February 4th, 2008
05:14 PM ET

McCain’s GOP colleagues wary of his temperament?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/04/art.mccain5.ap.jpg caption=" Senator John McCain."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain sounds confident that he'll be the Republican nominee for president.

But not everyone is ready to place McCain at the top of the ticket. The Washington Post reports several of McCain's Republican colleagues are warning that his well-known tirades on and off the floor of the Senate suggest a temperament unfit for the office of president.

Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran says, "The thought of McCain being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." Another Republican, former Senator Rick Santorum, describes McCain as being "very rough in the sandbox", saying he hasn't built up a lot of goodwill. Witnesses cite several examples of McCain cursing and belittling senate colleagues in front of people.

But his supporters insist McCain's fiery personality is a good thing, saying his capacity to get outraged shows how much he believes in something. One top aide dismissed the idea that McCain isn't fit to be president and said most stories about his temper are "wildly exaggerated."

When it comes to House Republicans, McCain has had a strained relationship with many of them for years. But Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole says, quote: "You'll have more Democrats running away from Hillary Clinton than you'll have Republicans running away from our nominee." unquote.

McCain has been endorsed by 13 of the 100 senators. That's more than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when some of John McCain's Republican senate colleagues question whether he has the temperament to be president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave from Cloverdale, California writes:
McCain's temper has rumbled under the surface in some news interviews. However, I don't think we'll have to take other senators’ word for it. We might be able to see it for ourselves in later debates, with either an aggressive moderator or strong opponent.

Daniel from Eugene, Oregon writes:
That the followers of the drug-addled Rush or the Chicken-hawk Hannity don't like Sen. McCain is reason enough to vote for him. We've had a draft-dodger and a chicken-hawk for president and it's time we get one with a spine. If he makes the panty waste members of the Senate and house run and cry, that's just gravy on the potatoes.

Mike from Seaville, New Jersey writes:
Jack, So let me get this straight: Senator McCain's flashes of anger may be a sign of how strong his convictions are? Wonderful, just what the country needs after 8 years of George Bush: George Bush on steroids!

Dan writes:
I can't think of a better endorsement of McCain than to have dunderheaded "colleagues" like Rick Santorum whine about being scolded by John McCain. He doesn't suffer fools easily and that's just the quality a president needs to operate in the "yes man" environment of a White House.

Kevin from Plainfield, Illinois writes:
Well, my friend, this should be the least of our concerns about, my friends, Mr. McCain’s rhetoric. My friends, his tired, cliched expressions belie, my friends, a tired, cliched set of solutions, my friends.

Josh from Vienna, Virginia writes:
The fact that a group of congressmen are complaining about Senator McCain’s temperament only serves to validate his maverick credentials. I personally prefer a candidate who isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers to get things done. I only wish the Maverick McCain would select Cranky Cafferty as his running mate.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Will K

    The calm and incurious current president has systematically destroyed our national standing and committed the country into two wars.

    Even if McCain was certifiably insane he would still do less damage then these last 8 years.

    February 4, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  2. Thomas, FL

    It means they have probably been on the receiving end of one of his vulgar outbursts. That's the real straight talk.

    February 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    It means that McCain has always been a loose cannon and only God knows what he is likely to do once in office, then only God can help us. Ehy would someone who has been tortured for seven years want to continue a war for at least 100 years. Undoubtedly he is still suffering PTSD from that torture.

    February 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  4. paul, W.Ky

    Jack Sen McCain is surely a good man, and he has a patriotic story; however, he is also a human being and he is now 71 years old. Absolutely any evidence of poor temperment, and there has been considerable suggestion of this over the years, becomes MOST scarry where atomic bombs are involved. Perhaps equally scary would be another 4 years of this nation's inability to re-evaluate and then repair the damage done by the cowboys & cowgirls arrogant approach to the world and planet at large. John McCain is in no position to address our darkened image. You know if the GOP had any fore-sight they would have put McCain in when they had the chance in 2000; goodness how that would have changed the course of events, and it just might have saved the elephant from extenction. paul, W. Ky

    February 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  5. Barbara Adams

    It means that he is a gumpy old man that just wants to live in a big white house before he dies or retires, whichever comes first. His fellow Senators that he has worked with can even see that. I am so sick of seeing his snakelike smirk and him calling everybody "my friends". He is not anybody's friend except those in the democratic party and those that have endorsed him because he has to pay back all the political favors for those endorsements. At least Romney is putting his money where his mouth is so he won't have to pay anybody back but himself when this is over. Go Romney!

    On a side note, where is McCain's educational background that would qualify him to be president? His war experience would qualify him for Rumsfield's old job, not president. What is he going to do after he secures the borders? He'll go back to his amnesty bill. Tim Russert invited him to debate Romney one-on-one on the economy and McCain refused to do it. The military is not going anywhere or do anything great without a good economy.

