March 25th, 2010
08:20 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain calls for civility in health care debate

John McCain spoke out Thursday against reported incidents of harassment and threats.
John McCain spoke out Thursday against reported incidents of harassment and threats.

Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain called for a more civilized political discourse on Thursday after members of Congress who voted for health care reform reported incidents of harassment and threats of violence.

"There is a lot of anger and passion out there," McCain said on CNN's "John King USA." "Let's change that into a spirited and healthy respectful campaign season between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. Let's really go at it, but let's do it with respect, that's the key to it."

McCain noted that he has held thousands of town hall meetings during his long political career. "The only thing I ask people to do is be respectful," he said.

The Arizona Senator wasn't so optimistic about the future of bipartisanship among legislators in Washington. The prospects for immigration reform or financial regulatory reform appear dim, he said, because Democrats have failed to reach across the aisle since President Obama took office.

"The problem is, in all due respect to bipartisanship, there has been none," he told King. "They have taken their 60 votes, when they had 60, and their majority in the House and they rammed thing through. Any semblance of bipartisanship was not used by the majority. I understand that, but that's not change in Washington, that's change for the worse."


Filed under: 2010 • Arizona • Health care • John McCain
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. dale

    Hey John, did you just wake up? The debate if you want to call it that is over. We won (again).

    March 25, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. MsDp

    Whew, I'll be so glad when mccain grows up and stop living in his fantasy world. Jealousy is not a good spirit to have and carring grudges only makes it worst.

    March 25, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. Ruth

    McCain you can't fool all of us.You and Palin are two of a kind. Vindictive and sore losers. GO HOME to Arizona.

    March 25, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Roger

    I agree with Senator McCain. Civility needs to be restored, howwever it was started by the Democrats after GWB whippend them in 1980!

    March 25, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  5. Lori in St Pete

    Ya should have thought of that before you, once again, went off the deep end the other day songbird! Oh that's right, now that there are allegations of your team being threatened (notice they still haven't released the voicemails or photos of damage) it's not cool.

    March 25, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. Mickey

    McCain, your memory is failing you again... YOU are part of this HUGE problem the GOP has on its hands. It could only be a matter of time before you, and all your GOP collegues have blood on your hands. You are nothing but domestic terrorists.

    Back to your bamboo cage, Johnnie Boy!

    March 25, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Go home John, and take your taxpayer funded healthcare with you.

    March 25, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Sure you do mcnasty. You and that bimbo you vetted in 10 minutes started all this hate back in 2008.
    Too little too late. You are a sore loser and a pathetic man.

    March 25, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  9. raingirl2

    poor johnny mccain you have made your mark in history you are all washed up go home quietly and enjoy what's left of your retirement. in case you didn't get the memo you have been retired for a long time go on home and enjoy yourself get out of politics you need to watch quietly from the sidelines. you are through dude go home hang it up you are acting and looking silly actually you are acting like a geriatric who just soiled his diaper you need to check yourself because you smell dirty

    March 25, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  10. Kate

    I would like to ask McCain how Bush got the tax cuts for the wealthy??

    March 25, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. double standard

    I thought you quit Johnboy !! Shut your piehole !!

    March 25, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. Moki, Tucson

    Please set the example John.

    March 25, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  13. Ethan Fried

    I must have missed something. In a democracy majority rules doesn't it? If the Republicans could bring themselves to vote for their constituents and against the big insurance companies that fund their campaign, why is that the Democrats' fault? And stop tellimg me that the majority of Americans are against health care reform. You know darn well that you added the few that don't support it to the few that thought it did not go far enough to come up with bogus claim. What do you take us for?

    March 25, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. Indy

    No one is listening to "that one" who insulted every Americans intellegence with Sarah Palin. This old crybaby told all of us he's upset and not going to play ball anymore with Democrats, how can anyone take anything he says seriously

    March 25, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. A Real American

    Good call, Senator, but you're a day late and a dollar short. The debate is over, and the freedom to see a doctor without fear of reprisal from a health insurer, and without fear of financial ruin, is now the law of the land.

