New book says McCain called his wife a “cunt”

The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter reports that back in 1992, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain snapped at his wife, calling her the dreaded “c-word.”

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.

Um…yeah. Makes me wonder how he treated her when no one else was around. Jeez.
Via The Raw Story.

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44 Comments

  1. mpeterson
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    ugh.
    That’s one of the words I will never use because it’s so full of hate.

  2. Posted April 7, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like he’s in touch with family values to me.
    /sarcasm

  3. jennifer_w
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    What the hell. Imagine, this is a woman he supposedly loves and cares for. Imagine what he thinks about women who he doesn’t love and care for. Grrr.

  4. Voila
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I used to date a guy that was oversensitive about his penis. In fact, one day we were out with some of our mutual guy friends and we were all joking around about random stuff. I thought we were still just joking around when they teased him for having a small penis, so I laughed because they were saying some outrageously funny things. He got pissed at me for laughing because that meant I agreed he did have a small penis, not at them for teasing him. While he didn’t hit me, he did have a violent outburst and started to say really vile things about me to these guys.
    Yeah, I told that story because I think it’s really shitty to dismiss this situation as “having a long day”. No, that’s BS. McCain is sensitive about his hair, like my ex was sensitive about his penis, because having less means they are less masculine. Just like infertility and not having a well-paying job are viewed of signs of weakness in men. Not all men have such issues, but enough do, and many of them react in abusive ways when they perceive their masculinity is challenged. They suddenly have a need to prove their masculinity, like he did in calling his wife a trollop and a cunt. Next time McCain has a similar outburst, I expect we’ll be told it’s a joke, haha, why aren’t we laughing, do we not have a sense of humor?
    As for behind the scenes, I don’t know how McCain treats his wife, but I know how my ex treated me. Our relationship lasted another 7 months, and the emotional/mental abuse wore me down slowly. Eventually he started raping me, but at the time I was so mentally fucked that I didn’t understand what was happening. At the time, I only understood abuse as things like hitting, and so there was nothing to literally or figuratively slap me in the face about my situation. I can only speculate about the McCains, and I bet that he is at least verbally abusive/controlling, and she tolerates it because either she doesn’t know any better or because the perks of her situation (money, prestige) outweigh the abuse in her mind. Or maybe she’s abusive right back, we just don’t know. No matter what the situation, I expect better from those we choose as our leaders. Name-calling is decidedly immature and the names he chose are definitely sexist.

  5. Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    The origin of Mrs. McCain’s addiction problems is making itself obvious…

  6. silverkris
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I noticed that wasn’t a Feminist Fuck You Friday this past Friday. Might we nominate Senator McCain for that honor (or dishonor)?

  7. silverkris
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I noticed that wasn’t a Feminist Fuck You Friday this past Friday. Might we nominate Senator McCain for that honor (or dishonor)?

  8. rq
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    While McCain was totally out of order and overreacted by getting angry at his wife, I have to say that I think that the word “cunt” needs to be demystified and deconstructed in order for it to longer have any power to hurt people anymore.
    It’s been turned into something nasty, negative and derogatory. The word’s origins are far from bad.
    So, yes, McCain obviously has some MAJOR issues with women but his use of the word cunt is less offensive to me than his use of the word “trollop” when insulting his wife.

  9. Jessica
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Well, rq – I’d argue that they’re both sexualized slurs that are used to shame women, so in this case – they’re pretty similar. But I hear what you’re saying.

  10. Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    So, his wife made a playfully teasing comment and he replied with hateful, misogynistic slurs? Awesome.
    (that’s a sarcastic ‘awesome’ by the way)

  11. norbizness
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Soon to be in the Fox comedy, Love That Maverick! starring John Mahoney and Jennifer Coolidge! Don’t worry, FCC, we bleep all the bad shit out!

  12. Posted April 7, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Somehow this doesn’t surprise me, given McCain’s unapologetic use of slurs against Asians and a supposed ‘slip’ regarding blacks. Now he can alienate everyone at the same time, no muss, no fuss–straight talk express.

  13. noname
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    So, McCain called his wife a naughty word in 1992. Slow news day?

  14. Misspelled
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t sound true to me. I can’t imagine anyone born after 1730 (insert obligatory “damn, McCain is old” joke here) using the word “trollop,” in all seriousness, out loud, as an insult. And the juxtaposition of the playful, affectionate teasing vs. the sudden vitriolic smackdown is a little too theatrical for me.
    I mean, there’s no way of knowing, but we should all be more than a little leery of taking anything at face value that comes from one of these cheap election-season books — let alone one called The Real anybody, for Christ’s sake. These things are easy to fabricate and hard to check on. Case in point:
    http://snopes.com/politics/clintons/hildabeast.asp

  15. Jessica
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    noname, i’d say that a presidential hopeful using misogynist slurs against his wife and emotionally abusing her in public is pretty fucking newsworthy.

