Yesterday Senator and Presidential candidate accused former Massachusett’s Governor and also Presidential candidate Mitt Romney of flip-flopping on illegal immigration and the immigration reform bill pending in the Senate.
An angry, profane exchange between Sen. John McCain and another Republican senator last week prompted a new round of questions Monday about whether McCain’s legendary temper is becoming a liability to his campaign for the presidency.
In a private meeting just off the Senate floor, McCain (R-Ariz.) got into a shouting match Thursday with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) over details of a compromise on immigration legislation. Cornyn accused McCain of being too busy with his campaign to take part in the negotiations, prompting McCain to utter “Fâ€¦ you.”
And McCain has a history of over the top behavior.
One bureaucrat who felt McCain’s wrath was former NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin, who was summoned by McCain in 1999, not long after a $125-million probe crashed on Mars because of confusion over the use of English and metric units. McCain’s Senate Commerce Committee had oversight over NASA.
“McCain went ballistic the moment Goldin walked into McCain’s office,” said a participant in the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity because he still worked in the government arena. “He was shouting and using profanity, saying he was sick of NASA’s screw-ups. It went on for a few minutes, and then he kicked Goldin out of the office.”
Goldin started walking down the hallway but was called back to the senator’s office by a McCain aide. “When he came back in, McCain started yelling at Goldin all over again. And then McCain kicked Goldin out a second time before he ever said a word,” the source said.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), accompanied by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) (L) and others, speaks during a news conference on immigration reform legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington May 17, 2007.
McCain’s political handlers have plenty of experience in explaining his salty language and strident attacks. His temper has ranged far and wide, directed at other members of the Senate, congressional staffers, government agency chiefs, corporate chieftains, military officers and teenage campaign volunteers.
McCain has shouted at people for any number of reasons, including errors of judgment, disagreements on public policy and even how to set up a podium.
“In McCain’s world, there aren’t legitimate differences of opinions,” said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which differs with McCain on some issues. “There is his way and there is evil. That is how he approaches issues. That is one of the reasons for conservative nervousness about him.”
His temper has been an issue for years.
In the 2000 presidential bid, McCain was dubbed “Senator Hothead” by Newsweek. That year, he won endorsement from only a few Senate colleagues. His frequent attacks and volatile personality were most likely to blame. “McCain notes,” which offer apologies after heated words, are held by many members of Congress.
Does America need a President who is in need of anger management class?
Flap thinks not.
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