John McCain was Donald Trump before Donald Trump

Republican leaders have condemned Donald Trump for his comments caught on a tape released to the media on Friday, but they are still standing by the GOP nominee. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell Reject Donald Trump’s Words, Over and Over, but Not His Candidacy:

The two top Republicans in Congress — Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan — have repeatedly condemned statements by Donald J. Trump, but they have not joined the dozens of leaders in their party who have said they will not vote for him.

On Thursday, another 30 former GOP leaders, including former Tucson Rep. Jim Kolbe, signed a letter saying they cannot vote for Donald Trump because he “makes a mockery” of their principles.  30 Former GOP lawmakers sign anti-Trump letter.

McCain-TrumpBut what about Senator John McCain, who has endorsed Donald Trump and consistently reaffirmed his endorsement after each and every outrageous statement made by Donald Trump over the course of this campaign?

John McCain released a statement yesterday hours after the Trump tape became news:

“There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments. No woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.”

Once again, McCain wants to have it both ways: condemn Trump’s comments to get praise from his McMedia base, but not disavow his endorsement of Trump or repudiate him as the GOP nominee, because he needs Trump’s deplorable base of voters for reelection.

Will Trump suffer the consequences for his crude comments about women? Maybe not. John McCain never suffered the consequences for his own crude comments about women.

McCain had his own Trump tape moment during the 2008 presidential campaign — he was crushed by Barack Obama for other reasons — but survived to win reelction to the Senate in 2010. Apparently everyone in the media has forgotten about this story that has disappeared down the memory hole. Book: McCain temper boiled over in ’92 tirade, called wife a ‘cunt’ (April 7, 2008):

John McCain’s temper is well documented. He’s called opponents and colleagues “shitheads,” “assholes” and in at least one case “a fucking jerk.”

But a new book on the presumptive Republican nominee will air perhaps the most shocking angry exchange to date.

The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter, which will arrive in bookstores next month, reports an angry exchange between McCain and his wife that happened in full view of aides and reporters during a 1992 campaign stop. An advance copy of the book was obtained by RAW STORY.

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

The man who was known as “McNasty” in high school has erupted in foul-languaged tirades at political foes and congressional colleagues more-or-less throughout his career, and his quickness to anger has been an issue on the presidential campaign trail as evidence of his fury has surfaced.

As Schecter notes, McCain’s rage is not limited to the political spectrum, and even his family cannot be spared the brute force of his anger.

* * *

The exchange between McCain and his wife was not reported anywhere when it happened, Schecter said (a LexisNexis database search confirms this). In 1992, McCain’s mention in the national media revolved mostly around his involvement in the Keating Five scandal, and only local reporters closely followed his re-election bid.

McCain is well known for his rapport with the national media covering his presidential bid (he’s jokingly referred to the press as “my base”), but Schecter said this incident was buried not out of fealty to the Arizona senator. Rather, it was uneasiness about how to get such a coarse exchange into a family newspaper, and he didn’t fault the local press for not covering the incident.

“Members of the media are squeamish covering stuff like this so they let it go,” Schecter told RAW STORY in an interview Monday. “Back in ’92, when people use naughty words, [reporters] don’t know as much what to do with it.”

Much has changed since then…

The McCain campaign furiously denied the 2008 reports, calling them “fabrications” and “trash.” McCain Campaign Cries Foul Over New Book’s Temper Allegations. This was good enough for McCain’s fawning McMedia base, and the story quickly disappeared.

McCain also survived his very Trump-like joke about Chelsea Clinton. The joke that should have sunk McCain (September 1, 2008):

John McCain at a fundraising dinner in Arizona a decade ago: “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly?” he told a handful of big Republican funders. “Because Janet Reno is her father.”

