Sen. John McCain attacked President Obama and Congressional Democrats at the health care summit for what he said was “unsavory” dealmaking, prompting a reminder from Obama that the 2008 campaign is over.
McCain, facing a tough primary challenge from the right, used Republican talking points about “special deals” which are no longer in the bill and cited the 2,400-page document that passed the Senate.
He called on Obama to “start over,” and said voters “want us to sit down together and do what’s best for all Americans.”
“They want us to go back to the beginning,” McCain said.
Obama reminded McCain (R-AZ) that “We’re not campaigning anymore. The election is over.”
“I’m reminded of that every day,” McCain retorted.“Both of us during the campaign promised change in Washington,” McCain said, adding that Obama said he would put all of his health care negotiations in front of the camera.
“I’m glad that more than a year later they are here,” McCain said.
“We promised them change in Washington and what we got was a process that you and I both said we would change in Washington,” McCain said.
He charged the bill was “produced behind cloesd doors” and used the Republican-preferred nicknames for the deals made to win conservative Democrats, the “Louisiana Purchase” and “Cornhusker Kickback.” He also said “special interests” such as the pharmaceutical lobby and doctors were able to secure deals.
Watch the video of their testy exchange:
Obama tried to cut McCain off, but the Republican continued, “Can I finish please?”
“The American people care about what we did and how we did it,” McCain said.
Obama said “we can have a debate about process” or about how to agree and pass health care reform. “The latter debate is the one they care about more.”