It’s something of an open secret on the Hill, but Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) temper can be so explosive, it tends to alienate friend and foe alike. Consider yesterday’s brouhaha over the new immigration-reform package.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hasn’t spent much time in the Capitol this year as he seeks the GOP presidential nomination. But one of his rare appearances this week provided a pretty salty exchange with a fellow Republican.
During a meeting Thursday on immigration legislation, McCain and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) got into a shouting match when Cornyn started voicing concerns about the number of judicial appeals that illegal immigrants could receive, according to multiple sources — both Democrats and Republicans — who heard firsthand accounts of the exchange from lawmakers who were in the room.
Apparently, McCain accused Cornyn of raising petty objections, and Cornyn accused McCain of having dropped in without taking part in the negotiations. “F**k you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room,” McCain reportedly shouted. Paul Kane added that McCain also “used a curse word associated with chickens.”
Oddly enough, these outbursts are not terribly uncommon for McCain. Several years ago, Jake Tapper reported on an incident in which McCain got into a shouting match with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Eventually, a seething McCain told his GOP colleague, “You know, senator, I thought your problem was that you don’t listen. But that’s not it at all. Your problem is that you’re a f**king jerk.”
More recently, former Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.), who served with McCain on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on Republican policy committees, said, “I have witnessed incidents where he has used profanity at colleagues and exploded at colleagues. He would disagree about something and then explode. It was incidents of irrational behavior. We’ve all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I’ve never seen anyone act like that.”
Keep in mind, we’re talking about McCain dropping F-bombs on Republicans.
I guess this helps explain why McCain hasn’t exactly racked up the Senate GOP endorsements for his presidential campaign.