Former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) has advice for John McCainJohn Sidney McCain Senate outlook slides for GOP Juan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden Democrats lead in three battleground Senate races: poll MORE: When the Republican presidential candidate gets mad, he should call him.

"'I just want one thing from you John.'" Lott told McCain, according to Lott's retelling of the story. "Will you let me talk to you some time before you take off on some of these wild tangents you get off on?'"

"And McCain said, 'I probably should do that anyway -- you've got it,'" Lott said, during an appearance before Alabama Republicans two weeks ago.

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Lott added: "So I'm giving you the word I got from John McCain: if he gets a little bit too far out of line, he owes me a call and I can come back and say, 'John, don't do that.'"

Lott's remarks were reported by the Tuscaloosa News.

Lott, now a partner at a lobbying firm, is no stranger to talking about McCain's temper. When the Arizona Republican first ran for president eight years ago, Lott was accused of spreading rumors about McCain and his disposition.

"I'm passionate, but you don't have to get mad, you don't have to blow a gasket," Lott said when asked on a talk show about the McCain temper in 1999. "You don't have to use profanity."

Lott, however, is now a staunch McCain supporter, having backed his presidential bid early last year.

Lott said that he's even come around to McCain's position on earmarks, which Lott had used to bring money back to his home state.

"John used to harass me because I would get earmarks -- or pork barrel projects -- in
Mississippi
," Lott said. "And I would say, 'Well, yes, John, I'm a senator from
Mississippi and we're the poorest state in the nation.' ... But we're not anymore, that pork paid off."
Lott continued: "But you know what, in my heart I knew he was right. That's no way to do business, we shouldn't be doing all that earmarking -- it got completely out of control. It got out of control with Republicans and that's why we are being punished a little bit. Because we forgot how we got there, what we believed in, the principles that after 30 years put us in the majority, gave us the White House, the congress, the senate, the house."

"And then we ran out of ideas... But that was an aberration, that's not who we really are."