Graham Defends McCain Opposition To Repeal: ‘He Can Vote Any Way He Wants’

Tom Williams/CQPHO

After President Donald Trump tweeted Monday night attacking Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his opposition to Republican senators’ last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) defended his “dearest friend.”

During a CNN debate between Graham and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), both cosponsors of the latest bill, and single payer health care backers Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Graham said McCain has “earned the right” to vote “any way he wants.”

He said McCain wants to repeal and replace Obamacare just as much as other Republicans, but he wants to see a bipartisan solution. McCain’s opposition doesn’t mean he’s for “Bernie care,” a plan Graham said would “bankrupt the country,” be the end of health care “as we know it” and would be the “end of innovation.”

“So, Senator McCain is talking about a better process. John, if you’re listening, if we fall short, we’ll try to have a better process,” he said. “So to any American who has a problem with John McCain’s vote, all I can tell you is John McCain was willing to die for this country and he can vote anyway he wants to and it doesn’t matter to me.”

McCain announced his opposition to the measure on Friday, saying he could not vote for it “in good conscience” because of the process and the lack of effort made to find a bipartisan solution to health care.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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