The media’s ‘hero’ and human shield on healthcare

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s opposition to the GOP’s plan to overhaul Obamacare has prompted some in the media to say McCain shouldn’t be attacked or criticized at all in the healthcare debate, because he has brain cancer.

Host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Joe Scarborough said Tuesday that Trump has “no humanity” after the president criticized McCain for saying he would oppose the latest GOP-backed healthcare legislation. Republicans in the Senate pulled the latest version of their healthcare bill on Tuesday due to opposition from McCain and a handful of other Republicans.

“And by the way, for people watching at home, if you’re in the audience and John McCain is getting attacked, and he’s fighting for his life — unless you were raised in a barn, keep your mouths shut,” Scarborough said. “Show a little respect. Show a little dignity. Show a little class.”

Trump took up his grievances with McCain on Monday using Twitter to blast him for having promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, only to oppose two GOP-backed healthcare bills.

“A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing & Replacing O’Care,” Trump said in a tweet, including a video of McCain publicly vowing to repeal Obamacare. “My oh my has he changed-complete turn from years of talk!”

During a radio interview earlier in the day, Trump said McCain had delivered “a tremendous slap in the face to the Republican Party” for opposing the new healthcare bill.

“You can call it what you want, but that’s the only reason we don’t have it, because of John McCain,” Trump added.

Commenting on Trump’s criticisms, CNN contributor John Dean remarked on Twitter, “Of course, go after the guy with brain cancer…”

John Huey, former editor in chief of Time magazine, said McCain’s opposition made him the “hero of this saga.”

McCain said last Friday he would prefer to support a bipartisan effort. He said that because the Graham-Cassidy bill had not been reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office, he would not vote for it “without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”

In July, McCain returned to the Senate from receiving his diagnosis and opposed another attempt by Republicans to repeal Obamacare, in a speech criticizing the Senate for becoming “more partisan” in recent years.

Last week, liberal New York Times columnist David Leonhardt praised McCain for having “stood up for the idea of the Senate” and said it was “McCain at his best.”

His colleague Paul Krugman said McCain showed “conscience” in his opposing that effort.

After McCain’s latest opposition to the “repeal-and-replace” effort, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel used Twitter to weigh in.

“Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for being a hero again and again and now AGAIN,” he said.

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