Did Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) kill the GOP’s latest attempt to roll back Obamacare because he holds a grudge against President Donald Trump? That was Bill O’Reilly’s theory on radio on Friday.
Glenn argued that McCain has always been part of the more progressive wing of the Republican Party, so his vote to keep the Affordable Care Act isn’t a surprise. McCain, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, was brought back to the Senate to be the “liberal lion” of the Republican Party as part of his legacy, Glenn asserted.
“I think this is about Trump,” O’Reilly objected. “I think McCain despises Trump so much because of the POW comment during the campaign.”
Trump infamously mocked McCain during his campaign for the 2016 election, saying the senator was “not a war hero” because he was taken prisoner. McCain was a Navy pilot who spent around five and a half years in a prison camp in North Vietnam where he was repeatedly tortured.
“I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said of McCain in July 2015.
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This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: We’ll go with Bill then? Bill O’Reilly from BillOreilly.com is with us now. Hello, Bill.
BILL: What’s the matter with you people?
GLENN: And it begins. Another crazy week in Washington. Americans can’t catch their breath. Bill, how was your week? What is on the top of your list?
BILL: The skinny bill.
GLENN: We’re not good at skinny anything, but go ahead.
BILL: I was surprised that John McCain voted to basically keep ObamaCare in place. Weren’t you surprised, Beck? I was surprised about that.
GLENN: Why? John McCain is the leader of the progressive arm of the Republican party. I mean, he’s a big government guy. He’s — I mean, this doesn’t surprise me at all. That’s who John McCain is.
GLENN: That’s who he is.
BILL: Well, his state, the people in his state have been harmed pretty much the most of all Americans by the rising cost of health care insurance.
GLENN: Bill, he is — let me.
BILL: Huge issue in Arizona.
GLENN: Let me give you a perspective to hear your rebuttal of it. John McCain has been a progressive Republican since the ’80s, ’90s. He has become the Edward Kennedy of the Republican party. He is now — and I say this with all sympathy. He is now dying. He has brain cancer. He was brought back to be the liberal lion of the Republican party to give cover for probably ten Republicans who did not want to say they were going to vote against health care. Had to but want to keep ObamaCare. He came in, this is legacy-building for him. He thinks he’s going for a greater government cause.
BILL: The theory that McCain is somehow a closet liberal guy, I don’t buy it. Because if you look at his foreign policy, and you look at his record on social issues —
GLENN: No. No. But wait, wait, wait just a second. You’re talking liberal. I’m talking progressive. There’s a huge difference between liberal and progressive.
BILL: Yeah, I understand that. But where the nexus crosses is in social issues. Liberal and progressive social issues pretty much down the line. The politically correct society we have that you guys were whimpering about.
GLENN: You are the — there are just like —
BILL: Wait, wait, wait.
GLENN: All right. Go ahead. Go ahead. You can be wrong. I’ll give you two minutes to be wrong.
BILL: Put tape on his mouth. All right. I think this is about Trump. I think McCain despises Trump so much because of the POW comment during the campaign that he knew — because it doesn’t make any sense as his pal Lindsey Graham and all of the other people that he’s closed to in the senate would say to him “Look, all this does, this skinny bill is take out three or four of the most egregious parts of ObamaCare, which McCain cannot support. The mandate that you have to buy insurance. The mandate have to employ — given insurance to everybody. The tax on medical devices, which the liberal democratic party doesn’t like. So I think it’s about McCain basically saying to himself “I really despise Trump, and I think Trump should be out of there, and I’m going to make it almost impossible for Trump to have any kind of legislative victories.” That’s what I think this is about.
GLENN: Well, you know, I appreciate the conspiratorial nature of that, but I deal in facts.
BILL: It’s not conspiratorial. It’s based on facts.