PHOENIX — President Donald Trump said Monday that U.S. Sen. John McCain’s “no” vote on a health care bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare was a political slap in the face.
“You can call it what you want, but that’s the only reason we don’t have [health care reform], is because of John McCain,” Trump told the Birmingham, Alabama-based “Rick and Bubba Show.”
Trump said he and other party officials thought the longtime Arizona senator was a lock to support the bill. Instead, he voted against it.
“What McCain has done is a tremendous slap to the face of the Republican Party.”
Trump said McCain’s supposed change of heart came at a very late hour, despite the senator having called for a bipartisan solution hours before the vote.
“He was good to go all the way up to 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, when he voted no,” Trump said. “He was good to go all weeklong, all monthlong, he was good to go. Then, all of a sudden, he goes thumbs down.”
On Monday, McCain told CNN that he does not “react to what the president says. I react to the things he does.”
McCain was one of three Republican senators to vote against the bill in July. He said after the fact that he voted in the negative because the bill did not do what politicians promised.
“From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people,” his statement said. “The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals.
“While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.”
It was likely Trump and McCain would butt heads again soon over the issue, as the senator said he would not vote in support of the latest health care bill proposed by Senate Republicans.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement last week. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried.”