Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) heard Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argue last night that his critics remind him of Nazi appeasers, and to his credit, the Arizona Republican criticized his right-wing colleague this afternoon, calling Cruz’s comments “a great disservice.”
But that’s not all McCain said (thanks to my colleague Mike Yarvitz for the heads-up).
For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s a partial transcript of the senator’s remarks:
“Many of those who are in opposition right now were not here at the time, and did not take part in the debate and I respect that. But I’d like to remind them that the record is very clear of one of the most hard-fought, fair – in my view – debates that has taken place on the floor of the Senate in the time that I’ve been here.
“And then I’d remind my colleagues that in the 2012 election, ‘Obamacare,’ as it’s called – and I’ll be more polite, the ACA – was a subject that was a major issue in the campaign. I campaigned all over America for two months, everywhere I could, and in every single campaign rally I said, ‘And we have to repeal and replace Obamacare.’
“Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke and they reelected the president of the United States.”
If you listened to Cruz’s lengthy tantrum, you heard some bizarre remarks about democratic principles and officials’ responsibility to respond to the will of the electorate.
With this in mind, McCain’s remarks weren’t just a rebuke of Cruz, they were also effectively a call for the end to the Republican crusade. We had an election, Obama won, so it’s time to accept the fact that elections have consequences – and the consequences of 2012 include greater access to affordable health care for American families.
I’m not accustomed to seeing John McCain, of all people, echo a thesis of mine so completely, but it’s been a strange week.