Claim: McCain called Republicans against massive immigration "a**holes" (McCain denies)
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This passage is from the new book Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Bear in mind that a John McCain spokeswoman denies that McCain ever said such a thing, and Lindsey Graham didn't repond to Ben Smith's request for comment :
[McCain aides John] Weaver and [Mark] Salter begged McCain to ease up. He was already the face of the Iraq surge. Now he was becoming the face of what opponents called “amnesty.” Just tone down the rhetoric, his advisers pleaded.
McCain refused. He was disgusted by republicans in Congress and talk radio gasbags such as rush Limbaugh who bashed immigrants. “They’re going to destroy the fucking party,” he would say.
As McCain’s town hall meetings devolved into shouting matches over immigration, the candidate let his frustration show through. He called Lindsey Graham in despair. Listen to these people, McCain said. Why would I want to be the leader of a party of such a**holes?