By Alana Abramson
February 23, 2018

President Donald Trump has again blasted Sen. John McCain for voting against the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act last summer — but did not once call him by name.

“We’re having tremendous plans coming out now, healthcare plans, at a fraction of the cost, that are much better than Obamacare,” Trump said Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Then, motioning a “thumbs down,” — which is what McCain did when he voted against the bill last summer — Trump continued, “And except for one senator who came into the room at 3 in the morning and went like that, we could have had health care too.”

“Remember — one person walked into a room when he was supposed to go this way,” Trump added, giving a thumbs up sign, “and he walked in and went this way [thumbs down] and everyone said, ‘What happened? What was that all about? Who was that?’ I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t want to be controversial so I won’t use his name. What a mess.”

McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, in 2017, and is currently undergoing treatment. He flew in from Arizona just days after his diagnosis for votes on healthcare reform, and made the surprising decision to vote against the bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which effectively killed its chance of becoming law.

Trump has criticized McCain before on this vote, tweeting in September that the Arizona Senator let his state down with his decision.

Trump was harshly rebuked in 2015 when he said the Vietnam veteran, who was taken prisoner during the war, wasn’t a hero because he was captured. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said at the time.

McCain has also been critical of Trump, although recently that criticism has been veiled, making it obvious who the target is without mentioning the president by name. Last November, for instance, McCain cited high income people who used medically diagnosed “bone spurs” to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War, which is what President Trump did.

McCain’s daughter Meghan told Politico earlier this month that Trump had called her to say he would withhold criticism of 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.”


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