  16. Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    My largely non-relevant side comment:
    I know cunt is totally a “sexualized slur that is used to shame women” (quoting Jessica since I couldn’t describe it better), but I really really wish we could reclaim it – entirely. It’s totally my favorite word for my girly-bits.
    (Just finished my school’s production of the Vagina Monologues a couple weeks ago. You’ll have to forgive my obsession. ^_^)

  17. noname
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Evidently.

  18. Carrie
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your story, Voila. I’m glad you were able to pull yourself out of that situation.
    I love the word cunt. I think it in my head a lot because I find most women don’t find it acceptable out loud. But I do like using it in special situations because of the shock value…especially with guys.

  19. rileystclair
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    let’s just say that from my brief stint on the hill, it does not surprise me one bit, based on how i know mccain regularly treats his staff members. by all accounts, he’s really just a jerk.

  20. Clare
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    LLencelyn, agreed on all points ;)
    It really makes me shudder with disgust when people use “cunt” as an insult. Same with any other euphemisms for female genitalia, but more, because I do love the word so.

  21. smartorange
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    “Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity”
    Really, sounds like Feministing is turning into Faux News with this one. This is the kind if BS journalism that got GWB elected. Please, there are legitimate reasons not to vote for McCain, we do not have to fabricate them.

  22. thisisendless
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Misspelled, I totally agree with you. I am not convinced this is entirely credible. I am a little surprised everyone is just accepting this so readily as fact.
    I do not necessarily dismiss that this scenario is possible, but I do not whole heartedly believe it either.
    We can’t just accept mudslinging, just because we do not approve of the candidate. I think we still have to analyze these things as objectively as possible.
    BTW, (for anyone who cares) I am not a McCain supporter in any way imaginable. There is nothing I want less than a McCain presidency, other than another bush presidency, but it seems those are the same anyway.

  23. Opinionated Bastard
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Sounds made up to me. No doubt feministing will have other reasons to disagree with McCain, but choose your battles, don’t make anonymous slander one of them. McCain has a daughter, check out mccainblogette.com.
    The whole partisan thing of demonizing the other side always makes me sad.
    Come to think of it, it might be pretty easy to disprove this. McCain has been my Senator for quite awhile now. I can’t remember him ever having any hair. Seems like there wouldn’t have been anything to tease him about. Plus as someone else pointed out, no one has ever used the word trollop in modern life outside of a RenFaire. At RenFaire its a compliment.

  24. Opinionated Bastard
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Sounds made up to me. No doubt feministing will have other reasons to disagree with McCain, but choose your battles, don’t make anonymous slander one of them. McCain has a daughter, check out mccainblogette.com.
    The whole partisan thing of demonizing the other side always makes me sad.
    Come to think of it, it might be pretty easy to disprove this. McCain has been my Senator for quite awhile now. I can’t remember him ever having any hair. Seems like there wouldn’t have been anything to tease him about. Plus as someone else pointed out, no one has ever used the word trollop in modern life outside of a RenFaire. At RenFaire its a compliment.

  25. Posted April 7, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I posted about this on my blog just a few minutes ago, and the first comments I got on it (they came so quickly…funny how words like that seem to draw people in…gross) accused me of posting about something irrelevant. Apparently posting something like this means, to my readers, that I am trying to demonize McCain, and my attempt at that is irrelevant because it happened so long ago.
    How can I get my readers to see the real issues here? Is it my wording? What? I don’t know…….

  26. Posted April 7, 2008 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    FeministMe,
    It sounds like they’re using tried and true conversation stoppers–namely questioning the importance of the topic, and making vague suggestions of more important things to talk about, instead of dealing with the topic at hand. Maybe lay out exactly what you think the issues at hand are–it’s harder to dodge more directed inquiries.

  27. geeky_girl
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Ok this particular situation is pretty bad, and I hate McCain much, and I feel bad for his wife…
    But in a society where people judge men on their hair and muscles and whatever, his wife was issuing a very public insult and saying “you’re not a young hot stud anymore”. And so he threw back misogynistic slurs. But isn’t playing around with men’s insecurity about their lack of masculinity also a bit patriarchical?
    That aside, I exchange some pretty terrible insults with the men in my life and take no offense at being called any number of silly misogynistic things by any of them (we do call each other various nether parts of course) because I repay them with equally bad stuff (although its odd how many insults are misogynistic and how few are truly against men).
    But I don’t think I’d be stupid enough to continue if I were a politician running for president :)

  28. heller
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Where DID the word cunt come from?

  29. Posted April 7, 2008 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what etymologyonline has:http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=cunt

  30. kissmypineapple
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Geeky_girl…seriously? She pushed one of his buttons and threatened his masculinity by saying he’s thinning a little on top? God forbid Mr. KMP ever become that sensitive, we’d never make it. I told my dad he was thinning a little on top a few years ago, and he wasn’t mad at all. He blushed a little, and made a joke about it, but he certainly didn’t yell at me, let alone call me a trollop or a cunt. There would be no excuse for that level of a reaction to a little teasing. None. It sounds like you’re blaming her for his out of whack response, and that’s not right.
    Regardless of whether this account is true, I would hope we could all agree that McCain would be majorly in the wrong on this one.

