On his campaign website, Romney has listed ten incidents that supposedly mean McCain is unstable. Let’s review them:
1. Defending His Amnesty Bill, Sen. McCain Lost His Temper And “Screamed, ‘F*ck You!’ At Texas Sen. John Cornyn” (R-TX). “Presidential hopeful John McCain – who has been dogged for years by questions about his volcanic temper – erupted in an angry, profanity-laced tirade at a fellow Republican senator, sources told The Post yesterday. In a heated dispute over immigration-law overhaul, McCain screamed, ‘F— you!’ at Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who had been raising concerns about the legislation. ‘This is chickens—stuff,’ McCain snapped at Cornyn, according to several people in the room off the Senate floor Thursday. ‘You’ve always been against this bill, and you’re just trying to derail it.’” (Charles Hurt, “Raising McCain,” New York Post, 5/19/07)
Who amongst us has not been tempted to scream, “Fuck you!” at Cornyn? Score one for McCain.
2. In 2000, Sen. McCain Ran An Attack Ad Comparing Then-Gov. George W. Bush To Bill Clinton. SEN. MCCAIN: “I guess it was bound to happen. Governor Bush’s campaign is getting desperate, with a negative ad about me. The fact is, I’ll use the surplus money to fix Social Security, cut your taxes and pay down the debt. Governor Bush uses all of the surplus for tax cuts, with not one new penny for Social Security or the debt. His ad twists the truth like Clinton. We’re all pretty tired of that. As president, I’ll be conservative and always tell you the truth. No matter what.” (McCain 2000, Campaign Ad, 2/9/00; www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHoXkCprdL4)
Of course, it turns out that Bush is a liar and has exploded the debt (not that McCain has done anything about that…). Point McCain.
3. Sen. McCain Repeatedly Called Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) An “A**hole”, Causing A Fellow GOP Senator To Say, “I Didn’t Want This Guy Anywhere Near A Trigger.” “Why can’t McCain win the votes of his own colleagues? To explain, a Republican senator tells this story: at a GOP meeting last fall, McCain erupted out of the blue at the respected Budget Committee chairman, Pete Domenici, saying, ‘Only an a–hole would put together a budget like this.’ Offended, Domenici stood up and gave a dignified, restrained speech about how in all his years in the Senate, through many heated debates, no one had ever called him that. Another senator might have taken the moment to check his temper. But McCain went on: ‘I wouldn’t call you an a–hole unless you really were an a–hole.’ The Republican senator witnessing the scene had considered supporting McCain for president, but changed his mind. ‘I decided,’ the senator told Newsweek, ‘I didn’t want this guy anywhere near a trigger.’” (Evan Thomas, et al., “Senator Hothead,” Newsweek, 2/21/00)
But Domenici is an asshole. Point McCain.
4. Sen. McCain Had A Heated Exchange With Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) And Called Him A “F*cking Jerk.” “Senators are not used to having their intelligence or integrity challenged by another senator. ‘Are you calling me stupid?’ Sen. Chuck Grassley once inquired during a debate with McCain over the fate of the Vietnam MIAs, according to a source who was present. ‘No,’ replied McCain, ‘I’m calling you a f—ing jerk!’ (Grassley and McCain had no comment.)” (Evan Thomas, et al., “Senator Hothead,” Newsweek, 2/21/00)
Grassley, even though I don’t agree with him ideologically, is one of the more honest Republicans around, and I don’t think he’s any more of a dim bulb than most other senators. Point Romney.
5. In 1995, Sen. McCain Had A “Scuffle” With 92-Year-Old Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) On The Senate Floor. “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.” (Harry Jaffe, “Senator Hothead,” The Washingtonian, 2/97)
Shoving around a 92 year-old human being–or even a Thurmond–is rather low. We’ll give Romney one point for this one.
6. Sen. McCain Accused Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Of The “Most Egregious Incident” Of Corruption He Had Seen In The Senate. “It escalated when McCain reiterated the charges Oct. 10 in a cross-examination, calling McConnell’s actions the ‘most egregious incident’ demonstrating the appearance of corruption he has ever seen in his Senate career.” (Amy Keller, “Attacks Escalate In Depositions,” Roll Call, 10/21/02)
I’m not sure what this refers to, although there’s been a lot of corruption in the Senate. Pass.
7. Sen. McCain Attacked Christian Leaders And Republicans In A Blistering Speech During The 2000 Campaign. MCCAIN: “Unfortunately, Governor Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican who will lose to Al Gore. … The political tactics of division and slander are not our values… They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.” (Sen. John McCain, Remarks, Virginia Beach, VA, 2/28/00)
In terms of the popular vote, Bush did lose to Gore. McCain is also right about religious pandering and slander. Point McCain.
8. Sen. McCain Attacked Vice President Cheney. MCCAIN: “The president listened too much to the Vice President … Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense.” (Roger Simon, “McCain Bashes Cheney Over Iraq Policy,” The Politico, 1/24/07)
Um….the problem is…? Point McCain (although it should be noted that McCain is bothered by the execution and not the decision to go to war).
9. Celebrating His First Senate Election In 1986, Sen. McCain Screamed At And Harassed A Young Republican 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. ‘Here this poor guy is thinking he has done a good job, and he gets a new butt ripped because McCain didn’t look good on television,’ Jon Hinz told a reporter Thursday. At the time, Hinz was executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. … Hinz said McCain’s treatment of the young campaign worker in 1986 troubled him for years. ‘There were an awful lot of people in the room,’ Hinz recalled. ‘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.’” (Kris Mayes and Charles Kelly, “Stories Surface On Senator’s Demeanor,” The Arizona Republic, 11/5/99)
It takes a lot to make me feel bad for a young Republican volunteer. But this did. This guy has busted his ass for crappy pay to put you in your job. Don’t be an asshole. Two points for Romney.
10. Sen. McCain “Publicly Abused” Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). “[McCain] noted his propensity for passion but insisted that he doesn’t ‘insult anybody or fly off the handle or anything like that.’ This is, quite simply, hogwash. McCain often insults people and flies off the handle… There have been the many times McCain has called reporters ‘liars’ and ‘idiots’ when they have had the audacity to ask him unpleasant, but pertinent, questions. McCain once… publicly abused Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.” (Editorial, “There’s Something About McCain,” The Austin American-Statesman, 1/24/07)
No idea what’s going on here (I tried to find the original source and couldn’t).
This is the best mudslinging Romney can do? Jeepers.