John McCain

McCain Blasts Latest Obamacare Repeal Effort

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “ripped his party’s process for trying to repeal and replace Obamacare but stopped short of saying he would oppose their latest bill,” The Hill reports.

Said McCain: “I have talked and talked and talked about the need to do regular order. I have amendments that I would like to have votes on … Am I going to be able to have those, or is it going to be an up or down vote? That’s not why I came to the Senate just to give up or down votes.”

McCain Opposes Transgender Troop Ban

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) is backing a bipartisan bill that would block President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, The Hill reports.

Said McCain: “When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country.”

McCain Admits His Fight for Health Will Be Tough

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) acknowledged the severity of his cancer prognosis, saying in his first national interview since receiving the diagnosis that it is the latest test in a lifetime of tough fights, CNN reports.

Said McCain: “I’m facing a challenge, but I’ve faced other challenges. And I’m very confident about getting through this one as well.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I realize that I come to Italy at a time when many are questioning whether America is still committed to remaining engaged in the world, to upholding our traditional alliances, and standing up for the values we share. I also realize — and there is no point in avoiding a little straight talk here — that this doubt has much to do with some of the actions and statements of our President.”

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), quoted by Time magazine, at an international economic and policy conference in Lake Como, Italy.

Johnson Says Brain Tumor Caused McCain’s ‘No’ Vote

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that he thinks that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) brain tumor and the early morning hours may have affected the Arizona Republican’s no vote on the Senate bill to repeal Obamacare, CNN reports.

Said Johnson: “I’m not gonna speak for John McCain — he has a brain tumor right now — that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in.”

He quickly added: “Again, I-I-I don’t know exactly what — we really thought — and again I don’t want speak for any senator. I really thought he was going to vote yes to send that to conference at 10:30 at night. By about 1, 1:30, he voted no. So you have talk to John in terms what was on his mind.”

McCain Once Almost Switched Parties

Politico: “In secret negotiations with then-Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, McCain plotted how he would depart the GOP. He was furious over the way the party establishment had treated him in the 2000 race for the Republican presidential nomination against the eventually victorious George W. Bush. And within weeks of Bush’s swearing-in as president in 2001, McCain told Daschle that he was looking for a way out of the GOP, probably by declaring himself an independent—a move that would have thrown control of the otherwise 50-50 Senate to the Democrats. The negotiations got far enough, Daschle later told me, that the two men discussed the logistics of the news conference at which McCain would make the announcement.”

Said Daschle: “We came very close.”

McCain Has Never Forgotten

James Hohmann: “There is nothing Trump can do any more that will get to McCain. Battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, the maverick was willing to vote ‘no’ on the ‘skinny repeal’ amendment so that other GOP colleagues who were also opposed to the measure could vote ‘yes’ to save face with the conservative base. To this day, Trump has never apologized for saying that the former fighter pilot was not a war hero because he got captured in Vietnam. It gets less attention, but the president also besmirched the Arizona senator’s character by repeatedly accusing him of not taking care of other veterans. McCain has never forgotten.”

Republicans Try to Get McCain Back for Vote

“Senate Republicans are still hoping John McCain makes it to Tuesday’s crucial Obamacare repeal vote,” Politico reports.

“The absence of the Arizona senator, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last week, has made getting 50 votes to start debate on the bill exceedingly difficult. GOP leaders are hoping he can surprise everyone and return Tuesday.”

Said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “They were trying to get approval [from his doctors] for his travel arrangements. I’ve personally volunteered to rent an RV. But we haven’t heard anything.”

McCain’s Former Primary Rival Wants Him to Resign

Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) former primary rival, Kelli Ward (R), urged the ailing senator to step aside after his diagnosis of brain cancer, the Washington Post reports.

Said Ward: “As a Christian, I know there can always be miracles. But the likelihood that John McCain is going to be able to come back to the Senate and be at full force for the people of our state and the people of the United States is low.”

She went on to say that she hoped to be appointed to fill his seat should he leave office.

McCain’s Absence Could Impact Health Care Bill

New York Times: “The circumstances are eerily similar. In the middle of contentious health care deliberations, a larger-than-life figure in the Senate learns he has a very serious form of brain cancer. A leading voice goes quiet and the Senate suffers for it.”

“Such was the case in 2008 when Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, learned he had brain cancer and again this week when it was announced that John McCain, Republican of Arizona, had the exact condition that claimed his colleague — a man who shared Mr. McCain’s zest for a good argument and for cutting a deal.”