March 25th, 2010
08:20 PM ET
8 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. greg

    Didnt you say bipartisan is dead for the year. you dont care.

    March 25, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. rdepontb

    Old fart. Go get a well-deserved break.

    March 25, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |

    YOU are an irrelevent parasite now

    March 25, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. annie against biased news

    Demmies are lying to cover up their own sorry rear-ends for shoving this government rationed hellcare bill down the throats of the majority of Americans who did not want this!

    March 25, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Teena

    In all due respect tp the Senator from Arizona, this is coming from the man who unleashed the pitt bull in lipstick onto the American electorate.
    Have you looked at her twitter and facebook pages lately?
    Shame on you Senatore McCain-you talk out of both sides of you mouth!

    March 25, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  6. john in Cal

    John, you're using code words like ramming it through. This is just a way you are angering your base into retaliations. This right after you say we need to calm down and have a more respectful attitude. You are not being sincere at all. It's all a sham. Mr. lock and load, you lie like the rest of your fellow Repugs.

    March 25, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  7. gthog61

    It's the media's favorite republican! (except of course when he is running against their favorite democrat)

    March 25, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  8. Tony in Maine

    Tell it to Palin, McCain.

    March 25, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. bunnyr

    Poor dems. No one said a thing when the dems were passing out the addresses and phone numbers of the oposition. The MSM were all for that but now it is the other way around. Don't do it if you do not want it done to you later on.

    March 25, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. Brad

    Let's see John, you're mad because the party that was rejected overwhelmingly in the last election didn't get their way. Talk about a sense of entitlement. Maybe if in the 12 straight years the republicans had offered the people any help with health costs that were spinning out of control they would still be in power. Instead they continued with "I got mine so screw you" attitude and it just caught up with them.

    March 25, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  11. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    Stuff it, grandpa. You were once a man of honor and integrity, and you threw it all away in the blind pursuit of power.

    -YOU were the one who stood idly by while your supporters labeled Barack Obama a terrorist
    -YOU were the one who picked an idiot as your VP candidate who's now pouring gasoline on the flames
    -YOU are the one who hasn't shut up about socialism and has been all too eager to employ your party's fear strategy.

    and NOW you call for civility? pathetic

    March 25, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  12. kravitz

    Cindy must have told him to act like an adult.

    March 25, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  13. Dwayne

    No no no...don't start telling people to act intelligent now! No, let their true colors come out. McCain, you and the repubs took this manufactured BS and wanted to run with it. So here you go. You plant grape seeds, you get grapes...the same goes with hate. Don't get sensitive now and back peddle. You started it...let the people finish!

    March 25, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  14. Fitz in Texas

    If Obama, Pelosi and Reid had listen to the people (83%) that were against this health care, that was rammed down their throats, I really don't think we would have this problem. Reform... yes, take over of our health These Democrats that voted for this just told us to bend over and enjoy it. And they wonder why people are so upset.

    March 25, 2010 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. Clint, Wa.

    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. John how can you say that when it was you and BEACH LIPS that started all of this?

    March 25, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. Obama the Socialist Liar

    Go away rino and take your 'like' daughter with you.

    March 25, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. Cindy

    Senator McCain, with all due respect... I think you're enjoying this. Why else would you continue to support Sarah Palin, head cheerleader of the rucus?

    March 25, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  18. Joshua College Station Texas

    Cantor is such a whiner and a sleaze. He equivocated the bullet that hit a window at the building his office is in with the violence being targeted at Democrats. But it is obvious from the police reports that the bullet was fired into the air and hit the window on the way down. There is no evidence there that the firing was intentional as a means of intimidating individuals who worked in the building. It was probably accidental that it even hit the window, and there is no evidence that it was aimed at Cantor.

    March 25, 2010 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. BeverlyNC

    That's a joke! McCain has been totally nasty and show no decorum on the floor of the Senate. He yelled and waved his arms and jumped up and down with red-faced rage as he attacked not only the healthcare bill with old worn out lies but also make personal attacks on Democratic Senators.

    McCain has a dangerous temper and it's laughable he would be the one to call for civilty. I guess it applies to everyone but him. He needs to retire. What a loser!

    March 25, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  20. Jacquie

    The NERVE. He is one of the idiots who is shutting down the work of the Senate in retribution for passing health care. He has NO credibility. There would have been bipartisanship but you have to come to the table and negotiate in good faith, but you forgot you lost the election, so you don't get to demand your way. Many Repblicans ideas were incorporated in the health bill that they voted against because all they want to do is obstruct. So this crap about there was no bipartisanship was that the Republicans refused to be bipartisan. The Democrats reached out several times to the Repblicans but all they got was a fist when the hand was extended. So put on your big boy boxers McCain and own your behavior. It was YOUR PARTIES WATERLOO.

    March 25, 2010 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. CMG

    The first step to civility, Mr. Whining McCain, is to muzzle the mouth of your VP running mate. What is the likelihood of that happening? Such hypocrits. You truly are the "king of hypocrisy." Congratulations!!!

    March 25, 2010 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. Diane

    Perhaps you should practice what you preach, Mr. McCain. The republicans have opted to try and block any legislation put forth by the White House. They have truly become the party of No. Perhaps if the republicans decided to try bipartisanship the Democrats might join in.

    March 25, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. Brian L

    Bipartisanship is a two way street.... the bill has Republican ideas in it even some of McCain's. Bipartisanship is NOT Democrats giving up what they believe and doing what Republicans say.

    March 25, 2010 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. Lori

    I can tell you right now, come election day in November, democrats will continue to be in the majority and Obama will be re elected......from out here in Main Stream America, you republicans are showing every day in every thing you say and do, that you are the PARTY OF HATE and you will not make any gains in the House or the Senate.......this healh care bill has already started getting more support and will continue too, so come November we will all relish in seeing the GOP being defeated again just like in 2008

    March 25, 2010 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. chuck

    If he were serious, he would condemn his colleagues that are directly responsibility for ratcheting up the rhetoric and enticing the wing-nutt crazies.

    That won't happen becuase he puts party before country.

    March 25, 2010 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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