    February 4, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  6. Ken KS

    Is McCain the only candidate whose temperament comes into question? I just wish McCain's Straight Talk Express was straight on the immigration issue. He sounds as much a flip flopper as the man he accuses of the same, Mitt Romney. I still don't believe he has "Gotten the message."

    February 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm |

    On man! Jack, that's ALL we need is a president who is hot-headed. Goodbye Iran, hello WWIII. Would republicans really vote for him simply to be loyal to their party and put yet another warmonger - maybe one who is even more war-hungry and mental than Bush - in the White House?

    God help us all!

    February 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  8. Bruce H Scroggins

    His temperament is in question, by those who have come too know him, from close observation; I would listen when they talk about McCain oft observed temperament.

    February 4, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  9. TLC

    The only differences between the current president and McCain is one really did serve in the military, McCain is older so he's more forgetful, and he's been caught in his lies quicker, thanks to the news media. The Republicans that don't support him also know the truth, and that's not the one that McCain states from one speech to the next. It sure would be refreshing to have a selection for the person who is suppose to be working for us who was truly qualified to do this thankless job.

    TLC from Texas

    February 4, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  10. Jenny

    Doesn't mean a thing. They'll flock around him like a bunch of hungry pigeons come November.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  11. Michael "C" in Lorton

    I have learned that when a collegaue negatively critizes someone else they are usually describing "themselves." The statement from a top aid that he is unfit to be president is somewhat of an oxymoron. Was Bill Clinton fit to be president? Everyone has their identity and personality......and sometimes one has to get agressive in the "congressional gentlemen's club." Maybe McClain's flaw is that he has the courage to say what everyone of his colleagues are thinking. It is time to have someone of courage and spunk........we have enough cream puffs in Congress already.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  12. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It means that John McCain's Republican colleagues know him better than most and what they've seen in him is not desireable and have excused him because of his age.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  13. karen

    I do not know why people are endorsing Senator McCain. I think John McCain has a very bipolar like of temperment and I would rather see a million Hillary's and Obama's than a McCain. He is one of the basic reasons I became an independent and decided to vote Democrat. His is surly, rude, obnoxious, doesn't listen, has shown his temper on the campaign trail,etc. I could go on for an hour. We already have one hot head in the Oval office; we don't need another one.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  14. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    It means that some of McCain's senate colleagues don't like him and will do anything to discredit him. The leaders of the GOP only want people who will do and vote what they are told at all times. They don't like indepedent thinkers who still work for their constituents and not the party. Just remember,both Roosevelts,Truman,Johnson,Nixon and Clinton all had bad tempers and I remember that they all had some success. I would rather have a president with a personality than a mousy milquetoast.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  15. kip in albany

    The problem goes back to the Bush smear campaign back in 2000. They accused him of everything. They are also afraid that he can think for himself & won't be a puppet for the Right or the oil companies like Bush is.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  16. Larry from MO.


    They should be worried. The whole country should be worried. It's more of the same cowboy politics. MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY with gridlock everywhere. And the word diplomacy taken out of the Republican vocabulary for 4 more years.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  17. George Wilson

    Even though McCain has a quick temper, there are a lot of other things that would not so desirable as President. Either his memory has deserted him, or he has just chosen to falsify his voting record. As for the memory, I can't say much, because he is the same age as me, and I know my memory is slipping, and I seem to be a lot more grumpier. Who want a President who can't remember how he voted ?

    February 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  18. Richard

    McCain`s temper could be a good thing, to a point. It does cross the line when he curses and be-littles the people he works with. We have a divisive president now and we certainly can`t afford another one.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  19. Joy

    Why's the GOP worried about McCain's disposition, it's no different than the George Bush temperament, both suffering from Bonaparte complexes!!!! Having McCain is like not getting rid of Bush. He stands for the same policies, both are war mongers. McCain is a little old man pissed off because we pulled out of Vietnam. He relives Vietnam and applies the same thoughts to Iraq. Forget about his temperament, listen to his words, having McCain as president would be a disaster for our country and the GOP know's it!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  20. Tom Maher


    Maybe the Republican powers-that-be aren't as happy with John McCain as the Republican voters are. Could it be that their time is coming to an end and their own party members are tired of their leadership?

    It seems that the Republican Power Elite are more interested in protecting their own personal interests than in representing the people that elected them!

    McCain calls them on that and that "sends a cold chill down [the] spine" of some of his Republican colleagues!

    Keep up the good work!

