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. Black Viper

    Give this GOP law makers 6 months and they will all come back bragging about their input in the bill they all voted against.
    Do you remember the argument made on the stimulus package?
    We have heard everything on the media. Now they can' deny it's working so they are ashamed to talk about it.
    I will never vote for any hypocrite shameless lying bags.
    Democrats are not perfect but with only two to choose from I will rather go with the less evil.

    March 25, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. Linda S

    Pssst, John – YOU LOST. In 2008, and this past Sunday.

    March 25, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  3. GaryB

    McCain seems to have forgotten what bipartisanship means. Bipartisanship means compromise. It doesn't mean that the party that won the last election has to do everything that the losers want. Obama tried hard to reach his hand across the aisle and nearly got it bitten off. I'm actually embarassed to admit that I supported McCain in the primaries in 2000.

    March 25, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. Freeman

    McCain has become so bitter since he lost the election. And to think I used to like and respect this man.

    March 25, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. kmp

    Oh so now you are calling for civility huh. Where was this outrage during your campaign when people where saying "killing him". Oh that is right you "didn't" hear them. God you republicans make me sick, you have spent a good part of the past year insighting these idiots now you are asking them to be respectful.

    I really feel that you are just saying this so to that God forbid something terrible happens you can say I condemed it. When in reality you are glad this is happening. God you make me sick and to think I once admired you for what you went through in the name of our country. You and others like you are a disgrace.

    March 25, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    The health care debate is over, stupid senile old man.... It's now LAW....

    March 25, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Linda

    This is classic coming from this guy who has no plans to do anything till the election (or maybe until he loses in the primary). I am ashamed of all of the repubs who now say that this type of behavior is not acceptable, but who have been getting the people riled up with their lies and the death panels and having grannie put in the ground before her time. They disgust me and should disgust all TRUE Americans (although they believe that they are the only true americans.) Good riddance to you all. You have health ins. but don't think that anyone else should have what you have.

    March 25, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  8. Linda

    This is classic coming from this guy who has no plans to do anything till the election (or maybe until he loses in the primary). I am ashamed of all of the repubs who now say that this type of behavior is not acceptable, but who have been getting the people riled up with their lies and the death panels and having grannie put in the ground before her time. They disgust me and should disgust all TRUE Americans (although they believe that they are the only true americans.) Good riddance to you all. You have health ins. but don't think that anyone else should have what you have. Plus Johnnie talks about ramming something through with 60 votes.... how soon he forgets what the repubs did for the years when W was prez. They "spit" on the Dems and now want them to respect them after they abused them. Go back and drink the kool-aid guys.

    March 25, 2010 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  9. Nathan

    Where was McCain and the rest of the republicans when the Tea Partiers were hanging effigies of the President of the United States of America?

    March 25, 2010 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  10. The Unsub

    Oh step down already! He likes the violence...it reminds him of 'nam.

    March 25, 2010 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  11. Susan, AZ

    McCain calls for civility in the HC debate and yet he likes the way Palin has bullet-targets on her website to aim at Democrats.
    At times, he forgets what he already has said.

    Choose Hayworth. At least we know that Hayworth will do what he says, although he is a lot nuttier than McCain.

    March 25, 2010 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Sketch

    It's a bit late John...

    March 25, 2010 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  13. A disgusted former Republican

    It sounds like old "Songbird" is warbling again.

    March 25, 2010 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. jeff

    Except for Lindsey Graham on immigration reform, when have the Republicans reached across the aisle to their Democratic colleagues?

    McCain is running for re-election so bipartisanship is not on his agenda.

    March 25, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  15. David

    That is a lie CNN. I watch John King go soft on McCain while he prop Palin and others. CNN does not care because the would have not take sides of the Republicans.

    March 25, 2010 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  16. KathyC in MInnesota

    John McCain has shown his hypocritical colors.

    Senator "I -am- not -going- to- cooperate- for- the- rest- of- the- year, but- I- want- to- be- re-elected- Senator- from- Arizona" McCain needs to look into the mirror and see that he no longer matters anymore. His star has burnt out.

    Perhaps his wife can buy his Health Insurance for him as he will be retired from the US Senate. What a shock that would be should he lose the GOP Primary in Arizona against JD Hayworth! Who isn't any better than Michele Bachmann is here in MInnesota.

    March 25, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Isn't it a little late for that call? I mean if he really wanted that, then he would have talked with the House and Senate leadership to work more willingly and politiely in public and private to get something everyone could stumache through Congress. I think it is a little late. Maybe he should have talked to Rush as well.

    March 25, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. notfooledtx

    The petulant child, John McCain is calling for civility? Mr. I'm taking my toys and going home is complaining about bipartisianship? Pres. Obama gave McCain way more respect than he deserved, and he rebuked the president on numerous occasions.

    McCain is nothing but an embarrassment to himself at this point.

    March 25, 2010 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  19. Jacq

    I've lost all respect for McCain the President reach out to republicans numerous times,you and the party of no,no solutions,and no ideas,were in debt to the insurance companies.When banks are in line to be reformed and regulated I already see You and the GOP back the banks the main scum bags that almost sent us into a great depression.So you can keep that lie.

    March 25, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. Fired Up...Ready to Go!!!

    McCain...you're one day late and a dollar short. Get back to work and earn your paycheck.

    Oh wait a minute, your wife's got money. I knew you were just bs n.

    Go to one of your houses...how many you don't even know... and retire.

    Good bye!

    March 25, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. diridi

    he is an another crazy idiot...what is civility....in it. we passed the law...do not be sold out to insurance thugs, and corporate greed...we need to pass the immigration reform too....stop foreigners for a while...totally...more populous less prosperous...ok...cut visas, ect...

    March 25, 2010 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  22. Molly Weasley

    As usual, cranky-pants McCain is lying again. It's this kind of heated rhetoric and these kinds of lies that got these idiot teabaggers so riled up in the first place.

    The truth is that Democrats constantly invited GOP input on the health care reform bill, and the Republicans walked away. How many times did President Obama meet with Repubilcans over the last year? 50? 60? That's more than George Bush ever did in eight years.

    If Republicans had bothered to get involved, more of their ideas would have been in the final law. As it is, 200 Republican amendments are in the bill.

    Condemn the violence. Then shut up and move on. Don't play the "I'm taking my ball and I'm going home" approach.

    March 25, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  23. Patty

    To think I had respect for you in the beginning of the last campaign. Then you go and pick a random vagina in attempt to sway the female vote. Then your behavior throughout the rest of the campaign made me lose any kind of respect for you. Now, you dare to come as the peacemaker. You and your cronies incite the American people with misleading rhetoric. Save the act of the calming statesman to a real statesman. Go home.

    March 25, 2010 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  24. Andy

    77% of the American people did not approve the HC bill and NOBama/Pelosi/Reid/others ram it down our throats.Worst case of political action I have seen in my 60 years, unAmerican action by the very ones we ask to lead.

    March 26, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. Nick

    Yeh right. When the GOP was the majority as though you did anything different. The GOP has shown time and time again that they care only for the wall street and not the main street.

    March 26, 2010 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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