    March 25, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. Neaderthal Republicans

    The anger these Republican politicians speak of is manufactured by their misrepresentations of the bill.

    Where are the Death Panels?

    Where is the rationing of healthcare?

    We rank 37 in the world in healthcare. How, Mr & Mrs. Republican politician, do we have the BEST systems in the world when we are an also ran in its performance.

    March 25, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. mk

    The GOP can sure dish it but can't take it. Bunch of crazy winers.

    March 25, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. southern cousin

    Poor John, he must not know that it is part of the libertard strategy to play these type of incidents up. Just read the mocking of the Republicans by the slime in chief of the libertars in his Iowa speech today. What a bunch of union butt boys these slimy corrupt clowns in the administration are. Anyone notice that it was announced today that Social Security ran out of money six years earlier than projected or any one hearing that the other well run medicare program is out of money, or may that the government run post office will cut back service. Welcome to Obamacare idiots.

    March 25, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. mar

    Now you decide to encourage civility? Are you still asking palin to campaign for you? This is shameful......

    March 25, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    The Republicans are waking up to the fact that if, God forbid, someone should follow the implicit messages being put out by the GOP to harm anyone who disagrees with them, the GOP will be held liable and charges with incitement.

    - Boehner calls passing health care reform, "Armageddon".
    - Palin puts a map with gun sights on it to identify "targeted" Congress members who voted for the health care reform.
    - The GOP and its lackeys condone teabaggers and other nut jobs in their use of comparing President Obama to Hitler, Stalin, and every other dictator.

    What does the GOP honestly expect? Even Karl Rove has admitted that the fringe that's taken over the GOP as inexperienced and dim-witted.

    What a sorry bunch of losers!

    March 25, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. Helen Harris-Scott

    I don't think I would vote for McCain. I love and respect him, but I couldn't trust his reaction to Bush's advice. However, looking back I could of voted for John Edwards–and look how he turned out.

    Oh my God, what are we gonna do about this misconduct of public office? With presidents clearly abusing their power in the courts, overlooking the constitution, and the rule of law–is beyond my comprehension. This is against everything they were sworn into.

    Then they try to hide behind healthcare, and the foreclosure crisis. A lot of these other problems wouldn't exist if they were the right kind of politicians.

    March 25, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. cindy-FL

    Oh good grief, if you want respect McCain, how about giving a little now and then. Obama is our President, try acting like it once in a while!

    Ya know I once had so much pride and respect for you, not only because you are a hero, but because you were a fighter, fighting for what was best for America. What happend? I only hope for your sake that what ever you got for you soul was worth it McCain I really do.

    March 25, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. A Real American

    Senator McCain says "The problem is, in all due respect to bipartisanship, there has been none," and yet he fails to also note that the deliberate scuttling of bipartisanship was the Republican strategy devised by Mitch McConnell before President Obama had even taken the oath of office. Senator McCain also fails to note that it was he himself who said, just yesterday, that "there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year."

    The fact is, Senator, that there is no bipartisanship in Washington because you and your party have refused to sit at the table and negotiate in good faith the compromises that define bipartisanship. You and your party are hyper-partisans who put party before country, and that is why the future of bipartisanship looks so dim right now.

    March 25, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. ED FL

    John you have had your day in the sunshine and you screwed it up just like the opportunities you had such as the naval academy flight school and a navy aviator .returned as a hero and your boozing philandering and keating five fiasco has worn out your heroics and welcome.Your sucking on the government TEAT for more than thirty more years and STUPID RIGHT WING PHILOSOPHY have been disgraceful. Go quietly into the nite and play BINGO [if they let you]

    March 25, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Bill Gazitano

    John McCain has to take responsibility for his fear mongering lies and lack of bipartisanship in recent times.

    March 25, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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