    Tom in Florida

    February 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  21. Alex in Madison Wisconsin

    It means they don't want an uninformed crazy old man with his finger on the button as President. I don't trust crazy people. Why the Republicans are not rallying around the only candidate, Gov. Huckabee, who has the experience, temperament, common sense and ability to unite people-is beyond me. Maybe the party leaders are crazy, too.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  22. Michael M Phx AZ

    I think they mean they have seen him at both his "best" and "worst" behavior in the Senate. He does seem to carry a "chip" on his shoulder, especially when he thinks he is the most capable of becoming Commander-in-Chief". I don't his military experience gives him that much of an advantage, especially when he thinks we can stay in Iraq for another 100 years. I would like him and all the other candidates to come out and say what they are going to do about catching Bin Laden, since it was he who started who this whole mess anyway. If you have noticed, or rather not noticed, NONE of the candidates has said "BOO" about getting Bin Laden.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  23. Terry North Carolina

    What do they say " if you dont have something good to say about someone dont say anything at all " when you work with 100 senators from all over the country not everyone likes each other, however they could at least keep it to them selves. John McCain is as even tempered as you are Jack.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  24. Ron K - San Diegp

    Hi Jack:

    In the last debate he gave the appearance that over reacted to some of what romney said about him. One of the issues with President Bush happens to be that he gives the appearance of being short tempered. He tend to over react and not have as much patients. John Mc Cain demonstrates more of the same.

    Ron K. San Diego

    February 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  25. Dennis

    If they question his temperment than loud voices and name calling are what runs the country. This would also be evidence that the senate has been running the country with cold hearts as oppossed to strong brains. If the government had been running the country with strong brains and warm hearts than its people would not be in turmoil. Should the bully of the playground be the new class leader? Probably not if it hasn't worked yet.

    What about:
    gun control -vs- anger management

    February 4, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  26. Patricia

    Look, I've always said that McCain has a hate for the military, because the military didn't send anyone to Vietnam to rescue him while he was a POW. If people don't wake-up soon & vote with sense, MCain will become President & he will start WWIII by attacking Iran.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  27. Daniel

    It means there's one more reason to not vote for John McCain... if the Republicans already are afraid that he's not conservative, then they certainly won't like that he curses his peers... some great uniter...

    February 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  28. Greg from PA

    It means that his fellow senators will put forth a half-hearted effort in McCain's campaign. That is, of course, unless Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, in which case every able bodied Republican will jump on McCain's bandwagon.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  29. Eric

    Just what this country needs a hot head that has access to the big red button. No wonder Ron Paul gets 3 times as many military donations than McCain.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  30. Mary

    It means that when McCain gets "fired up" about an issue, he throws all caution to the wind and develops tunnel vision, not even considering alternatives. His obvious anticipation of running the war in Iraq is extremely scary. It also seems he would be delighted to get into it with Iran too. I just hope that all those people who were against the war only a short time ago, still are and get out and vote in November.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  31. Tom Bulger


    Senator McCain has been to Hell. When you make that trip you never survive in tact. The fire forges many warriors and marathoners, but produces few diplomats. Look at the divorce statistics. It is a not so hidden cost of war.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  32. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack there are a lot of things I like about Senator Mccain. His military service record, and straight approach as to where he stands. Which a lot of I don't agree with. But what worries me most is his known temper and his age. His temper is bad now being a senator, just imagine how it would be if the was president. My fears are he might tell some one to go to hell and start another war. Or he might have a stroke and depending on who would be vice president? We might have a Dick Cheney type in the White House.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  33. James

    I think it means more than an endorsement by an outdated action star. When the people who work with you doubt you abitities it speaks volumes. It's apparent to me, at least that McCain would probably be good at running the military but a President is much more than a general. Even his co-workers realize that.

    February 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  34. W B in Las Vegas

    John McCain's temper is legendary going back to when he was a Naval Aviator as a young man and esp when he was an instructor pilot at the Naval Air Station at Meridian, Miss. unlike John Kerry's swift boat crew, you don't see former squadron mates lining up to praise him, do you? that in itself should tell you something.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  35. Mary Kish

    Jack today I heard him tell what he said was a joke...what is the differance between a lawyer and a Carp...lawyer's are bottom feeders and a carp is a fish...gee that must have gone over well with his colleagues ...which are mostly lawyers...duhhh...don't think we will have to worry about him...if he continues those type of jokes...maybe we should send him the book how to make friends and influeance people..

