McCain Denies Roughing Up a Sandinista

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) - John McCain is denying that he roughed up an associate of Nicaragua's president on a diplomatic mission in 1987.

He says the allegation made by Republican Senator Thad Cochran is "simply not true."

Cochran told a Mississippi newspaper that he saw McCain grab an associate of Daniel Ortega by his shirt collar and lift him out of his chair.

The GOP presidential contender is known for his hot temper.

Asked about the alleged incident at a news conference in Colombia, McCain said that while he didn't admire Ortega's Sandinistas much, there was never anything of that nature.

He said he made several trips to the region at the time, as co-chair of a Central American working group in the Senate.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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