my temper. It makes me feel he is talking down to everyone, as if he is the only one who is smart enough to be President.. I really take offense to this term he uses constantly. I am not his friend and he could care less about me or my problems. He thinks it is ok to stay in Iraq for yrs and that nothing is wrong with the economy. I would love for Obama or Clinton to call me friend.

    May 7, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. SC


    May 7, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. friend is coping mechanism

    I think "friend" is a coping mechanism for him to stay calm – like "I'm in my happy place"

    May 7, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Redphilly

    Hisbad temper is probably more stemming from the fact that he is constantly in pain. His age and his disease make him feel bad most of the time. He actually should be home resting now in his later years.

    Obama is young and vibrant and sincere in his wish to help America. Caucasian people must get this thing out of their minds that the slave will be running the White House if Obama wins. Obama is not a slave, in fact, he doesn't have a relative who was an American slave. And our country is not a plantation.

    Obama may not wear a pin but I see many politicians wearing those pins and all the time saying, "We are not going to help you American people with anything", i.e., Republicans. That's hypocritical.

    May 7, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. georgia

    Paul may God shine His grace on you anyway.

    May 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. jay


    May 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Glen,

    McCain might have a temper but he never sat for twenty years under a man's ministry and only got a wake up call when the press started pointing out the obvious. Obama the clever, not the sharpest – does he know he is a senator.

    May 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Uncle Sam

    Sen. Joe Biden recently said, "My fellow Democrats may not like to hear me say this, but I know John McCain and he hates war and he would do everything he could to get us out of Iraq."

    May 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Taj

    Obama has common sense, well balaced & rounded. Experience is important. See GW experienced Governer of Texas, first & second term president, where did he lead this country into? Disaster!! Absolutely certain. All his chronies are experienced, arrogant but lacked common sense. Romney's comment on "internship" does not weigh in well. He wants to support McCain so that he can be a VP. Wait & see, Obama will beat McCain. Obama is our next President. Obama, Hillary & McCain are all good people. Let's credit where is belongs.

    May 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Alabama4Obama

    Please don't give McCain the right to push the "Red Button". He is 71 though....could take him a while to build up the strength. We don't need a President being pushed around the world in a wheelchair.

    May 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. judy

    I resent the comments about McCain's age. And I still resent the comment an Obama supporter made a little while back asking "Why should seniors have the right to vote?" The senior citizens of our nation are the ones who, through faith and true grit, survived the Great Depression and the ones who fought our wars. One of the seniors who fought for our country was McCain. If Hillary is not the Democratic nominee, I will vote for McCain because I believe he stands for the kind of moral values in which I believe. I believe most, TRULY faith-based people will back McCain.

    May 7, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Alexandra

    Give grandpa a Werther's Original, tuck him up on the couch with an afghan, and crank up the Lawrence Welk. It'll keep his gnarled old finger off the nuke-button.

    May 7, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    He has a that all you come up with? I'd HOPE the president has some kind of temper. Otherwise, congress and other world leaders will walk all over him.

    ...but I guess some of you are ok with that.

    May 7, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. jfmodesitt

    I'll vote for McCain before I vote for Obama!!! (and I'm a registered Democrat) McCain has the credentials, Obama has nothing but pie in the sky dreams. Frankly, I'll the take the cranky old man over the puppy anyday. At least I know he's got some fight in him!!!!

    May 7, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Beth

    McCain is not a namby-pamby fake!! I'll take him ANY day over Mr. "Golly I didn't realize my pastor said controversial things!" Over Mr. "I know what it's like to have bill collectors calling over my student loans–AND-I went to Harvard on a scholarship". Give me McCain's experience; not Obama's desperate pandering.

    May 7, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. penelope posner

    i am for what ever democrat can win the presidency. I love hillary -I love obama.

    May 7, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. melikeyhill

    Angry mack, will never win cuz hes a wack, he will lose by a landslide, the democrats to victory they will glide, Amen.

    May 7, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Eli of Stockbridge

    Just remember to have someone watching the red button in the White House if he gets there. He's so old he might think it's a light switch.

    May 7, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Kristen

    Looks like there are other people who have a problem with their tempers... or am I the only one who senses all of this anger?

    Whether or not I agree with all of his foreign policy ideas, there is no doubt that I will vote for the man in Nov.
    How can someone critisize him for his temper when every time Obama is asked about a controversy surrounding him (which are relevant ones) he raises his voice at the person asking the question.
    And for the people saying that McCain in Nov. will be another Bush Presidency, I think that it is sortof strange how everyone is complaining about him, but he won reelection in 2004 with a majority. There are many more flipfloppers in America that will admit it.

    May 7, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Elizabeth

    Really, these comments are nasty and full of hate. Are these the ones that have the knowlege to "vote"? .. I don't recognize America anymore,
    Who ever gets elected will be our face to the world and will be able to represent us all. I wish you would stop your hatred and think as we use to. May God bless our nation.

    May 7, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Whites are not voting for Obama. That is why you don't see people jumping on his band wagon. In Nov Obama will have NO chance to win. Remember that Blacks are 10% of population and will not affect the race in Nov as much as they have in the primaries. This is a fact. Look at the white vote. Clinton winning by at leat 20% in almost all contests. I am a democrate and will vote republican if he is the nomonie.

    May 7, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Guy

    I don't understand how if you are for Hillary Clinton, why the heck you would vote for McCain in the Fall, out of spite because Obama beat your candidate? That's the stupidest decision you could make.

    Both Obama and Clinton share the view of ending the war in Iraq and they both have superior knowledge of the economy. Why oh why would you vote for a candidate that has a 180 degree opposite view of the candidate you were supporting? That equates to spite on your part and that's just stupid. Embracing emotion like that will not help this country, it will only hurt it more than it already is being hurt.

    Democrats Unite 08

    End the War, Improve the Economy, Green Future! Democrats 08!

    May 7, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Left and Gone

    If I have to choose between dishonesty, bad judgement, and a bad temper, I'll take a bad temper. Congress could use a kick in the rear end.

    May 7, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. jamie


    May 7, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Brandi, South Louisiana

    Senator McCain proved his love for this country when he suffered 5 1/2 years of torture to protect his fellow soldiers in Vietnam. That speaks volumes about his character to fight for what he believes.

    May 7, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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