John McCain · U.S. Politics

John McCain’s temper tantrums: A video history

A disgruntled-looking John McCain talks with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on November 15, 2011.

Perhaps it’s time for the good Senator to hang up his hat and call it a day…

The Week

The Arizona Senator got snippy with reporters twice in one week, reminding us all that it doesn’t take much to make the Maverick lose his cool

A disgruntled-looking John McCain talks with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on November 15, 2011. 

This was a rough week for John McCain. On Thursday, the Arizona senator and former GOP presidential nominee missed a classified briefing on the Benghazi consulate attack because he was busy holding a press conference about the lack of information about that very consulate attack.  Pressed to comment on the mix-up by a CNN reporter, McCain snapped. “I have no comment about my schedule and I’m not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media,” he told CNN‘s Ted Barrett. “I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?


On Wednesday, a reporter asked McCain if the David Petraeus sex scandal posed a greater threat to national security than the Benghazi attack. A perturbed McCain responded: “With great respect, that’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard.


Of course, McCain has a long history of losing his cool in public. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and reflect on four of the Maverick’s sassiest moments:

1. McCain vs. the “little jerk” (2007): During a question-and-answer session at campaign stop in New Hampshire, one young audience member asked McCain if his age might impact his ability to lead the country, and wondered allowed whether the Republican worried about dying in office. McCain: “Thanks for the question, you little jerk.”

2. McCain vs. The New York Times (2008): On a plane ride in 2008, McCain got grumpy with New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller after she questioned him about a 2004 meeting he had with John Kerry, during which Kerry hinted at a VP slot for McCain. “You know it,” McCain insisted. “You know it. So I don’t even know why you asked.”

3. McCain vs. Sen. Max Baucus (2009): During a Senate debate on health care costs, McCain became “visibly peeved at Sen. Max Baucus,” and even stepped out from behind his podium to angrily point his finger around the room. When Baucus relentlessly interjected, McCain snapped,“If the senator keeps interrupting he is violating the rules of the Senate. I thought he would have learned them by now.”

4. McCain vs. hecklers (2012): While stumping for Republican Senate candidate Jeff Flake in Arizona, McCain took on a group of hecklers in the crowd, calling them jerks and telling them to shut up. He also stuck his tongue out at them. “I’m getting too old to put up with jerks like you,” he said.

One thought on “John McCain’s temper tantrums: A video history

  1. I’m 80 years old, so I have NO problem saying that John McCain is senile and too far over-the-hill to be serving in the US senate.

    To quote Clint Eastwood, “Every man’s gotta know his own limitations.”


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