The remark packed into its 15 words several layers of misogyny. It disparaged the looks of Chelsea, then 18 and barely out of high school; it portrayed Reno as a man at a time when she was serving as the first female US attorney general; and it implied that Hillary Clinton was engaged in a lesbian affair while the Monica Lewinsky scandal was blazing. Not bad going, Senator McCain.

Any one of those elements would seem potentially terminal for a public figure. Yet here he is 10 years later presenting himself as a champion of feminism by appointing Sarah Palin as his running mate.

The puzzle is explained partly by the US press, which barely reported the story. The Washington Post broke it in June 1998 but declined to relate the joke on the grounds it was “too vile to repeat.” Such coyness has long been ingrained in the US media, which has an annoying tendency to regard its readers as wayward children in need of moral protection.

Until yesterday. We are now living in the Trump era of news reporting. So John McCain’s previous indiscretions from years ago are now fair game to be reexamined in this reelection campaign. His McMedia base should stop protecting him and covering up what he says off the record in “locker room banter.”

John McCain lacks the temperament, character and judgment (he gave us Sarah Palin and endorsed Donald Trump) to serve in the high office of U.S. Senator.

John McCain was Donald Trump before Donald Trump. It would be poetic justice if both men went down to defeat together.

25 responses to “John McCain was Donald Trump before Donald Trump

  1. Frances Perkins

    Could someone explain John’s words of denial that taking money from the private prison industry has no effect on any policy decisions in the Appropriations Committee? Non sequiturs abound in John’s world.

  2. Senator John Kavanagh

    If you think the words of Trump and the alleged words of McCain make them unfit for office, I can only imagine how you feel about Bill Clinton who cheated on his wife in an unbalanced power relationship with an intern in the White House.
    Wait. Bill is your hero and campaigner-in-chief for Hillary.
    So words about infidelity are irredeemableo but actual infidelity gets a pass? Could someone explain that?

    • As of tonight, 14 Republican senators out of 54, or 26% have denounced Trump. Apparently they could care less about Bill Clinton.

      • Senator John Kavanagh

        You evaded the question? Have you no answer?

      • I suspect that is because Bill Clinton is the Democrats embarrassment (and I believe they made peace with that a long time ago), and Trump is the Republican’s embarrassment. If I recall, Bill Clinton took a lot of lumps in his time…

        • Sen. John Kavanagh

          Fair enough but you must see some hypocrisy, especially because Hillary is using Bill to campaign for her. And there is a difference between personal forgiveness, which I believe you alluded to, and sweeping it under the rug, which they seem to be doing also.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I have an answer for you.

            Bill Clinton is a dirt bag and if I was Monica Lewinski’s father I’d have taken Clinton out behind the bar and beat the tar-hades out of him.

            Hillary Clinton’s treatment of Bill’s women was beyond disgusting.

            Now it’s your turn.

          • (With tongue planted firmly in cheek) You need to show more respect…you are most likely talking about our future “First Gentleman”. (God! I am gagging as I say!)

          • The Democrats have always minimized the effect Bill Clinton had on women and have only taken up the mantle of outrage over Trump and his overly large mouth. The biggest difference is that Republicans feel guilty and ashamed by Trump whereas democrats defended Bill Clinton regardless of what came out about him. I know that I have – embarrassingly – defended Trump over accusasions I thought were unfair or unreasonable, but I can’t defend him over these stupid statement. I never understood such talk in the locker room and I don’t understand it here.

          • Senator John Kavanagh

            Trump’s comments were crude and vulgar but they were a long time ago and were just words. If Hillary’s including Bill in her campaign, general dishonesty and attacks on Bill’s victims don’t disqualify her, how can I disqualify Trump?

          • I tend to agree with you. I think that, given the totality of what we know about Bill Clinton, he probably did force himeself on some women. Did Trump ever do that? Or did he just run that stupid mouth of his? Hillary doesn’t care about women unless it gets her closer to the White House. She doesn’t care about anything except what gets her closer to the White House.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Trump’s words were admissions of forcible sexual advances on married women, not locker room talk. They were admissions of crimes.

