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. stevetall

    All the Democrats have done is try to bring the Republicans into the conversation. If they don't want to play ball, and only want to destroy the game without bringing anything positive to the table, then that's fine. However, you don't get to act like you were left out. You were just too busy crying and you missed out.

    Most people learn this at an early age.

    March 26, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  2. Dixon

    McCain asking for "civilized political discourse " is laughable. He is asking this of criminals who should be in jail. Amazing that he and his party can't call this what it is for fear of loosing votes. These people are ciminals and to fan those flames is wrong. These people are the worst this country has to offer. God Bless America, we are going to need it.

    March 26, 2010 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  3. Jonathan Davis

    Two weeks prior to Obama's Inauguration Mitch McConnell convened a meeting of the Republican leadership. He announced to the group that their policy would be to resist and obstruct any policy advanced by the Democrats. It is obvious that indeed they followed this policy single mindedly. I accept that they have the right to pursue this path, though I personally find it to be stupid, but I absolutely fail to understand how they can then blame the Democrats for lack of bi-partisanship. If one team refuses to get off the bench, how can they then protest the loopsided score. As the lottery says "You have to play to win"

    March 26, 2010 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  4. GOP... You have awaken a Sleeping Giant..

    The American People have observed your behavior for the last 2 years...

    Time to get to work...

    March 26, 2010 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. ServingToProtectFreedoms

    Democrats in Congress need to exercise some civility and professionalism themselves. This party atmosphere inside the beltway while American citizens outside the beltway suffer only "fans the flames" and angers citizens more.
    Additionally, this strategy of going back to try to sell the bill when people are upset is ridiculous. You shouldn't have to "sell" or "convince' your constituents if the bill is truly beneficial to us in the firstplace. If the bill was valid and justified in its efforts to truly reform healthcare, then we would support it. Don't gaff the citizens of this nation off just because you placed higher priority on caving into party peer pressure than representing your constituents and standing for your principles, and then expect us to stand by and be convinced why you gaffed us off.
    You all work for us, therefore start listening and quit falling for the lies from MSNBC, the far left, or going with the party line.

    March 26, 2010 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  6. Wilson

    Do these jokers (Steele and McCain) think that no one was watching anything? "Rammed through whatever they wanted"? That's why we have a single-payer system? Oh, wait. That's why we have a public option? Oh, wait. That's why there's no real financial reform yet, or consumer protection agency, or climate change bill? Why dozens of Republicans ideas are in the stimulus package and healthcare? To think I admired this man in 2000.

    March 26, 2010 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  7. MikeH

    Senile McGranpaw lyin' through what passes for his teeth again.

    The pathological liar and traitor Karl Rove needs to be rendered for his biodiesel content. I'll bet one could drive coast to coast on all the bacon grease in that disgusting fatbody.

    March 26, 2010 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  8. Albert R. K.

    Like kooky ghost left over from the McCain campaign stops back in 2008, they keep popping up like some kind of Poltergeist curse. Well, once again, "They're heeere!" What a page in U.S. history, the greedy global corporatist Republican leadership who could not care less about people but need the votes of the Republican Base who love stories about flag and fear and get so emotional over it.

    March 26, 2010 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  9. vwrtb

    Republicans are corporate tools...

    March 26, 2010 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  10. Preston kathy

    Thank god john is not president he does not care if people live or die remember bomb bomb iran

    March 26, 2010 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
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