    February 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  36. Jerry

    Bush and McCain are listed as dumb and dumber, if McCain's father and grandfather hadn't been admirals in the navy, he would never had made it into the academy, out of about nine hyndred cadets he only had grades better then six, should tell the american public how damn dunm he is, of course he fits in just fine with the Republicans and if people don't think so, just look at the mess the Republicans have gotten us into.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  37. Paul


    Without doubt, it is Hillary. That seems to be the reason why democrats and independents are gravitating towards Obama.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  38. Liz

    Of course Hillary would be the best to unite the Republican party most people hate her just like they hate the republican party so she would fit way better as a republican uniter never a democrat uniter

    February 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  39. Ron SD CA

    Hi Jack:

    It is because he gives the appearance that he has a short fuse. It was obvious in the debate last week that he was close to tossing his top.

    Ron K. San Diego

    February 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  40. James S. Lenon

    The party that elected an actor, already in his dotage, and then sanctified his every utterance is worried about temper control in a candidate who doesn't take cues from astrologers? McCain is less likely to start a war than his Republican opponents who didn't wear the nation's uniform and they know it.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  41. Alan

    I don't care if this warmonger, Bush clone has the temperament or not. He doesn't have the memory. He has to read everything he says, even his jokes! I don't want someone in office who can't remember where he is from day to day or why he was elected. Oh, yeah, they all forget that don't they?

    February 4, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  42. Kyle

    The thought of having John McCain as president is downright scary. I don't think I could stand having a Bush clone for 4 more years in the White House. I thought we banned human cloning?

    February 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  43. Ellie in Illinois

    From encyclopedia on McCain. Rebellious midshipment. Time in Naval Academy was ambivalent and lackluster. Each year he had 100 demerits(for talking out of place and the like) Graduated the 5th from the bottom of his class. He does not sound like Presidential material to me. If he gets elected, we will get deeper and deeper into war in the Middle East. He will grant amnesty to all the illigals that are in this country. Sends a cold chill down my spine also.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  44. Eli


    Senator McCain is a hero. He might ne suffering of combat fatigue. He is certfiably "short tempered". He could be dangereous as Commander in Chief.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  45. James Gannon

    It means they do not like the truth when they see it. Ronald Regan spawned the phrase "we will not deal with terrorists" in regards to the Iran overthrow of the Shah and kidnapping of Americans – subsequently Ronald Regan made a money for arms deal to via the Iran Contra scandal. The first George Bush said "read my lips, no new taxes", then he made new taxes. The current president ignored pre-September 11, 2001 warnings of an eminent attack, and made pre-emptive strikes against Iraq 8 months before the September 11, 2001 attack all while saying "I have no interest in nation building". Prior to September 11, 2001 the current president was expressing hostility by accusing several countries as being "axis of evil". Do you really think Mr McCain could upset the world worse than the current president or lie to the American people as bad as his predecessors?

    McCain is blatantly honest, people cannot stand that?

    February 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  46. Allen of Hartwell GA

    It means they think it will affect how Americans vote. Who wants a president who might stand in front of the UN and bang the podium with his shoe? Oops, already done that.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  47. Ryan in AZ


    More importantly, if his temper is so bad, why does he have more senate support than any of the other candidates on either side?
    Maybe it is not as bad as the rumors. Maybe some of the people who claim this, got their feelings hurt because McCain called them out on some "earmark".

    February 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  48. Laria

    It means that we've found one more reason (of the many that there are) not to vote for him.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  49. john

    It means the republican senate colleagues like most Reagan republicans are politely saying, “McCain lacks the capacity to be President” and lets be real McCain, like a McMansion is just a McCanidate, made to look big on a small lot, little if any character, and leveraged so much that everyone is owed.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  50. Flash McGruder

    McCain's said and done things that make me feel that he has a short fuse, explosive temper, unwillingness to listen and learn, and questionable ability to think strategically or globally. He has said that we could be in Iraq for 100 years and that the public will not mine? Foolish thinking. He's crazy.

    I really don't think that the majority of people educated in a military academy followed by ring knocking and ticket punching their way up the military promotion lists are capable of understanding how honest hard working American citizens live, work, and think. The military has great values and culture, but it is not a democracy and does not deal with the same issues that American families and businesses deal with.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  51. Wendel

    Sure McCain has the temperament to run this country. Anyone that can withstand torture from the Vietnamese should be able to withstand people whining the government is broken. McCain will win the nomination and become the next President.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  52. Karen

    It means his colleagues get something right. Anyone who can sing BombIran to the tune of the Beach Boys "Barbara Ann" and laugh about it is dangerous. He also called Putin the President of Germany in one of his speeches and referred to April 2007 as "a good year". This is the guy we want in charge of a 100 year war?

    I'm a former Democrat, but grew up and now realize that when the credit card maxes out, it isn't pretty. Now as a more mature conservative, I can only use my vote to send a message, not elect a leader.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  53. bob from dover delaware home of the military morgue

    If McCain is selected by the GOP it means our next president will be a democrat. McCain couldn't win against Bush last time he ran and he expects democratic voters to forget this? He can take all the warm baths he wants with Ted Kennedy and Sen Leiberman the fact is no one likes him because he chooses the wrong side of every debate.

