McCain, 78, Says He'll Likely Seek Another Term

The Arizona senator is not going to run from a coming clash with the Tea Party.
Photographer: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Tea Party may be out to get him, but John McCain is spoiling for a fight.

In an interview Thursday with MSNBC, the 78-year-old Arizona senator said he was "absolutely" laying the groundwork for another re-election campaign, despite a the likelihood of a Tea Party challenger. 

“You have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” McCain told MSNBC. “I definitely think that I would have to absolutely anticipate a Tea Party candidate or two or three ... Everybody tells me that I’m the number one target of the tea partiers.”

Last Friday, McCain met with key backers in Phoenix to plan for his re-election campaign, The Hill reported. One Tea Party representative who may attempt to deny McCain a fifth term is Representative David Schweikert, the website added. 

In 2010, McCain defeated J.D. Hayworth, the self-described "candidate of a majority of tea partiers,"  by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. 

“We’ve already talked with finance people in the state, we’ve already talked to different groups and organizations ranging from the Arizona Chamber to the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance to build the coalitions we need to build,” McCain told MSNBC.