Arizona Republic Forgets About McCain’s “Volcanic Temper”

This is what Arizona Republic‘s editorial board had to say about John McCain:

Arizona Sen. John McCain has staked much of his claim to the presidency on his character: his status as war hero; his service to his country; his commitment to a cause, his country, bigger than himself.

These are legitimate claims to support by McCain, and worthy of voter attention and consideration.

But there are other aspects of McCain’s character, less flattering, also worthy of voter attention and consideration….Many Arizonans active in policymaking have been the victim of McCain’s volcanic temper and his practice of surrounding himself with aides and allies who regard politics, in the words of his paid Arizona chairman, state House Speaker Jeff Groscost, as a “bloodsport.”

…McCain often insults people and flies off the handle….If McCain is truly a serious contender for the presidency, it is time the rest of the nation learned about the John McCain we know in Arizona. There is much there to admire. After all, we have supported McCain in his past runs for office.

But the presidency is different. There is also reason to seriously question whether McCain has the temperament, and the political approach and skills, we want in the next president of the United States.

That sure is some tough straight talk from McCain’s home-state paper. But it’s from an editorial that ran in 1999. A few days ago, the paper published an editorial endorsing McCain. It said,

Anyone surprised to learn that The Arizona Republic judges U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona the best Republican choice for president in 2008 simply hasn’t been paying attention.

In recent months we have extolled McCain’s virtues and defended him against his many critics. In our judgment, McCain is the class of the GOP contenders, and we are proud to encourage his pursuit of the nation’s highest office….

He gives his party integrity. And principle. They cannot improve on such attributes. And they should not try.

What a difference two election cycles make. The endorsement says nothing about McCain’s “volcanic temper” and worrisome temperament. It seems the Republic has made its peace with McCain—especially since he became a front-runner. Or maybe its editorial board members believe his meds are now working.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

  • David Corn

    David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief and an on-air analyst for MSNBC. He is the co-author (with Michael Isikoff) of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Showdown, Hubris (with Isikoff), and The Lies of George W. Bush, as well as the e-book, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video that Rocked the 2012 Election. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.