McCain's Temper vs. NY Times

The newspaper that endorsed McCain, once again tries to stir him up. McCain’s temper is one characteristic he needs to watch carefully if he wants to win this. (See Video Here)


Bumiller, who took over the McCain beat from Marc Santora in January, quoted a 2004 story in which McCain said the Kerry meeting never happened, according to ABC News. McCain, whose temper does flare up at times, told Bumiller that everyone already knows this story, despite her persistent questioning.


Republican Sen. John McCain, showing a flash of the temper he is known for, repeatedly cut off a reporter Friday when asked whether he had spoken to Democratic Sen. John Kerry about being his vice president in 2004.

“Everybody knows that I had a private conversation. Everybody knows that, that I had a conversation,” McCain told the reporter. “And you know it, too. No. You know it, too. No. You do know. You do know.”

The reporter, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times, was following up on a question McCain had answered at a campaign event Friday morning in Atlanta. Asked if he might consider Kerry as a running mate, since Kerry asked him in 2004, McCain said no.

Afterward, on a campaign flight, Bumiller said she looked in the Times’ archives and that McCain had denied talking with Kerry in a May 2004 story.

McCain interrupted, saying that everyone knew he had a private conversation, and he kept interrupting as she tried to follow up. McCain clearly was irate.

“I don’t know what you read or heard of, and I don’t know the circumstances,” McCain said. “Maybe in May of ‘04 I hadn’t had a conversation.”

Did he recall the conversation? “I don’t know, but it’s well-known that I had the conversation. It’s absolutely well-known by everyone. So do you have a question on another issue?”

Asked again about the conversation, McCain said, “No. No. Because the issue is closed, as far as I’m concerned. Everybody knows it. Everybody knows it in America.”

Michelle Malkin:

Maybe McCain is really, truly, finally learning his lesson now: When you lie down with liberal MSM dogs, they’re going to come back and bite you in the you-know-where. Glad to see his temper directed at somebody other than grass-roots conservatives.

The question wasn’t really an unfair one, and its an issue he needs to address. It is an issue many conservatives hold uncomfortably, and McCain has to realize the press will ask tough questions. Telling them to take a hike is one thing, showing the world that you let their annoying persistance get under your skin this easily is another. Take a deep breath John.

On the other hand, the reporter was quite testy and annoying. It was fun watching McCain deal with her.

Update: I don’t want folks to get me wrong. I don’t think that McCain blew his lid here. I’m just stating that its something he needs to be careful with. I think the NY Times was out of line in the questioning, and though McCain was walkin the rope with his temper, he kept things in appropriate form for the circumstances. He does have a history of temper though, and it wanted to come out here. Kudos to him for holding it back.

I agree with Ed Morrissey overall:

But his reaction seems rather mild, under the circumstances. He’s annoyed, sure, but hardly spitting and cursing. By the time she asks “Why are you so angry?”, the question is so inappropriate that he asks her to repeat it — and she declines, hopefully out of embarrassment.

Interestingly, the Times now has tried twice to get his goat, and for the second time, they’ve wound up with egg on their face.

2008 Presidential New York Times John Kerry