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McCain, Axelrod dig up the hatchet, renew their verbal sparring

By Michael D. Shear
The presidential campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain is long over. But the bitterness continues to linger, especially as McCain has become one of Obama's harshest public critics.

On Monday, the Republican senator lashed out again at passage of Obama's health-care plan, vowing that his party will no longer work with the president.

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," he told an Arizona radio station. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

That brought a quick jab from Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, who has had one of the fiercest tongues in Obamaland when it comes to McCain.

"You know, that's okay on the sandlot, but that's not really okay when you're trying to govern a country and move a country forward. It's a disappointing attitude," Axelrod told ABC News in an interview.

It didn't stop there. Axelrod's comment prompted McCain's chief spokeswoman to offer a blistering response by e-mail. After offering a list of positions that McCain has taken in support of and opposed to Obama, Brooke Buchanan added this:

"Senator John McCain will always stand on the side of the American people," she said. "Get used to it, Mr. Axelrod, that's what strong, independent members do - you'd know that if you had ever worked for one."

This isn't the first time that Axelrod has been at the sharp end of the Obama spear where McCain is concerned. During the campaign, it was often Axelrod who attempted to pierce the McCain brand of independence and experience.

"What does all his experience get us?" Axelrod asked during a 2008 interview with Hufington Post. "What do all those visits [to Iraq] get us?"

The answer, he said at the time: "Senator Obama ... raised the appropriate questions. Sen. McCain didn't."

Since his campaign ended in defeat, McCain has become increasingly willing to call out his former rival. That may be in part because McCain is locked in a heated primary battle in his home state of Arizona.

McCain will return there late this week for two fundraisers, accompanied by his running mate in the 2008 presidential race, former Alaska senator Sarah Palin.

By Michael D. Shear  |  March 22, 2010; 8:14 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

The Liberal Democrats have lied, cheated, and stole there way into ruining our country. It's disgraceful and McCain loves our Country and the people, goons like O'bama, Pelosi, and Reed don't. The Dems pandered and dealt behind closed doors with the Insurance companies, the drug companies, and sold out. The Liberals are taking away our personal freedoms, and the country will soon see this is true. Big Government is bad for us. O'bama is a Marxist. Thank you for listening.

Posted by: bubbaknowbee | March 26, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Governor, not Senator Palin.

Posted by: gloryeternal | March 25, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I live in Arizona and have to deal with McCain. I sure hope he gets voted out of office. He is like a spoiled brat who can't get his way. I don't see the Republicans doing anything for the unemployed or those who are suffering in this country. Why should they care? They are the party of the rich. And they have access to benefits. I'd love to have their benefits. I don't think the health care bill which passed has all the answers but it is a step in the right direction. Now, the next thing should be the creation of jobs. We need to put this country back to work. Too many of us are without jobs and suffering.

Posted by: laine25 | March 24, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

There is something to be said for an evolved individual. Clearly Pres. Obama possesses this unusual quality and unfortunately John McCain is still clinging to schoolyard bullying tactics that I recall from similar individuals in prep school. They just never moved on. Henceforth can never come forward in the interest of having a part in allowing their country to progress. They always have the "right answer" and are never seeking it from the myriad positions that exist. McCain has a great similarity with the same aggressive cast in cement point of view as Israel and proceed to beat a dead horse "deader than dead". How about HOPEFULL replacing HOPELESS.

Posted by: lenantik | March 24, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

John McCain needs to take a seat at the back of the bus. He and all other republicans need to search their hearts and souls. This law will provide the bare necessities for families in this nation. Unlike JM and his family of riches (off the backs of the poor) many people will be able to sleep and rest assured that their mothers and their fathers, who are old and suffering from chronic illnesses will finally have the opportunity to get the care they need and can afford it. Their children will be able to benefit.

JM and others opposed this bill prior to even knowing what was in the bill. What kind of "bipartisanship" is that? This is the dawning of a brand new day. It is a day where the meek are finally inheriting the earth.

We have a confident, intelligent, Christian president in President Obama who is always displaying the idea of "what would Jesus do." Blessings to him and his family. May he continue to lead this great nation and deliver us from the evil the republicans have allowed to fester over the last administration.

Posted by: Optimist1948 | March 23, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Will "no longer" work with the Democrats? What about zero support for the Health Care Overhaul bill looks like "working with" Democrats to Mr. McCain? With "allies" like the Republicans up until now, who needs their help?

Posted by: Omyobama | March 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Saying stupid things has worked for Republicans in the past. When McCain really gets desperate, he will start shouting out things like: “you lie” or “baby killer”. This is the nature of the pragmatic party. They talk about morals and higher standards while exhibiting the “anything goes” philosophy.

Posted by: NewThoughts | March 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Since the election, Senator McCain has shown nothing but bitterness and open hostility toward President Obama. And this was long before he knew that he would receive the JD Hayworth challenge in Arizona.

