On Tuesday night, President Trump trashed his frequent foe, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who is battling terminal brain cancer, for having voted against a measure that would have repealed Obamacare last year.
Without ever mentioning McCain by name, NBC News reported, Trump said his efforts to scrap Obama’s signature healthcare law were frustrated by McCain’s decision to give a thumbs-down to the bill on the Senate floor in July:
We had it done folks, it was done, and then early in the morning somebody turned their hand in the wrong direction. The person that voted that way only talked repeal and replace. He campaigned on it.
These were Trump’s first public comments about McCain since it was reported earlier this month that White House press aide Kelly Sadler had told colleagues there was no reason to worry about the senator’s antipathy toward a Trump nominee because McCain is “dying anyway.” That remark infuriated lawmakers, including many of McCain’s fellow Republican senators, but Trump has shown far more concern about the leaking of the conversation than about the disrespect shown to McCain.
The late-night rally in Tennessee was partly aimed at promoting GOP Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, but largely became a chance for Trump to hold forth on his favorite themes. In his one-hour speech, the president hit on illegal immigration, the MS-13 gang, tax cuts, and the Second Amendment, among other typical topics. He did not, however, mention Roseanne Barr, whose show was canceled Tuesday after the actress tweeted a racist comment. The president has praised her and her show in the past, and his son Don Jr. retweeted several of her posts on Tuesday.
According to CBS News, Trump spent a significant portion of the rally on the topic of illegal immigration, reiterating his claim that Mexico will pay for the border wall:
They’re going to pay for the wall and they’re going to enjoy it!
In a tweet shortly after the rally, Mexico’s president said his country will “NEVER” pay for the wall:
President @realDonaldTrump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever.
Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) May 30, 2018
The feud between Trump and McCain dates back at least as long as the early days of Trump’s 2015 presidential campaign, when McCain called Trump supporters “crazies” and Trump questioned McCain’s valor in Vietnam, calling McCain a “loser” and ridiculing him for the years he spent in a Vietnamese prison camp after his plane was shot down:
He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.
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