            Trump has multiple lawsuits against him for such conduct. Trump’s first wife in court papers swore that he beat and raped her.

            He got another woman pregnant while married to his first wife.

            Why are you pretending not to know these things? Trump has been in the business section for his multiple failures and in the entertainment section for his behavior for decades.

            Grow up, be a real man, and defend women by disowning Trump without being weasels and saying “but but but Bill did it too.”

            You and other “conservatives” here defending Trump because Bill was bad are as creepy as Trump and Bill combined.

          • “…forcible sexual advances…”?

            c’mon, Not Tom. Hit hit on a married woman. He didn’t force anything on her. I find it reprehensible, but not unheard of. He got another woman pregnant while he was married. During divorce negotiations his soon to be ex-wife accused him of rape. Not uncommon in bad divorces. Lawsuits have been filed by former mistresses seeking compensation. Again, not uncommon for wealthy men.

            He is a lousy husband and a philanderer. So are a lot of husbands. I don’t understand it and I have always held them in contempt, but it isn’t the end of the world.

            Does any of that disqualify him from being the President? Apparently not. We are also running the great enabler, Hillary Clinton, and bringing the Philanderer in Cheif, the guy who brought his girl friends into the Oval Office for sex, back in the the White House. We don’t have any standards any more. Clinton…Trump…we will run anyone for the office. We don’t care any more. A nation gets the leaders it deserves and I think we deserve whatever the heck we come out of this election with.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Conservatives in 2ooo – Character Matters!!!!!!!!!

            Conservatives in 2016 – we’re as rape-y as they are!!!!!!

            Hypocrites.

    • The words of Trump do make him unfit for office. It’s not just the words about trying to have sex with a married woman that make Trump’s statements reprehensible. The statement that he thinks he is entitled to kiss women due to money and the statement about grabbing private parts are perhaps even more abhorrent than what he said about trying to have sex with a married woman.

      Do you endorse Trump right now?

    • For Sure Not Tom

      You won’t like the source, but you are welcome to dispute the facts.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/10/opinion/campaign-stops/trumps-second-debate-in-brief.html?_r=0

      And FYI, anytime you’re around, John, we are talking about your ties to the private prison industry, because White Men’s Crimes Matter.

  3. Frances Perkins

    Credit McCain with nothing except being John McCain, an ego that needs grounding. He is the safest politician ever, since he HAS been on every side of every issue there ever was in Washington. If McCain has one solid, fundemental belief, it is hidden, except for bombing or invading about 24 countries. If Trump was up 8 points he would be fawning over him.

  4. Do you honestly thin these Republican Senators or Representative are NOT going to vote for Trump if it means Hillary in the White House? When push comes to shove, my money is on them voting Republican with the idea in mind that he is going to screw up big time early on, will be impeached, removed from office, and Keene will become the President. Far fetched? Perhaps, but easily within the realm of possibility.

    If Hillary didn’t keep having these screwups surface, I would think she would be a shoe-in for President, but it seems every week some new embarrassing scandal du jour surfaces to make her stumble.

    • Steve,
      Are you ok? This was a totally messed up comment, and who the hell is Keene? Shoo in? I think that you have lost it.

      Are you on a desert island with no coverage? Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Joe Heck, John McCain and many others have walked away from Trump today.

      And you are talking about Hillary Clinton screw ups. Wow.

  5. McCain is walking away. Politico explains:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/mccain-trump-229380

    I credit John McCain for bringing up the Central Park 5 as part of his rationale to unendorsed.

  6. Frances Perkins

    The senile, foul mouthed old coot needs to be retired. Not even a close call.

  7. When will the Arizona people demand that Martha McSally come clean on Donald Trump.
    Religious conservatives don’t want sex education taught in schools. Instead, they want their children to learn about sex from their idol, Donald Trump. Mommy, what does Mr. Trump mean when he says…