McCain Calls For ‘Respect’ In Political Dialogue, Ignores Time He Called Fellow Senator An ‘A–hole’

mccaintee.jpg Today at a campaign event in Michigan, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) promised to clean up the political discourse. He argued that he knows how to “reach across the aisle” and treat Democrats with respect:

I’m going to raise the level of political dialog in America,” McCain, R-Ariz., said at a campaign rally in central Michigan, “and I’m going to treat my opponents with respect and demand that they treat me with respect.” […]

We’re going to get a dispute and a debate done, but in a respectful fashion,” McCain said. “And I know how to reach across the aisle to [the Democrats], and I’ll ask you to tell them to reach across the aisle to me.”

McCain’s record of dealing with his fellow lawmakers, the press, and members of the public, however, has been considerably less than respectful. In 2000, Newsweek dubbed him “Senator Hothead” for his vicious temper. Some examples of McCain lowering the level of America’s political dialogue:

— In a “heated dispute over immigration-law overhaul” last year, McCain screamed at Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), “F— you!” He added, “This is chickens- – – stuff. … You’ve always been against this bill, and you’re just trying to derail it.” [5/19/07]

— In a discussion over the “fate of Vietnam MIAs,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asked McCain, “Are you calling me stupid?” “No,” replied McCain, “I’m calling you a f—ing jerk!” [Newsweek, 2/21/00]

— Discussing his recent trip to Iraq on The Daily Show in April, McCain told host Jon Stewart, “I had something picked out for you, too — a little IED to put on your desk.” [4/24/07]

— After Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) criticized McCain for his comment to Stewart, McCain told ABC News, “And all I can say is, to Murtha and others, Lighten up and get a life.” [4/26/07]

— Speaking to Fox and Friends in March, McCain noted that he allows “jerks from the media” to come on board his bus, the “Straight Talk Express.” [4/28/07]

— At a GOP meeting in fall 1999, McCain “erupted” at Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and shouted, “Only an a–hole would put together a budget like this.” When Domenici expressed his outrage, McCain responded, “I wouldn’t call you an a–hole unless you really were an a–hole.” [Newsweek, 2/21/00]

— In September, a high school student asked McCain whether the senator was “too old to be president and too conservative to be respected.” McCain “jokingly” responded by calling the student “a little jerk” who ought to be drafted. [9/4/07]

After the dust-up between McCain and Domenici, a senator told Newsweek that he didn’t want McCain “anywhere near a trigger.”