  31. ohlily
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    “No doubt feministing will have other reasons to disagree with McCain, but choose your battles, don’t make anonymous slander one of them. McCain has a daughter, check out mccainblogette.com.”
    Choose your battles, yes. Check your sources, yes. Give McCain feminist cred because he happens to have produced a female offspring? I’m sorry, but what does the fact that McCain has a daughter (with a blog) have to do with ANYTHING being discussed?

  32. Posted April 8, 2008 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Hey, somethings up with the Raw Story link up there! Try this: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_temper_boiled_over_in_92_0407.html

  33. MLEmac
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    I agree kissmypineapple. I think that most older men are going to be relatively accepting of losing their hair. Particularly because it happens to so many people, and should never be a big deal. My dad’s hairline has been receding for years, though the way his hair is cut hides it well. However, one time while we were at the beach, he forgot to put sunscreen higher up on his forehead where his hair parts, and he got a rather hilarious burn on that inch where he forgot he didn’t have hair anymore. My mom and I poked fun at him, and he seemed a little embarrassed, but he would never have lashed out over something so stupid.

  34. Leslie
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    i agree that the word “cunt” should be reclaimed, but that has nothing to do with the fact that McCain used it with the intent to insult his wife.. which is what’s messed up. Why should a potential US President (shudder…) be able to use that language (and his other alleged slipups) and not really be held accountable for it?

  35. Posted April 8, 2008 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Yay! So, we’ve got a guy who is pro-war, anti-choice and a misogynistic asshole at that? Actually – doesn’t being anti-choice automatically make you a misogynistic asshole?
    Regardless – the point is rather than fighting among ourselves as supporters of Clinton and Obama respectively, we ought to come together and prepare for the fight of our lives against McCain. We see what we’re up against.
    The FMF has a new campaign, and I like its slogan, and perhaps it’s fitting here: “Vote As If Your Life Depended On It.”

  36. eruvande
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I’ve noted a few comments here that say that this isn’t a big deal. I don’t understand how they could think that, but whatever. I would like to propose a new rule: If you can be impeached for receiving a blowjob, you can’t be President if you call your wife a cunt. Okay? That work? You do not deeply insult your wife because she playfully teased you about your thinning hair. It’s childish and misogynist. It says a lot about McSame’s temper. What if he’d snapped at Chancellor Merkel that way, or at another woman in high office?

  37. noname
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Eris Eruvande – You can be impeached for receiving a blowjob? I’ve never heard of that law.

  38. everybodyever
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    C’mon, Feministing, y’all are journalists! I give you more credit than to think you’d take at face value a shamelessly mud-slinging book’s secondhand accounts of situations described only by anonymous sources. As somebody else pointed out, if you need something with which to indict McCain’s stances vis a vis women, you sure don’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel like this.

  39. Posted April 8, 2008 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    So, McCain called his wife a naughty word in 1992. Slow news day?
    FAIL.
    As somebody else pointed out, if you need something with which to indict McCain’s stances vis a vis women, you sure don’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel like this.
    DOUBLE FAIL.
    Evidently.
    TRIPLE FAIL.
    I’d say that a presidential hopeful using misogynist slurs against his wife and emotionally abusing her in public is pretty fucking newsworthy.
    Nailed it.

  40. Emma
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    That is disgusting. It really irks me the way that someone who is so supporting of ‘family values’ can be so outright disrespectful to his own wife, the woman he is supposed to love and care for. Sure, she made a teasing comment that he took as hurtful, but he took a hateful comment and meant it in exactly that manner. Yes, this is from ’92, but I find it hard to believe that the person inside has changed. If he has the audacity to say this in public, I can only imagine how he treats her behind the public’s back.

  41. Emma
    Posted April 8, 2008 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    That is disgusting. It really irks me the way that someone who is so supporting of ‘family values’ can be so outright disrespectful to his own wife, the woman he is supposed to love and care for. Sure, she made a teasing comment that he took as hurtful, but he took a hateful comment and meant it in exactly that manner. Yes, this is from ’92, but I find it hard to believe that the person inside has changed. If he has the audacity to say this in public, I can only imagine how he treats her behind the public’s back.

  42. aspera
    Posted April 11, 2008 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    It’s horrible and disgusting, you’re right.
    But also, if he called her a trollop, I have to contend he is a caitiff and a wastrel.

  43. johnmccain
    Posted July 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Yeah yeah yeah
    But she’s my fucking cunt and I’ll call her what I fucking like

  44. Jahm Mitt
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Hmmmmmmm that is a nice start…
    “Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident…”
    Oh gosh…. you mean LIKE lets go spread some gossip? based upon UNPROVABLE sources, who wish to remain anonymous – like all three of them?
    And all the peanuts have to respond with less than critical faculties, “as if it really must have happened”….
    The phrases “bitchy”, “nasty” and “shit for brains” comes to mind.

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