Shortly after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, completed his 21-hour marathon speech today, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took to the Senate floor to rebut portions of the Texas senator’s talk, which McCain said failed to recognize that “elections have consequences.”
McCain took issue with Cruz’s comparing those who think Obamacare will not be defunded to Nazis.
“If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany,” Cruz said Tuesday. “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’”
McCain didn’t mince words in his response.
“I resoundingly reject that allegation,” he said on the Senate floor. “That allegation in my view does a great disservice, a great disservice for those brave Americans and those who stood up and said what’s happening in Europe cannot stand.”
Without naming names, McCain noted that many of those who are leading the fight to defund Obamacare were not serving in the Senate when Republicans tried to stop Democrats from passing the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
“Many of those who are in opposition right now were not here at the time and did not take part in that debate,” McCain said. “The record is very clear of one of the most hard fought, fair, in my view, debates that has taken place on the floor of the Senate.”
McCain, who campaigned for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney last year, noted that Obamacare was a major issue in the 2012 campaign, but the American people made their position on the issue known by reelecting President Obama.
“That doesn’t mean that we give up our efforts to try to replace and repair Obamacare, but it does mean that elections have consequences,” McCain said. “Those elections were clear in a significant majority that a majority of the American people supported the president of the United States and renewed his stewardship of this country.”
McCain was among a group of Republican senators who said Obamacare would not be defunded in the Senate, an issue with which Cruz continues to take issue.
“The single biggest surprise on arriving to the Senate is the defeatist attitude here,” Cruz said in a radio interview with Rush Limbaugh today. “We don’t even talk about how to win a fight. If you had to sit through one Senate lunch, you’d be in therapy.
“They’ve been here a long time and they’re beaten down and they can’t believe they can win. They don’t believe it can happen,” he added.
But while Cruz argued that his overnight speech helped make Americans’ voices heard, one top Democrat argued that the Texas senator’s speech actually helped Democrats.
“Senator Cruz has actually advanced our cause,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters today. “He has alienated some of his colleagues, he has united Democrats and he has shown the American people that he is willing to hold them and their well-being hostage unless he gets his way.”