    February 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  54. edward poliak

    dear sir,
    JUST A THOUGHT!! everyone is very concered about the mental stability about the people who have come back, and will come back from iraq and afghanistan.
    has there been any disclosure that mccain has had psychiatric evaluation and/or psychiatric treatement after his ordeal as a POW in viet nam?? is there any chance that there are deep seeded roots of fury or revenge to enemies of the USA that have been buried in his psyche?? remember eagleton who had to resign his vice presidential bid , after we had learned that he had psychicatric treatment, including electric shock?? JUST A THOUGHT.
    ed from iowa

    February 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  55. yiayia

    Hey Jack–take a good look at mccain he looks like our country-aging, explosive, and hard to the core...luv u jack...

    February 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  56. Kelly

    He comes off like a cranky old man that does'nt want to listen to anyone else. I think he's stale due to being in the washington bread box too long. Republicans can't compete with the dem's "change" thrust with him on the ticket, Only Romney can give us a chance at the prize.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  57. A. Macfoy

    Conservatives in the GOP are frustrated not because of McCain's temper, but because they see their importance being marginalized due to their combative attitudes; they cannot see that (delusion of grandeur). They know McCain will not always tow the line, because of this they are frustrated.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  58. Muhammad

    McCain is a very unstable person. He has trouble sticking to the topic. He gets upset when somebody asks him a serious question. He is a war mongerer. He loves to raise tax. He voted for a unconstitutional war and doesn't want to bring the troops back which is what the people want. He voted for the patriot act and is not trying to protect the US sovereignty. He is not fit for a president.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  59. Murry

    If McCain's colleagues complain about his bad temper, it's an indication that people don't like to work for/with him. Gee, only Hillary gets more hate mail.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  60. steve

    what it means is that some ofhis conservative colleagues don't like that he is capable of acting in a bipartisan manner!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  61. Danny

    It means everyone should vote for the only sane rational politician left...Ron Paul

    February 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  62. Anita Bruce

    He will continue to ruin America!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  63. Gary Pollock

    It means that some Republicans are actually capable of independent thought, something I thought they had lost.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  64. Bryan NY

    Hi Jack, Wolf

    Look at the way he almost blew his top at the Republican Debate, imagine him against Hillary or Barack (maybe even both)

    February 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  65. Kyle from Connecticut

    Those who work with McCain are going to be more aware of his faults and they should be exposed and trusted especially if they are coming from fellow Republicans.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  66. Linda Gehron

    Jack, it means that they just ran out of the Kool-Aid down at Congres.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  67. Kristina Ruehli

    It means that the John McCain we all saw in the last Republican debate was the real McCoy, er, McCain......snarky, rude, condescending, arrogant, ....wait.....I've got to go see how to pronouce "divisive.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  68. Mike

    It means that alot more of his collegues wont believe in his confidence to be president... Lets be real Not only is rush limbaugh saying he isnt a true conservative... But the axis of all evil ann Coulter says she would vote for hilary over him. Now that tells u something

    February 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  69. Cheryl Bynum

    John McCain believes passionately in this country and what he thinks is best for her. People accuse him of being old and out of touch. Bull. There is a lot of life left in the old boy! His temperment would be a blessing, not a problem. Maybe some of the young whipersnappers should take notes!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  70. John - San Francisco, CA

    In the final analysis, McCain is an American Hero.

    Having said that, those long years as a POW simply HAD to leave a psychological imprint. We just don't need ANOTHER hot-head in the White House, thank you very much. That WILL NOT get the job done!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  71. Jim_NYC

    My first exposure to John McCain was back in the early 90's on Cspan. He was chairing a committee on POW/MIA's with John Kerry. A poor soul, someone's mother, sister, wife I can't remember was testifying that she was certain we had left men behind. McCain stormed in from the cloak room and tore her a new one. He brow beat, castigated and humiliated her into sobbing mass of tears and he did not let up nor apologize. I found it reprehensible and thought to myself that guy should not be representing this government.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  72. Victor

    It's not so much the "angry" temperament that worries me; I'm more disgusted by the smugly smiling John McCain we saw in Wednesday's debate. It just turned my stomach to see that nasty smirk while Romney was defending himself from allegations of using liberal "buzz words, buzz words, buzz words" about Iraq. That kind of almost vindictive nonsense was just too slimy and political for a guy known for "straight talk."

