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

McCain slams Blue Dog Democrats

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Claudia in Houson

    Republicans are supporting and listening to the brain dead, McCain and Palin. LOL

    August 2, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Dr. Birth

    How come none of these republicans didn't ask about the deficit when they voted for tax cuts for the rich?
    Or sweetheart deals with prescription drug companies?
    Or a bogus war?

    But now they suddenly care about the deficit when we try to get health care that is the same as the members of congress?

    PS. I rather the government possibly coming between me and my patient than the insurance companies are doing already anyway.

    August 2, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Nevada Joe

    Who cares what McCain thinks?????? He has not had an original thought in 70 years,,,,Why don't he retire to one of his 13 homes.????

    August 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. rickymo

    As opposed to the moderate GOP'ers who never go after the looney right wing conservatives of that party. Mc Cain is a joke...just go away.

    August 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Dan, TX

    I read the health care bill. It's pretty good. A few things that could be improved, but overall, I'm for it.

    Let's get it done. We need this. My sister might get a divorce. She had breast cancer. If she gets a divorce she will have no health insurance. She can afford health insurance, but she called all kinds of insurance companies and they won't sell her a policy at any price because of her prior cancer. The current Insurance system stinks.

    August 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. johnnie

    Ask John Mccain, while your at it CNN,where is DICK CHENEY hiding?AS i have said who is really paying attention to Scary Mccain

    August 2, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Tigg

    McCain, hardly one to stand up to the President when his own party was in power (the same President who had viciously attacked McCain in the primaries in 2000), is trying to shame the Blue Dogs into proving they're tough by voting with the GOP. Michael Steele tried the same tactic towards some Dems (yes, the same Michael Steele who ran wimpering to apologize to Rush Limbaugh when the radio talk show host reacted badly to Steele's initial criticism). I guess we'll see if McCain's tactic works. He hasn't had much of an effect on policy laterly.

    August 2, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. bill

    The only "dog" that John McCain knows is the one that he picked as his running mate, and now he continues to "hunt with this dog" inspite of her poor eyesight, smell, and ability to do anything with precision. She even "quits in the middle of the hunt".

    August 2, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. he's been fired

    The man is willing to say anything because his policies were dissmissed by a big majority of America.................

    August 2, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Clay

    The best thing to do with Blue Dogs: Ship them to Alaska, declare open season and give all the hunters free helicopter rides. I'm sure the wolves would appreciate the break.

    August 2, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Tusec

    -–The insurance conmpanies are out to make MONEY!-–

    OMG, what an eye opening revelation!

    And now that I think about it, the shoe stores are out to make money too! Big Shoe! And so is Big Grocery, and Big Auto Insurance, and Big Kitchen Utensil, and Big Maid Service, and Big Toothpaste!

    We must nationalize these evildoers before they make any more MONEY! The time for debate is over - NOW we must act!

    Only after the profit motive and private enterprise are eliminated will America live up to its ideals.

    Only then can we be proud.


    August 2, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. freda

    Since John McCain is such an expert on every thing, why isn't he exercising his expertise by knowing it is time for him to shut up and retire. He failed when he could not tell the Republicans for 8 years how not to mess this country up. Now he wants to teach the Democrats. Thanks but no thanks.

    August 2, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. jason, tx

    McCain is an idiot.

    August 2, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Carpe Diem

    I wish you people would stop haggling over a bill that NO ONE has read because it has been CHANGED according to both Dems and Reps. You are all talking without any concrete knowlege. Let's wait until they submit the bill for a vote to see what impact its going to have. Maybe someone will read it before they vote on it this time, better yet maybe people outside the Washington Loop might be able to read it first too!

    August 2, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Priscilla

    McSame shup up!!!

    August 2, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. suzyku

    john mccain is irrelevant! I don't like the blue dogs but I don't like mccain even more. I hope he loses in AZ. next election, he's sellout!

    August 2, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Pragmatic

    McCain whines .. “The Blue Dogs, they always bark and they never bite,”. “They almost always – in fact, always, roll over and then play dead.”

    ... and in the same breath, is saddened by so-called "attacks" on Palin.
    Hey John! What have you done to fix the health care crises – say ... in the past 2 decades in the Senate??? Like all republicans ... NOTHING!

    August 2, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Ted

    Where is your alternative plan, McCain? Let's hear your plan to provide healthcare to the millions of Americans that can't afford it?/

    Oh that's right. You have no plan and no ideas. You just want to whine.

    August 2, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Brad

    That's exactly what President Ronald Reagan did...for his social agenda, he picked off a couple of Democrats and called it bipartisan support. Especially in his first term, Democrats refused to support him. The same thing from the opposite direction is what it happening with President Obama...Republicans are refusing to support him on basically everything and every once in a while, he picks off a Republican or two and calls it bipartisan support.

    August 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. A B C

    After what your party did to our Country, do you actually think it would be a good idea to listen to anything you have to say? DIDN'T THINK SO.

    August 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Ron L

    Senator McCain is full of himself. The BLUE dog democrats are doing just what they are suppose to do. Be constructively critical and them bring alternate, more cost conservative ideas to the table. HE wants them to side with the Republicans..and it ain't gonna happen. As an independent voter I feel the BLUE dogs are the perfact balance to the more liberal part of the Democratic Party. In the end there WILL BE compromise, there will be a health bill passed, and the average American citizen will be the WINNER.
    Next step...making it easier to form unions.

    August 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Al Smith

    John who? And who is that geezer in the picture? Looks like some cranky old fart whose day came and sent without him, and now he's just full a wee wee and vinegar...

    August 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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