Arizona's 78-year-old, five-term Republican senator says that his campaign team has "talked to different groups and organizations" regarding a 2016 re-election run in order "to build the coalitions we need to build," hinting that a bid for re-election in 2016 may very well be in the works.
McCain acknowledged that he "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," the one-time Republican presidential nominee added.
The Hill recalls last year when McCain infuriated some conservatives when he called Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), both tea party darlings, "wacko birds."
If he runs for re-election, McCain, a household name, should be in pretty good shape once he gets past the primary: Arizona hasn't sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1988.