Trump slams McCain over Obamacare in speech, but doesn’t name him
PHOENIX — A few weeks after reportedly indicating he would lay off his attacks of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), President Donald Trump slammed him on Friday.
While speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, Trump talked about the one senator who used a thumbs-down to vote against the so-called “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act.
“Except for one senator who, at 3 o’clock in the morning, came in the room and went like that, we would have had health care,” Trump said, while making the thumbs-down motion.
That senator was McCain. After stepping out of the Senate room during the July vote, he then returned and gave his thumbs down. He was essentially the deciding vote.
“One person walked into a room when he was supposed to go this way (thumbs-up) and he said he was going this way (thumbs-up) and he walked in and he went this way (thumbs-down) and everyone said, ‘What happened? What was that all about?'” Trump said.
The president did not specifically say McCain’s name.
“Who was that? I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to be controversial so I won’t use his name. What a mess.”
However, Trump said his administration was still working to dismantle Obamacare
“We may be better off the way we’re doing it — piece by piece by piece, Obamacare is just being wiped out,” he said.
Trump was not the first Republican to express irritations over the longtime Arizona senator’s vote. Earlier this month, House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized McCain’s emphatic vote.
“The House Republicans passed the biggest entitlement reform package ever when we passed our health care bill. Unfortunately, somebody did this (thumbs-down) instead of that (thumbs-up) in the Senate and it didn’t pass,” Ryan said during a Fox Business interview, making the thumbs up and thumbs down signs.
Friday’s attack will likely come as a surprise to McCain’s daughter, Meghan, who said she believed Trump was done berating her father.
“I don’t believe he would go there again,” Meghan McCain told Politico’s “Women Rule” podcast. “I don’t think at this point in his administration it would be beneficial to him in any way.”