The Politico has a piece that focuses on the danger of John McCain's temper. McCain has a long and storied history of blowing up at his colleagues and the question really needs to be asked whether a man with such an angry temperament and who is prone to an overly hawkish foreign policy should be President. This is hugely important issue and one that has not been adequately talked about to this point.
Yet McCain's supporters seem to be in denial, the Politico writes that "Republicans have accused Democrats of inventing the temper line of attack to knock the Arizona senator."
Really? Invented? Ummm... it is pretty well documented. McCain himself admitted he gets angry and Republican Senators are on record saying he has an anger problem and one even said he wouldn't trust him running the country. Former McCain staffers have also noted that anger was a part of McCain. He even allegedly tried to physically attacked Strom Thurmond. Here are some snippets (sorry no links - came through lexis):
McCain himself admits that "I Get Good And Angry." "I do get good and angry. Really angry! By God, I'm not going to let them beat me again. I don't like to lose." [Fortune, 3/20/06]
Orrin Hatch Called It "Awful" To Be The Focus Of McCain's Anger. "Hatch, who serves with McCain in the Senate, said his colleague 'is a passionate person and he does have a temper and sometimes it's awful to be on the wrong side of it.'" [Associated Press, 12/2/99]
McCain's temper led Republican Senator to say "I decided I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger." McCain's "ire is all too real. This has prompted questions about whether his temperament is suited to the office of commander-in-chief... 'I decided I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger,' Domenici told Newsweek in 2000." [AP, 2/16/08]
AP describes McCain's Temper Is "Achilles Heel," described by colleagues as "Senator Hothead." "Temper, temper. Republican John McCain is known for his. He's been dubbed "Senator Hothead" by more than one publication, but he's also had some success extracting his hatchet from several foreheads. Even his Republican Senate colleagues are not spared his sharp tongue. "F--- you," he shouted at Texas Sen. John Cornyn last year. "Only an a------ would put together a budget like this," he told the former Budget Committee chairman, Sen. Pete Domenici, in 1999. "I'm calling you a f------ jerk!" he once retorted to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. [...] The political landscape in Arizona, McCain's home state, is littered with those who have incurred his wrath. Former Gov. Jane Hull pretended to hold a telephone receiver away from her ear to demonstrate a typical outburst from McCain in a 1999 interview with The New York Times. McCain has even blown up at volunteers and, on occasion, the average Joe." [AP, 2/16/08]
McCain's Communications Director said anger was part of John McCain. Dan Schnur, John McCain's communications director in the 2000 presidential race, acknowledged McCain's tendency toward anger, saying, "Anybody who knows John McCain knows that he gets angry.'" [Washington Post, 11/2/99]
Conservative Bill Bennett said McCain was irresponsible and intemperate. "William Bennett, the former education secretary, the prominent conservative who came very close to endorsing you a few days ago, called some of your comments irresponsible and intemperate. He talks about an emerging pattern with you in which -- and this is a quote -- "you portray those with whom you disagree as not just wrong, but wicked." [CNN, 3/2/2000]
Dobson: McCain has a legendary temper. "Family founder James Dobson -- talk to tens of millions of people each day. [...] McCain's tone was certainly on Dobson's mind when he issued a stinging anti-endorsement on Super Tuesday. He mentioned various issues, but Dobson also said the senator 'has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.'" [AP, 2/16/08]
McCain Began His Senate Career Screaming At A Young Volunteer. "It was election night 1986, and John McCain had just been elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time. Even so, he was not in a good mood. McCain was yelling at the top of his lungs and poking the chest of a young Republican volunteer who had set up a lectern that was too tall for the 5-foot-9 politician to be seen to advantage, according to a witness to the outburst." Jon Hinz, then Executive Director of the Arizona Republican Party, noted of the outburst, "You'd have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. He (McCain) was screaming at him, and he was red in the face. It wasn't right, and I was very upset at him." [Arizona Republic, 11/5/99]
McCain "Scuffled" with 92 Year-Old Strom Thurmond. "In January 1995, McCain was midway through an opening statement at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing when Chairman Strom Thurmond asked, 'Is the senator about through?' McCain glared at Thurmond, thanked him for his 'courtesy' (translation: buzz off), and continued on. McCain later confronted Thurmond on the Senate floor. A scuffle ensued, and the two didn't part friends." [Washingtonian, 2/97]
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