Speaking on a radio program this Tuesday, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that he thinks John McCain’s brain cancer coupled with the early morning hours may have contributed to his no-vote on the GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill.
McCain voted no on the GOP’s so-called “skinny repeal” because he disagreed with the process and the fact there was not an immediate replacement available. McCain’s vote came just after he underwent surgery for a brain tumor. According to Johnson, the brain tumor may have had something to do with McCain going against his own party.
“We did get a call from [Paul Ryan] and he assured us that skinny repeal was not going to pass the House, it would have to go to conference,” Johnson said on AM560’s Chicago’s Morning Answer.
“Again, I’m not gonna speak for John McCain — he has a brain tumor right now — that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in,” he added.
“Really?” the radio host responded, seemingly taken aback by the remark. “Do you really think that played a factor in his judgement call?”
Again — I don’t know exactly what — we really thought — and again I don’t want speak for any senator,” Johnson replied. “I really thought John was going to vote yes to send that to conference at 10:30 at night. By about 1, 1:30, he voted no. So you have talk to John in terms what was on his mind.”
This Wednesday, Johnson walked back his remark, saying, “I’m disappointed I didn’t more eloquently express my sympathy for what Sen. McCain is going through. I have nothing but respect for him and the vote came at the end of a long day for everyone.”
Johnson’s comments obviously didn’t go over well in the McCain camp. A spokesperson for McCain said in a statement to CNN that Johnson’s comments were “bizarre and deeply unfortunate.”
“It is bizarre and deeply unfortunate that Senator Johnson would question the judgment of a colleague and friend. Senator McCain has been very open and clear about the reasons for his vote,” McCain spokesperson Julie Tarallo said.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore