Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) suggested this week in an interview on 560AM’s Chicago’s Morning Answer that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) brain tumor and staying up late might have influenced his decision to vote against repealing Obamacare.
Ron Johnson explained, “He has a brain tumor right now, that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning. Some of that might have factored in.”
McCain cast the decisive vote that tanked the Obamacare repeal in the Senate; his vote against Obamacare came as a surprise to pundits and Republican leadership. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) also voted against the Obamacare repeal in the Senate.
Johnson believes that McCain was going to vote to repeal Obamacare after Speaker Paul Ryan reassured senators, including Johnson and McCain, that the House would agree to go into conference with the upper chamber to revise the bill before proceeding to a final vote.
Sen. McCain’s spokesman said that the Arizona senator has remained transparent regarding his opposition to repealing Obamacare.
“It is bizarre and deeply unfortunate that Sen. Johnson would question the judgment of a colleague and friend. Senator McCain has been very open and clear about the reasons for his vote,” the McCain spokesman explained.
Johnson admitted that the Obamacare skinny repeal bill that McCain voted against was “grossly inadequate,” he added that the bill was not meant to serve as the final legislation.
Johnson said, “We did get a call from Paul and he assured us that skinny repeal was not going to pass the House and would have to go to conference.”
Sens. Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Ron Johnson also demanded a promise before voting on the skinny repeal bill that Speaker Ryan agree to go to a conference committee after the Senate passed it. All three senators believed Speaker Ryan and voted for the bill. McCain decided to vote against the bill.
After the Obamacare repeal bill failed, McCain explained, “I thought it was the right thing to do.”
Sen. Johnson said, “I really thought John was going to vote yes.”
Johnson later recanted his suggestion that McCain’s vote was influenced by his brain tumor. The Wisconsin senator explained:
I have the deepest respect for John McCain. And in no way was I trying to criticize him. If anything, I was trying to defend his position. A lot of us had a real problem with that skinny repeal and we weren’t going to vote for it until we got that assurance from Paul. Listen, I was trying to defend his position and truthfully just express my sympathy for his health condition. So, again, I reached out to John, I’m hoping the talk to him today. I just have the greatest respect for John McCain.
Johnson added, “He’s not impaired in any way, shape, or form.”