Arizona Senator John McCain practiced some compassionate conservatism at a recent town hall meeting.
When a constituent who could no longer afford physical therapy after being dropped from an aid program broke down in tears over being labeled a “taker” by Republican leaders like Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, McCain responded with a hug and some reassurance. “You’re not a taker,” he said.
Many lawmakers are eschewing constituent town hall meetings—which can go viral and derail careers—this year. With sequestration forcing operating cuts and furloughs, legislators may be trying to avoid interactions like the one McCain had with another constituent who works in a hospice. When she said sequestration had already led to huge funding cuts and that a government shutdown would leave hundreds of dying individuals without care, McCain had a candid response.
“Dumbest vote I ever made in Congress,” he said.