    February 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  73. Chuck

    Nixon had a terrible temper and he brought us more of Vietnam and dead Americans than either Johnson or Kennedy. Perhaps McCain's temper will bring us more of Iraq and dead Americans

    February 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  74. Robert M Fesko

    After President Bush, and with McCain on the horizon, I think all Presidential candidates should go through a thorough physcological testing process to insure that candidate is indeed, sane!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  75. Mark Challis

    The negative attack Karl Rove used in 2000 stuck to Mc Cain. I watch him and think he's sane. I watch Romney and think he's not. Mc Cain is a moderate. Responsibility is his game and that has to frighten the borrow, pay interest and spend Republicans. Mark Iowa

    February 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  76. Mike, Ga

    I'm not old as dirt and I have a short fuse sometimes. That's not necessarily a bad thing...but I don't tell grandpa jokes either. But it's not helping him with us "young folks" to have his 90+ mother on the stump behind him either. She seems pretty grumpy.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  77. joel posner

    Adams said Jefferson did not have the political maturity or temperament to be President, Lincoln was know to have bouts of depression, FDR was manipulative dishonest with his advisers and very poor at organization. To know a person –even one destined for greatness– is to doubt he or she could be great. Many of the people who have worked closely with McCain are devoted to his candidacy. He is the best of the GOP lot.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  78. Bob Rose

    20 years of Clintons and Bush's and now you tell us our republican nominee may be another Nixon. He who doesn't learn by history is condemned to re-live it. Run O'Bama run!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  79. Tim1979

    Here's what it means: it means that Senator McCain thinks for himself and has the strength of character to stand on his own two feet and fight for what he believes in. So he played hardball and bloodied a few noses in the Senate? Welcome to Washington, Mr. Cochran!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Deborah

    Jack they have a right to be worried..all this man talks about is war and given the chance he would push the button to get us way in over our heads in another war...this seems to be all he can talk about with any passion...he will never allow Iraq to end and will plunge this country into more conflicts to keep up that " super power image" he wants this country to have...he is indeed a scarey little man and if he does indeed have a bad temper, God help us all!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Omar Siddiquee

    Of characteristics to label as a fault, McCain's genuine sentiments in regards to the direction of this country, are pretty low on the list. A characteristic I would label unsuitable and unworthy of the Oval Office, is the kind of plastic malleability that would tolerate such things as corruption, or torture. These republicans have a problem with the fact that McCain actually believes what he says he believes, and shows sentiment echoing his principles. They'd be happier with Romney, a man for whom such things as principles, beliefs and ideals are nothing more than marketing sloguns to be adopted and discarded depending on need.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  82. guy

    they will be sorry if they have Romney as a candidate. He has no chance against the Democrats. Mc Cain at least has a chance there.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  83. Philip, Philadelphia

    Not to speculate, but this may mean that McCain has had some less than pleasant encounters with other legislators behind the scenes. This could end up being positive for him, in that he might not be the type of president who blubbers and begs to Saudi royalty on the issue of lowering oil prices.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  84. David Ferguson

    McCain's temper has rumbled under the surface in some news interviews.

    However, I don't think we'll have to take other senator's word for it. We might be able to see it for ourselves in later debates, with either an agressive moderator or strong opponent.

    Dave Ferguson
    Cloverdale, CA

    February 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  85. Ryan, CO

    McCain must have fought those criticizing him on pork they tried to pump into a defense bill. It sickens me that McCain is criticized by hypocritical "conservatives" who spent taxpayers' money like drunken sailors, when he is one of the only true fiscal conservatives in Congress. I am excited about a President who will have the cajones to fight Congress on ridiculous and unnecessary spending.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  86. Byron, Texas

    John McCain stands up for what he believes in. Those that are highly critical of John McCain are taking part in dividing the party as well as the nation. McCain doesn't let the political waves dictate to him where to stand on the issues. Now more than ever, the Republicans should look at John McCains character and the fact that he straight-talks. We haven't had straight-talk from a president for a long time now. I think its about time for some!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  87. Michael

    I think it says a lot about McCain.Maybe for his RINO friends thats a positive but another maverick or 'cowboy' isn't what the country needs.GW was enough.McCain is better suited for a nice cabinate job in a Huckabee administration.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  88. Ron Bemmett

    It means he must be a meany, that could be a good thing. I see McCain’s first act as President will be to call Rush Limbaugh into his office where he gets waterboarded, what a site that would be.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  89. Gerald Dodd

    It sees to me that given the performance of the US Senate, that someone SHOULD get agitated at them. Senator McCain has ample reason, I'm sure, to be more than just annoyed at some of the clowns that call themselves "Senators". I for one applaud his candor, his no nonsense attitude and his unwillingness to waver from his convictions.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  90. kenneth

    If John mccain wins republican party normination, that will be a big advantage for any democratic norminee...cos Americans cannot afford another stubborn and selfish candidate to occupy the whitehouse.
    Dllas Texas