But I guess if one had to swallow such a bitter pill as Senator McCain did in SC in 2000 and then had to kiss up to President Bush in 2004 hoping to gain support for the nomination in 2008, just to come up empty again, it has to hurt.

However, had a Senator Obama lost the election, I just do not believe he would have shown such mean-spiritness toward a President McCain.

Posted by: stroud00 | March 23, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what McCain thinks these days? He is not the president, or the minority leader, and undoubtedly won't be the republican candidate in 2012. He probably won't even be a senator soon. Anyway, he forfeited his "strong leader" persona when he picked the Palin to be his running mate.

Posted by: jvlem | March 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what McCain thinks these days? He is not the president, or the minority leader, and undoubtedly won't be the republican candidate in 2012. He probably won't even be a senator soon. Anyway, he forfeited his "strong leader" persona when he picked the Palin to be his running mate.

Posted by: jvlem | March 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

After offering a list of positions that McCain has taken in support of and opposed to Obama, Brooke Buchanan added this:

"Senator John McCain will always stand on the side of the American people," she said. "Get used to it, Mr. Axelrod, that's what strong, independent members do - you'd know that if you had ever worked for one."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BULL'S EYE!!!!! heh heh.

Posted by: bnw173 | March 23, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Mr. Axelrod on his point
"Senator Obama raised the appropriate questions .. McCain didn't."

Only problem, Obama may have asked the appropriate questions(talk) but voted (actions) just like McCain on every vote on funding the war.

On BS, he is expert. The actions are what is missing. Hell, this guy didn't have a clue he was inheriting a mess after four years in the Senate. (He could have asked Palin. She had a clue.)

Posted by: bnw173 | March 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I respect McCain for his Hanoi prison ordeal; but WHAT has he done after that:
- divorced sick wife for a rich girl.
- living off rich wife's wealth.
- sacrificed principles, to collect racist votes, running against Bush.
- helped get thousand of Americans killed in the wrong, immoral, stupid Iraq war.
- helped spend billions of US dollars by voting for wars & arms for Pentagon. McCain has a love affair with wars.
- recruited the stupidest VP candiate in the US history.
McCain should just retire in one of his dozen houses, his wife owns.

Posted by: jyotip00 | March 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: raymeo | March 23, 2010 11:20 AM:
"There is a big difference between Senator John McCain and Obozo: John McCain is a genuine American hero, and Bozobama is a punk jerk liar illegitimate non-citizen turd. Big difference."

THIS IS THE ONLY WAY RACISTS CAN ATTACK OBAMA -- THROUGH INSULTS. SO SORRY YOU ARE A LOSER WHITE GUY WITH NO MONEY AND WITHOUT ANY EDUCATION WHO RESENTS A BLACK GUY BEING YOUR SUPERIOR IN EVERY WAY, FROM INTELLECT TO POWER. HE IS YOUR PRESIDENT, AND WILL BE REMEMBERED IN HISTORY BOOKS. DEAL WITH IT.

Posted by: mbutler99 | March 23, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Senator Sour Grapes should try to be an example. It is this nasty attitude that is getting members of Congress called names and spat upon. Now, another chance for Republicans to be constructive and actually participate has passed them by and the Democrats have acted alone not by choice, but rather by neccessity because even before President Obama was sworn in, Senator McConnell and McCain and Representatives Boehner and Cantor hatched this strategy of blocking (or trying to block) anything President Obama proposed. When he proposed cutting middle class taxes, they opposed it, when he proposed incorporating Republican ideas (the mandate is a Republican idea by the way) the Republicans opposed them.
The Republican party is bereft of ideas. They are like a bunch of middle school bullies who know how to tease and taunt, but then when they get asked what they would do differently, they clam up.

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | March 23, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

As if the Democrats want any Republican participation in any of their scams...like their health care bill. Besides not having those pesky Republicans asking embarassing questions, it's so much easier to rule when government does not have to consider what the majority of it's dorky, know-nothing, citizens think is best for them

Posted by: roanns | March 23, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting the divide that has arisen between the parties/ideologies. It is pretty sad, but for everyone to stick their head in the sand and talk about Republican intransigence when the Dems are just as guilty. Obama calling out the Supreme Court during the State of the Union was unnecessary and is an indicator of the same small mindedness that the left accuses the right of. It would just be refreshing to be able to get a non-partisan perspective of the news and what is happening. Politico is probably the closest, but there really is none out there. After reading Howell Raines' op ed to the Wash Post, it really makes one scratch their heads regarding where these folks are coming and who sets the standard. There was a time, long ago, when you could at least read the news with something other than highly partisan slant. But that was a long time ago, before Dan Rather, W&B, Andrea (*gulp*) Mitchell, and the rest. Fox is necessary if only to provide an equally slanted position to the mainstream media.

