Trump fires back at McCain over health care bill

The president attacked McCain after he said he'd vote 'no.'

ByABC News
September 23, 2017, 7:01 AM

— -- President Donald Trump slammed Arizona Sen. John McCain at a rally on Friday night after the senator said he would not be voting in favor of the Republicans' new bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Trump called McCain's opposition to the Cassidy-Graham bill "terrible, honestly terrible" at a rally for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange.

"They gave me a list of 10 people that were absolute no's. ... John McCain was not on the list," Trump said of the first health care vote. "It was a totally unexpected thing. Terrible. Honestly terrible. Repeal and replace, because John McCain, if you look at his campaign, was all about repeal and replace, repeal and replace. So he decided to do something else, and that's fine. And I say we still have a chance. We're going to do it eventually."

The president followed up on the criticism via Twitter on Saturday morning.

Trump said he was still holding out hope Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., would change his vote. He even managed to level a shot at McCain as he lauded Paul's chances of flipping to "yes."

"Wouldn't it be ironic if he took John McCain's place?" Trump said. "And they definitely do not like each other."

McCain had said earlier in the day he could not "in good conscience" vote for the bill.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," he said in a statement.

"Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it."

The success of the bill, pushed by Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., rests on the decisions of fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Susan Collins, of Maine. Both voted against the last effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was sunk when McCain decided in the eleventh hour to vote "no."

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