    February 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Katherine

    To take the political risk to make those public statements against a leading candidate is bold. Seems to me that the people who know him best and have worked with him the closest don't feel he's cut out for the job. And if that is the case, the 13 who are endorsing him may be looking for a reciprocal favor in the future. Regardless, it certainly isn't a good trait for a president to not be in control of his temperment. I didn't vote for him, but that's not at the top of my list of reasons why.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Nik Kap

    The republican establishment doesnt want to see someone to end earmarks, and corruption. Besides McCain is endorsed by every other Tom, Dick and Harry... Well not one Dick

    Nik, Florida

    February 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Seth

    It means that the color of Rush’s nose will change from white to brown once McCain gets the nomination.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Mike H

    Heh Jack,

    So let me get this straight – Senator McCain's flashes of
    anger may be a sign of how strong his convictions are?

    Wonderful – Just what the country needs after 8 years of George Bush ..

    George Bush on steroids!

    Mike H

    Seaville, NJ

    February 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  95. Alex Landi

    I am not surprised that many Republicans question McCain's temperament. I, too, wonder about his fitness to be president when he says that his plan to allow illegal immigrants to remain here is not amnesty and that they are not being jumped ahead of would-be legal immigrants waiting patiently around the world.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  96. Sybil, Norhtfield MA

    I am old enough to remember that we went through this before... Demorcrat or Republican...Lyndon B. Johnson gave us too much to think about regarding temerament. 'nuff said.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  97. ed


    What it means when some republican cohorts of John McCain suggest he doesn't have the right stuff to be president is that they don't see eye to eye with him on issues that are important to them. Just like with the democrats it's rare when politicians can think the same on all issues. They don't have to and it's probably for the best for all concerned that they don't.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  98. Mitchell

    Jack, when you add the Republican Senators to the conservative radio hosts who so dislike McCain, I can't think of better endorsements for him. Often you can judge someone not just by who supports them but who opposes them. Their opposition to him just makes me, an independent, like him more. So, more power to them. They are doing him a great favor.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  99. Irene Osborne

    The newly adopted quiet calm demeanor of McCain is his necessary cover-up for his angry and revengeful attitudes. How did he ever get to be a candidate for the presidency?

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  100. Paul Landwehr

    Hello Jack!

    It's quite simple really; if they can get the excuse machine organized and running far out in advance of the general election, then they'll have no trouble saying "see we told you so"
    when he loses badly in Nov.

    It should be obvious to anyone paying attention that 'Big Business' wants Romney
    and congress is a whore to big business.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  101. Ken

    This is a carryover from the "smear" and lie campaign of Bush against McCain. McCain is a "Can Do" guy who tries to get the job done for America. This attitude most likely offends some who only think of themselves or corporate sponsors on K Street who provides their funding and freebies. What is amazing is that the media is giving Romney a "free ride" in comparsion to McCain. When is the media going to ask Romney why he was a Vietnam "Draft Dodger" as is Cheney? As an aside, not one of Romney's sons have even come close to serving in the military, but Romney wants to be Commander-in-Chief to send other American children to war! I ask, would you buy a used car from Romney? Of course not, Romney will say and do anything, anything, to get elected! Romney is a phoney, McCain is the real McCoy! Your choice!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  102. charlie

    Harsh Temperament? Strong words? Our enemies have more than strong words and harsh feelings toward us. It was a harsh temperament that kept him alive as a POW and that same temperament will keep us safe as a nation. Have we as Americans really become so politically correct that we can't take harsh words? That if we call someone out for being wrong that we can expect mothers to be making phone calls to eachother? My goodness, we had a harsh temperament and strong words for King George once upon a time. I say battle on Senator! I'd follow him through the gates of hell.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  103. larry, Vermont

    It means they are given pause as they should be. What does a fiery temper say about character and personality, and what impediment — if any — does it pose to a president’s fitness to govern? It says I don't want someone representing me to the rest of the world, who is in the bunker on day one.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  104. Richard from Caldwell, NJ

    They're eight years too late.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  105. Pat A. Arkansas

    I lived in Phoenix for 15 years and McCain's temper was well known to everyone in Arizona. He was famous for it. As his staff was trying to play it down, there he'd blow again.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  106. P. D.

