Graham On BFF McCain Opposing His O’Care Bill: We’re Still Friends!

Al Drago/CQPHO

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made it known on Friday that the likely fatal blow that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) landed on Graham’s last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill would not hurt the two Republicans’ storied friendship.

“My friendship with John McCain is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is,” Graham said in a tweet storm and an accompanying statement about an hour after McCain announced his opposition to Graham’s legislation.

Graham continued to defend the bill that he co-sponsored with Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Dean Heller (R-NV).

McCain’s stance on the Graham-Cassidy bill was being closely watched because he sank the last Senate GOP attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, after complaining about the rushed and partisan process Republicans were using to ram it through.

This time around, Republicans very clumsily attempted to gloss over those concerns by scheduling a sham hearing on the Graham-Cassidy legislation and by halting the bipartisan negotiations on a more narrow Obamacare fix.

Neither those moves, nor his friendship with Graham, were enough to win McCain over this time around.

“I take no pleasure in announcing my opposition. Far from it. The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them,” McCain said in his statement announcing his opposition.