Reid on McCain: "he doesn't have the temperament to be president"
by Josh Orton, Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 09:49:59 AM EDT
Joe at AMERICAblog catches an interview Harry Reid did with the Nevada-based pundit Jon Ralston:
"I just think he doesn't have the temperament to be president," Reid told Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston during the taping of "Face to Face," in Denver on Wednesday. The show airs on a Las Vegas, Nev., cable channel.
"I've served with the man 26 years," Reid said. "Do I have the ability to speak with experience about someone who has abused everyone he's dealt with? Someone who does not have the temperament to be president, who's wrong on the war, wrong on the economy, wrong on nuclear waste. What am I supposed to do? Walk around talking about what a great guy he is? I don't believe that. .... "
"There isn't a Republican serving in the Senate that's happy he's the nominee. Now, they're all supporting him, but I'll tell you they have told me. I've had Republican senators tell me they don't think they'll vote for him," Reid said.
When Ralston asked if Reid thought it would be "dangerous" to let McCain be president, Reid answered: "Well, if you said it, I wouldn't correct you."
"Is that right?" Ralston asked. "You really think that?"
"That's right," said Reid, who predicted that Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama would carry the battleground state of Nevada by 5 percentage points.
And there's no chance the "temperament" charge from Reid was an accident: he just repeated the point in a meeting with bloggers this morning.
You hear "John McCain is my good friend, but..." line from many Dem Senators as a pretext to criticism the Republican candidate. But no such qualification from the Majority Leader: Reid told Lieberman he "can't stand John McCain." But more than that, I think now is precisely the time to begin introducing this aspect of McCain's personality - right when the traditional media is discovering the same thing:
McCain's Prickly TIME Interview
For years, John McCain's marathon bull sessions with reporters were more than a means of delivering a message; they were the message. McCain proudly, flagrantly refused direction from handlers, rarely dodged tough questions and considered those who did wimps and frauds. The style told voters that he was unafraid, that he had nothing to hide and that what you see is what you get. "Anything you want to talk about," he promised reporters aboard the Straight Talk Express in Iowa back in March 2007.
...so when TIME's James Carney and Michael Scherer were invited to the front of McCain's plane recently for an interview, they were ushered forward, past the curtain that now separates reporters from the candidate, past the sofa that was designed for his gabfests with the press and taken straight to the candidate's seat. McCain at first seemed happy enough to do the interview. But his mood quickly soured. The McCain on display in the 24-minute interview was prickly, at times abrasive, and determined not to stray off message.
McCain, now with a shot at winning, is not acting well under pressure. And when that happens, as Reid acknowledges, he's dangerous.