McCain Denies '87 Sandinista Tussle

Candidate doesn't know what colleague is talking about
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 10:33 AM CDT
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.   (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis, FILE)
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(Newser) – John McCain denies colleague Thad Cochran's recollection that he physically assaulted a Nicaraguan official in 1987, the New York Times reports, saying “it’s simply not true.” The Mississippi Republican remembers that McCain “reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and…snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair.”

Cochran, who has criticized McCain’s temper but now tells the Biloxi Sun-Herald that the candidate has chilled, recalls thinking at the time, “Good grief, everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission.” While McCain denied the story completely (“it just didn’t happen”), he did admit, “I must say, I did not admire the Sandinistas.”