Posted by: MiddleOfTheRoad4 | March 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

There is a big difference between Senator John McCain and Obozo: John McCain is a genuine American hero, and Bozobama is a punk jerk liar illegitimate non-citizen turd. Big difference.

Posted by: raymeo | March 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," he told an Arizona radio station.

As if there's been any cooperation from any Republican since November 2008.

Posted by: DonAlbertson | March 23, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Why do we care what McCain thinks? His views were overwhelmingly rejected by the American people. He doesn't serve on any Senate committees dealing with health care and has never been engaged on health care issues in the Senate. He's only scambling now to look like he's a player in an effort to save his Senate seat. A career politician saying and doing whatever it takes to save his career. Bye bye John.

Posted by: tlehman1117 | March 23, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Yet another disappointing performance, Sen McCain. We appreciate your previous service to our country in the military but please know many of us in Arizona who research our candidates before we vote are tired of your pathetic rhetoric. Sir, it is time to understand you serve ALL of us - not just the right-wing GOP to whom you seem to have sold your soul.

Posted by: dovevalley-az | March 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

This is very good news that the health bill has been passed. Senator McCain, you need to give it a rest. This is not the playground in grade school. The Constitution of The United States says "WE THE PEOPLE", it does not say "WE THE PEOPLE WHO THINK LIKE JOHN McCAIN." I am not sure if you sounded childish (as the rest of your party) or your just bitter. It is very sad when adults are so childish that my 10 year old granddaughter thinks you all need to be fired. She use to like watching the debates, but she said they are getting to ridiculous. It seems to me that when you reach a certain age moving forward seems to be a problem. Good luck with your election.

Posted by: casebastian7 | March 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is former Governor, not Senator from Alaska. Little things get you in trouble.

Posted by: JarlWolf | March 23, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Typical John McCain behavior, if he doesn't get his way flip the board and take his toys home. I haven't seen any cooperation from him yet!

Posted by: cherilee43 | March 23, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Senator McCain has always been upfront with his positions unlike many other politicians.

Senator McCain has been a champion of smaller government and less spending unlike the Democratic Senators who are responsible for the largest tax increase in the history of the United States.

I believe that Senator McCain will be in the forefront of the battle to prevent a national sales tax (VAT) from being enacted, which several liberal pundits recommended today.

Senator McCain is a great American!

Posted by: mwhoke | March 23, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Congress, Team Obama: Now do the REAL health care reform -- end Bush-era "program" atrocities.

JOURNO EXPOSING U.S. GOV'T CELL TOWER MICROWAVE SILENT ATTACK SYSTEM DESCRIBES ATTACKS, CALLS FOR DISMANTLING OF HOMELAND 'FUSION CENTERS'

• Rips Bucks County, PA- based Mid-Atlantic States MAGLOCLEN fusion center as regional "Centcom for an American Gestapo."

• Report: Gov't cell tower microwave/laser radio frequency weapon system keeps 'targets' asleep, immobilized, debilitated, as community "watch" stalkers invade, vandalize their homes.

"These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" -- Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener.

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-govt-uses-cbs-news-cover-microwave-cell-tower-torture

NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 22, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview with The Hill. "[The Democrats] have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

Too funny. What cooperation was there before- Did I miss something here?-- Nothing but rancor. GOP has been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the Obama admin.

Yea, McCain, that's what we really need right now... Politicians warring in separate camps within our own country-- don't we have enough issues already? You have just given me something to hang my hat on -- I'm now more sure than ever that I made the correct choice in not voting for you. You sound like a very small man- a vengeful and angry lunatic once again.

Is this a threat?? GOP has already blown their ugly load- Sounds more like Iranian and Chinese saber rattling LOLLL

Posted by: JustinMcC | March 22, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview with The Hill. "[The Democrats] have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

Too funny. What cooperation was there been before?-- Nothing but rancor.

Is this a threat?? GOP has already blown their ugly load- Sounds more like Iranian and Chinese saber rattling LOLLL

Posted by: JustinMcC | March 22, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Remember when he was giving a speech on a pier, or an oil rig- he kept staring down and saying "look at the fishies!" Sundowning I think - time to let him use some of his (government-funded) healthcare for some tests, and a nice assisted living home!

Posted by: howcanyousaythat | March 22, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

This should tell the people of America just how fortunate we are that McCain in not now and has no chance of becoming President. He is a vile and angry loser who hopes Obama fails at any cost. He does not have the good of the people at heart. He only knows that he got whipped and he will do anything to strike back. I hope the people of Arizona see this man for who he really is. His personal principals come before any of the people he represents. He is so desperate in his agenda that he is bringing Sarah Palin back into the fray. She already cost him in one race and now, will he let her cost him in another? The older he gets, the worse his judgment is getting. Senility is overtaking him in leaps and bounds.

Posted by: racam | March 22, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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