Sen. John McCain To NFL Star Johnny Manziel: ‘Grow Up’ (AUDIO)

AP

John McCain thinks it’s time for Cleveland Browns quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel to “grow up,” but the Arizona senator admitted Wednesday that he had his own share of youthful indiscretions.

During an interview with Arizona talk radio host Mike Broomhead, McCain was asked about Manziel, who gave the middle finger to the Washington Redskins’ bench during a preseason game earlier this week.

“I just think he’s gotta grow up,” McCain said of Manziel. When you and I were his age — when I was a young Navy pilot, I’m glad that I wasn’t on national television. That’s all I can tell you.”

McCain did offer some kind words for Manziel, calling the rookie quarterback a “great competitor.”

The senator’s rowdy youth is well-documented. A lengthy Washington Post profile published in 2008, when McCain was the Republican presidential nominee, focused on his unruly time at the U.S. Naval Academy, detailing a fight during his junior year at the school.

While on liberty, he and a couple of classmates had gotten into an argument at a Washington park with a group of guys from nearby Georgetown University who’d tried crashing an impromptu party that McCain and his friends were having with a few girls. An exchange of insults escalated to pugnacious challenges, then shoves, with McCain in the center of the confrontation. One participant remembers the dispute as bloodless, a simple case of testosterone briefly running amok among rival alpha males.

Whenever McCain sits down with Broomhead, it’s a safe bet that the two will talk sports. In January, McCain used an appearance on Broomhead’s show to call Seattle Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman a “loudmouth.”

Listen to the interview below. McCain’s comments about Manziel come at about the 1:35 mark:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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