At a rally for Republican Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on Saturday, President Donald Trump indirectly attacked Arizona Sen. John McCain again for his no vote on repealing Obamacare, The Hill reported.
During the rally, Trump referenced McCain’s “thumbs-down” gesture that effectively killed a comprehensive repeal of former President Barack Obama’s signature program last year. While the Republican tax cut bill gutted one of the most onerous parts of Obamacare — the personal mandate — the basic structure still stands, in large part due to McCain’s vote.
“Nobody talked to him. Nobody needed to, and then he walked in: Thumbs-down,” Trump said.
Then Trump added an important message: “It’s all right, because we’ve essentially gutted it anyway.”
Campaigning for Heller in Vegas, Trump is again attacking @SenJohnMcCain (although not directly by name) for his “thumb’s down” vote on Obamacare repeal.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) June 23, 2018
Trump has made numerous comments about McCain’s vote in recent weeks. The longtime Arizona senator has been suffering with brain cancer since July of 2017.
In a recently published book, which the senator has acknowledged will be his last, McCain went after Trump, arguing the president has autocratic tendencies.
“He seems uninterested in the moral character of world leaders and their regimes,” McCain wrote.
“The appearance of toughness or a reality show facsimile of toughness seems to matter more than any of our values. Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity.”
The feeling seems to be mutual, as Trump has stepped up his criticisms of McCain’s vote on Obamacare in recent weeks.
“We had a gentleman way into the morning hours go thumbs-down,” the president said during a Wednesday rally in Minnesota, The Hill reported. “He went thumbs-down.”
This earned a rebuke from the senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, who tweeted, “And it never stops being gross.”
And it never stops being gross. https://t.co/4brGHJSUf4
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 21, 2018
Still, some Twitter users thought that McCain had the criticism coming to him, particularly given the fact that he had ran against Obamacare.
McCain campaigned on over turning Obamacare. He's fair game
— Awakened Shinobi (@BrandonHathaw12) June 23, 2018
McCain has attacked Trump as well. McCain is a Rhino. He was a part of the problem not solution. Glad he is no longer involved.
— Kent Smith (@KentSmith007) June 24, 2018
There have been few updates on McCain’s condition in recent weeks.
In May, it was reported that McCain was receiving visitors after surgery and treatment. However, there was no word on whether the 81-year-old senator would be able to return to the upper chamber after a setback from an intestinal infection.
As for Obamacare, Trump has continued to push its repeal, particularly in states with difficult races for Republicans in the midterms. Heller is considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the Senate this November.
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