John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased.
Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship.
McCain called Cornyn’s claim “chicken-shit,” according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations.
“Fuck you,” McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses.
It was another instance of the Republican presidential candidate losing his temper, another instance where, as POW-MIA activist Carol Hrdlicka put it, “It’s his way or no way.”
There’s a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.
John McCain is not presidential caliber.
Then there’s McCain’s sensitivity to the POW-MIA issue. So highly strung on the topic, you’d think there was some festering wound lingering just below the surface.
Back in Washington, families of POW_MIAs said they have seen McCain’s wrath repeatedly. Some families charged that McCain hadn’t been aggressive enough about pursuing their lost relatives and has been reluctant to release relevant documents.…
In 1992, McCain sparred with Dolores Alfond, the chairwoman of the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America’s Missing Servicemen and Women, at a Senate hearing. McCain’s prosecutor-like questioning of Alfond — available on YouTube — left her in tears.
Four years later, at her group’s Washington conference, about 25 members went to a Senate office building, hoping to meet with McCain. As they stood in the hall, McCain and an aide walked by.
Six people present have written statements describing what they saw. According to the accounts, McCain waved his hand to shoo away Jeannette Jenkins, whose cousin was last seen in South Vietnam in 1970, causing her to hit a wall.
As McCain continued walking, Jane Duke Gaylor, the mother of another missing serviceman, approached the senator. Gaylor, in a wheelchair equipped with portable oxygen, stretched her arms toward McCain.
“McCain stopped, glared at her, raised his left arm ready to strike her, composed himself and pushed the wheelchair away from him,” according to Eleanor Apodaca, the sister of an Air Force captain missing since 1967.