From the Washington Wire at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
Sen. John McCain, who was mocked for saying recently that he never considered himself a maverick, when he had repeatedly said just that, sort of took it back on Sunday.
“What I was saying was that I have considered myself a person who is a fighter,” McCain told “Fox News Sunday.” “I wouldn’t be around today if I wasn’t a fighter. I fight for the things that I believe in, and sometimes that’s called a maverick. Sometimes that’s called a partisan. And people can draw their own conclusions.”
McCain (R., Ariz.), the Republican Party’s standard-bearer in the 2008 presidential election, is facing a stiff Republican primary challenge from the right this summer by former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.
“But are you running away from the maverick title because somehow it indicates that maybe you’re not a true-blue conservative?” asked host Chris Wallace.
“No, of course not,” McCain said.
Just for fun, from the Washington Wire at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (April 5, 2010):
“I never considered myself a maverick,” he told Newsweek. “I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities.”
The statement is stunning on many levels, not least of which because the maverick persona was hammered by the McCain-Palin ticket in the 2008 campaign and long-cultivated by the senator and his supporters years before his presidential bid.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin apparently didn’t get the maverick memo when she campaigned as recently as March 26 for McCain’s Senate re-election bid. “Send the maverick back to the United States Senate,” Palin declared.
–Palin did her part in pushing the maverick line in the 2008 campaign, where she regularly referred to both her and McCain as mavericks. “Now John McCain, with a track record of proving he’s not just a patriot in the Senate, he’s known as the maverick,” she said during a Nov. 2008 campaign stop in Ocala, Fla.
–In the lone vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden, Palin said the word “maverick” no fewer than 15 times.
–“We’re both mavericks!” McCain said of himself and Palin during an October 2008 campaign stop.
–On NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” McCain poked fun of his maverick persona just days before the election in a skit where he names various campaign strategies.
–In another memorable TV appearance on “The View,” McCain took issue with a suggestion that he’d lost his maverick mojo. “You used to be sort of the maverick,” co-host Joy Behar said. “Then you sort of turned.” “In what way?” McCain asked. “You sort of became more in lockstep,” Behar responded, to which McCain retorted: “I’m the same person as I always was.”
–“If you want real reform and you want change, send a team of mavericks,” McCain said at a September 2008 campaign appearance.
–McCain in his 2008 GOP Convention speech: “You know, I’ve been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum.[…”]
–McCain also used the maverick persona in campaign ads. In an August 2008 ad, “Debra,” the woman in the ad touts McCain’s maverick reputation. “I respect [McCain’s] maverick and independent streak, and now he’s the one with the experience and judgment. A lot of Democrats will vote for McCain. It’s okay, really!” Another campaign ad, “Broken,” touted McCain as “the original maverick.”
I wonder if he wrote about that in his book, McCain: The Myth of a Maverick