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McCain 1stLd-Writethru 05-07 Web

Temper? How dare you ask?

Republican John McCain pretended to snarl when asked about his temper Wednesday.

"How dare you ask that question!" McCain said, chuckling. His questioner persisted, reading a comment by a fellow Republican, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, that the idea of McCain as the GOP presidential nominee sent a chill down his spine.

"I’m all too familiar with the quote," said McCain, who has since smoothed things over with his colleague.

McCain, whose temper has earned him the nickname "Senator Hothead" by more than one publication, said he does get angry — about corruption and runaway spending in Washington.

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If he really had a temper problem, McCain said, he would not have been able to work with fellow senators such as Edward M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat; Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat; and his friend Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee who now is an Independent.

"Let me tell you, I’ve worked across the aisle more than any other senator I know," McCain said.

McCain was on a campaign swing through Michigan, a general election battleground.

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