August 2nd, 2009
10:59 AM ET
5 years ago

McCain slams Blue Dog Democrats

In an interview that aired Sunday on State of the Union, Sen. McCain took a shot at the Blue Dog Democrats.
In an interview that aired Sunday on State of the Union, Sen. McCain took a shot at the Blue Dog Democrats.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The “Blue Dogs,” a group of moderate to conservative House Democrats who have worked to limit the price tag of health care reform legislation, are taking a hit from a prominent Republican who is suggesting that the group will ultimately prove ineffectual.

Related: GOP, Blue Dogs get health reform slowdown they wanted

“The Blue Dogs, they always bark and they never bite,” Arizona Sen. John McCain said on an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “They almost always – in fact, always, roll over and then play dead.”

McCain’s slam of the Blue Dogs came in the context of being asked whether President Obama has the political power to stymie Republicans in their efforts to shape Democrats’ ambitious plans to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

“There's no doubt that this is a very effective president of the United States,” McCain said of his former rival. “He's an excellent communicator. He has sizeable majorities in both houses of Congress.

“So I would never count anybody out in health care or anything else when you have these sizeable majorities. I think they will renew the push after the August recess. The question is, are they going to be really bipartisan efforts or just pick off a couple of Republicans?”

In the House, the Blue Dog coalition has worked within the Energy and Commerce Committee to bring down the near trillion-dollar price tag for health care reform over the next 10 years while also protecting the interests of rural hospitals in some of their districts. Efforts to appease the Blue Dogs resulted in delays in getting legislation out of that committee. A vote on a bill came late Friday, just before the House broke for a five-week recess.


Filed under: Democrats • Health care • House • John McCain • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. randy in pa

    Democrats, Blue Dog Democrats, Republicans. They and we are all being manipulated by big (healthcare) business. To truly reform our system of health care we will have to tell the healthcare companies/insurance/pharmaceutical/etc. to live with small profits/or become non-profit AND THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
    Two, we as a people need to start living a more healthy lifestyle and as a "I'm a victim" type society I really don't see that happening anytime soon.

    Soooooo.... basically (as I see it) until our government seriously works on this problem and stops being run by special interests, we will have another half-assed attempt at making things right. It's sad.

    August 2, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. truthsayer

    How about using another word in your headlines besides "slams". Its old and passe

    August 2, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. apm

    These Blue Dog democrats are merely representing their constituents who must be against this huge health reform bill, as are many of us out here. Sorry, I admire John McCain for calling them out, as will the people they represent. 2010 is around the corner and we'll see how caving to the pressure of the administration will affect their political livelihood. Obama and the dems will pass something, their political livelihood is dependent on it, but alot less than the monstrosity they are currently advocating.

    August 2, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Steve

    Why do you keep giving this guy airtime?? His own party pays little attention to him, so now he is going to try to shape the policy of the Blue Dogs...Keep negotiating health care reform in the daily press and you run the risk of ending up with nothing...

    August 2, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Jose

    At least they have a heartbeat!

    August 2, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. ib

    I hope they stand firm but from what I have seen they are already caving in to King Obama and Queen Peloski. Another disaster for health care if this passes especially for senior citizens.

    August 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. AZ SENIOR

    Let's just get a health care bill, if it is not perfect, it can be tweaked later, but let's catch up with the civilized world.

    August 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Anonymous

    The loyal GOP is doing everything they can to scare the American middle class. I have never heard so many lies told by Rethuglicans over decent health care for all of us.

    They sound like they are all foreigners from some hostile country. They don't sound like they are Americans. They act like suicide bombers.

    The Rethuglicans no longer have America's our best interest at heart.

    Is it time to resurrect the House committee on unamerican activities?

    August 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. dreamer

    Im just so supprised that a group of dem's are holding back insurance for so many that need the care'wonder how many are going to be in office next time around.appantly they got a case of the RNC I don't have a clue itess.

    August 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. pa. independent

    CNN is Fox light. John King ( and his wife, Dana Bash) have been against Obama before the election. So many on CNN sound like Fox. I stopped watching.

    McCain is pathetic.

    August 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. David

    McCain? Who? Oh, right, Sarah Palin's running mate. Now he's someone whose opinion really matters.

    August 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. barrystash

    Obama and his Democrat Party comrades are about to rape this country. I see nothing but chaos and social unrest if this coup against the American people is carried out by Obama and the Democrat Party.

    August 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Tatianna

    @Steven Anderson, Pay close attention – MAJORITY OF AMERICANS REJECT CURRENT HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL. McCain is simply saying, Blue Dogs should stand-by their convictions and not cave into the high price tag

    August 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. barrystash

    Whats next Obamots ? Marxist control of food production. The American people will not tolerate a Cuban style dictatorship by Obama and the Democrat Party.

    August 2, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Maximus

    McCain, here's something very patriotic you could do right now.
    Drop Dead

    August 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. jake az

    The loyal GOP is doing everything they can to scare the American middle class. I have never heard so many lies told by Rethuglicans over decent health care for all of us.

    They sound like they are all foreigners from some hostile country. They don't sound like they are Americans. They act like suicide bombers.

    The Rethuglicans no longer have America's our best interest at heart.

    Is it time to resurrect the House committee on unamerican activities?

    August 2, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Sasha

    Oh, you would know Mr. Mccain, you have a lot of experience with dogs – so you are saying they are nothing like your pitbull? I happen to prefer dogs that don't just bite, randomly and with no purpose but to hurt our nation.

    August 2, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. Illinoistom

    What genius labeled the blue dog caucus "conservative?" 7 out of ten vote with Stenny Hoyer on key issues. Replacing borrow and spend Republicans with tax and spend Democrats is not likely to produce a leaner budget, or better ideas from Congress.

    August 2, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. barrystash

    Henry – you must be a Democrat. Fox is middle, CNN is left, MSNBC is Obamist.

    August 2, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. w.l. jones

    He had lost every electing as far back as I can remember except the desert it to hot and dry to vote out there so they appoint...even healthcare.

    August 2, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Eisener

    I for one need health care. I hope and pray for the administration to succeed – this is one primary reason I voted as I did. I am not alone, the majority of Americans wants this to happen. Too bad big business and Republicans by their side are fighting us. The prize tag was no issue for the war in Iraq, spending the most money ever spent on any one item – or bailing out big business under George W. Bush. Its only when it comes to health care and education it is simply "too expensive" - amazing to listen to Republicans all over the news this Sunday stating how awful "Cash for Clunkers" is... Yeah, something for us the little people. It MUST be bad.

    August 2, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. barrystash

    Oabam's support for the attempted Marxist coup in Honduras tells us all what he is all about. His heart and soul are built on lies and thugocracy. He would make Joseph Stalin and Mao Tsetung proud.

    August 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Lucille

    Henry is correct about Fox. I am a proud Democrat and wouldn't watch Fox news anytime or anywhere, for any reason.

    August 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. barrystash

    EIsner – So what you are saying is we pissed away a Trillion dollars on defense so we should now piss away a Trillion on destroying our health care system just so Obama and other Marxists can feel warm and fuzzy ?

    August 2, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. Scott

    CNN, maybe you should have gotten Byrd from WV on with McSame. He can't talk anyomore either.

    Please get somebody NOT 50 million years old and completely out of touch on your shows. This is comical.

    August 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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