    It means.
    Take it for what it is.
    And then decide if you want 100 more years of war and potential wars with Iran and other countries.
    I have always sensed that McCain is teetering on the edge.
    Yet he couches his approach with that earnest friendly veteran act.
    Stick It Mr McCain.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  107. Josh


    You are a truly amazing individual. Thank you for calling our attention to this. The GOP will be shaking at the knees with this news, and it SHOULD be open for debate. This man, who is clearly insane, should never be allowed to do anything important. He should be encouraged to drop out of the race and become a CNN journalist. Keep up the good dirty work, Jack!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  108. DAK

    Senator McCain's colleagues have seen him in action, and they don't like it any more than we do. My question here is HOW do you reach out to the other side when you have an attitude problem?
    During the last Republican debate hosted by Anderson Cooper, Mr. McCain showed his true colors with his grimaces, nasty expressions and sarcasim when talking to Mitt Romney. I was disgusted. Don't we want more than this? This man is NO President.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  109. CMHinsley

    I believe there is no one in the world who has not shown some type of temper.,
    at least he is not keeping it in and letting it fester. I would rather have someone in the WH, who will have the gumption and fortitute to deal with those who would kill us, And if he had to slam some in order to prevail, more power to him. The one I could not trust even more than the Democrats is Romney. He seems to have the fortitute of a 12 year old precocious child. I cannot trust him with my life.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  110. brian

    Lets see, where there's smoke there's usually fire! Maybe McCain is the shock and awe Bush was talking about ?

    February 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  111. Ern

    Like you and I, close friends,associates and family know us better than those who just know of us. I beleive they are in a better situation to evaluate our probable ability to suceed at any given task. McCain I do not beleive is our Candidate... Where the heck is Ross Perot when we need him as a Independant cadidate?

    February 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  112. Paul White

    .....Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran says, “The thought of McCain being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper ....

    WE can NOT have a president with that personality...!!!

    A war could errupt just because of a White-House Visit Should McCain lose his temper on a point of view of a foreign leader that differs from his!!!

    I know that is a far fetched thought but if that crosses my mind after finding out McCain's Temperment then I am sure there are others out there with the same thoughts crossing Their Minds!!!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  113. Lynn Interdonati

    I and many others suspect some dirty politics backing McCain. When McCain
    got nasty with Romney in the debates; that gave real insight to this man's patience and personality. Do you really want some short-tempered guy so close to the "Button?" (the nuclear one?) Another thing; don't kid yourself; a vote for
    Huckabee is a vote for McCain. America wake up....vote for Romney. ......More and more republicans feel if McCain is the nominee; they'll go democratic. Lynn/NJ

    February 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  114. Sue W.

    It obviously means that they think his finger would hover a little too close to the red button, and perhaps in a temper tantrum, just might be a little too quick to push. Those who know him best are those who have worked with him and they're best able to send up the warning flags. If Americans want 100 years at war in Iraq and Iran and Afghanistan, and if they want to cower under the threat of many more wars and a possible nuclear strike to prove his military prowess then vote in bad boy John McCain. But think twice; his teammates have warned you, and they aren't in the presidential race, so they have no reason to lie or exaggerate.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  115. eddie

    Jack,TO who much is given,much is expected from.senator meccain's will not be able to lift this nation and make us one again.We need someone with new change,new idea and new tactics towards the war in iraq and towards foreign politics.its attitiude towards stress is very nagative and that could go a long way affecting the economy and the stability of the nation if been elected as the GOP nomine.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  116. Joe Stafford

    Jack, After 7 years of George Bush, it doesn't matter what the Republican Senators think of John McCain, I fully respect and thank him for his service to this Country in Vietnam, but after Exxon-Mobil's 40 Billion dollar profit last year, and with Millions of Americans losing their homes and the rest having to work 2 to 3 jobs just to keep there home, the Republicans couldn't elect a Dog Catcher this year, nevermind someone for President!

    February 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Jim Gentry

    There is a big difference between a heated diplomatic debate
    and an arrogant dogmatic argument with no substance.
    John McCain has given great service to his country but now
    he could truly be a hero. Go Home cool off and let level heads
    run the country.


    February 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  118. Derek in Arkansas

    McCain represents a shift to the left for the Republican party, no matter how many times he refers to himself as the "true conservative." Rest assured, his colleagues on the far right, including those Senators, talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the fanatical right will say and do whatever they can to tarnish McCain's candidacy.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  119. Lisa stubb

    We should all be worried. It was obvious during the debate that he does not have the temperment to negotiate . (which I think is an important quality if you want to be president of the United States)

    February 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Mark

    FIrst, we are all human and this is irrelevant to the run for the presidency . If he is a tempered man, why do so many support him? Second, tempers usually show on and off the job and more than just a few people know of the anger. I haven't seen it yet.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  121. Jack

    McCain's Scottish-Irish temper should not hinder him from being a great president. So he might break a few vases around the White House...at least he gives a damn about what's happening to this country, and could care less about party platforms, or Washington protocol.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  122. Shane B

    To hell with them. Any man with convictions worth fighting for should be prepared to send shock-waves, especially in this partisan beauty pageant.

    February 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |