August 2nd, 2009
10:59 AM ET
12 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. Disgusted with corporate media

    What's wrong with the blue dogs working for the interests of their largely rural and more conservative constituents? That's representative government, folks. And somebody needs to ask questions, roll up their sleeves, work on compromises and put forth a different point of view – we all know the vast majority of the GOP aren't going to do anything remotely resembling actual work. Now McCain wants the blue dogs to be as lazy, dogmatic, and irresponsible as his own party? I think not.

    August 2, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Keith in Austin

    Has anyone ever noticed that those who blindly support Obamacare and typical Social Programs are typically the same people (like the post from Eisner) are always looking for handouts on the back of taxpayers?

    Don't allow Obama and his wet dreams for Socializing our County to come to fruition folks! Those that WORK for a living should NOT carry the dead weight of those that choose not to!
    Our problems don't evaporate by aimlessly throwing more money at them.

    August 2, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. barrystash

    Kitty – I keep asking this question of Obamots but none of you will answer. HOW MUCH OF MY PAY CHECK DO YOU WANT ? HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH ? I work hard, pay my bills, and try to live an honest life and you Obamots will not leave me alone. You want to control every phase of my life. DO YOU WANT ME TO SEND YOU MY PAY CHECK EACH WEEK and let you return to me how much you think I deserve?

    August 2, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. STEVE

    Still playing follow the leader.........Rush is no leader John, you chose wrong again. Moron.

    August 2, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Matt

    Keep it up McCain. Ignore the 5th grade intelligence on this forum.

    August 2, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Palermo

    When the Republicans controlled Congress and the Presidency, they were never bi-partisan. I really have to hand it to them, they systematically voted their agenda into law and completely cut the opposition out of the picture. The only times in US history when there has been much of any bi-partisanship in congress is when the majority party did not have the votes to accomplish their mission. As the victors in the last election, the Democrats need to unite and accomplish what the majority of the voters elected them to do. Does McCain really expect the Democratic majority in Congress to pass Republican approved legislation?

    August 2, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. roger

    It would seem that John McIrrelevant is tired of being ignored, and wants some attention, no matter how idiotic he sounds.

    August 2, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Arizona Anita

    Can this man just get voted out of office and quit making his absurd remarks! I can see now why he picked Sarah – 2 beans in a pod!

    The filthy rich forget about the lower class and the lower middle class. McCain didn't know how many cars or houses he had when he was running for President. That alone tells me he forgot what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck.

    We need health care reform and we need it NOW!

    Start setting examples and quit fighting everything that goes on McCain. Or quit and stay home in your 22,000 square foot penthouse in Phoenix. You are OUT OF TOUCH with the people.

    August 2, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. barrystash

    Palermo – what you say is patently false. And besides, the GOP was not trying to set up a Marxist dictatorship.

    August 2, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. ready99

    barrystash=a ignorant moron!

    August 2, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. barrystash

    ready99 – I can't be "an" ignorant moron, I didn't vote the god king Obama and I don't support Marxistcare.

    August 2, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |

    The people of arizona should get smart and vote this loser out of office.

    August 2, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Rita OHIO

    CNN why do you continue to carry water for McCain. The man is clearly out of his mind. Double speak

    August 2, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. barrystash

    Dear Obamots – you can take every last dime the "filthy rich" have and it will not begin to pay for your FREE medical care. Obama is going to raise your taxes a bunch to pay for it. You are sterling fools if you think otherwise.

    August 2, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    barrystash Wrote:
    "Kitty – I keep asking this question of Obamots but none of you will answer. HOW MUCH OF MY PAY CHECK DO YOU WANT ? HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH ? I work hard, pay my bills, and try to live an honest life and you Obamots will not leave me alone. You want to control every phase of my life. DO YOU WANT ME TO SEND YOU MY PAY CHECK EACH WEEK and let you return to me how much you think I deserve?

    You probably don't make enough to worry about it anyway, but go, have your life, pay your bills and pay your taxes and quit whining about what little you have left. Be grateful you don't need the help you seem so willing to see others do without.

    August 2, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. D. Tree

    That is why people respect strong Democrats more than Republican Lite.

    Its going to be a long, busy Summer for incumbent Blue Dogs back home... they are going to get an earful from the voters!

    Americans deserve to have access to the same Insurance plans that our Senators, Troops, and Seniors have access to – we need the public option now!

    August 2, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Theresa

    The blue dogs better vote against this socialist program, that even the Democrats won't accept for themselves, or they will be voted out of office.

    August 2, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Zach K

    John "Complain" McCain has no resolution except to attack others.

    August 2, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. barrystash

    George Gudiane – repeats the same tired Obamot scenario. He has no logical explanation for his burning desire to enslave the workers of this country, so he just insults them when they protest. YES GEORGE, I have very little left from my meager income from my dirty little job, but I sleep at night knowing I have not become a parasite on my fellow Americans.

    August 2, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. ready99

    barrystash–Then you gotta be slow and stupid! [BETCHA]-you voted for the other 2 republican dingbats.

    August 2, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Dawn Ada, Ohio

    Bipartisan my behind!!! Your idea of bipartisan is NO HEALTH CARE EXCEPT FOR THE RICH!!! Go back under your Republican rock you crawled out from under.

    August 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Lenny, Dallas, TX

    I have 2 comments to make. First of all, I think Senator McCain has forgotten very quickly that a "government-run healthcare program" treated him at reasonable costs for his many bouts with cancer. Yet, he and other republicans prefer that the rest of us deal the very powerful private health insurance companies that make a living by denying claims and leaving individuals saddled with massive debts.

    Secondly, these days when you tune into CNN is almost as painful as watching Fox news. CNN is tending towards being a mouth-piece for republicans with Lou Dobbs and Campbell Brown going way over the edge. Lou Dobbs has always been a whacko so I was not surprised but Campbell Brown's decision to come out of the closet and declare her right-wing nature was a little surprising.

    August 2, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Jan

    Since the Democrats have huge majorities in both the House and the Senate, we should not focus on how many Republicans come over to the Democrats' side. Republican ideas LOST the last two elections.

    The standard for bipartisanship was once 67%.

    George W. Bush utterly ignored that measure and used 51% instead. If President Obama can get 51% of Congress, he's governed - like GWB - simply with his power.
    But if he gets 67% of the Congress, regardless of Party, and if he can get 67 Senators to agree, he has - by tradition - then been HISTORICALLY bipartisan.

    If I were the President and the Democrats, I would just completely ignore the Republicans.

    They completely screwed up our country with a 51% majority and I don't respect anything they have to say. Bush lost the popular vote, and inherited Peace and Prosperity. He brought us the deadliest attack in US history on US soil on his way in, and he left us the worst economy in US history since the Great Depression on his way out.

    It's time for the Loyal Bushies to be ashamed of their 8 years of Dumb Government, and move over for another 8 years of Smart Government, like we enjoyed as a nation under President Clinton.

    Greedy Old People from the Party of No, GO AWAY.

    August 2, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Danny, WA

    People want to call names to John McCain but they do not realize where our country is heading. Known devil is better than un-known. We have un-known devil in the white house who is ruining our future.

    August 2, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. marlene

    I wouldn't watch John McCain's interview on any channel. Just look at the CNN headlines for today's interview. He slams everyone Democratic. Then has the audacity to call for a bi-partisan effort on health care. Republicans don't know the meaning of the word. The party of no, both leaders of the chambers of no and now the once presidential candidate – that lost, all all saying no. Bring in some new Republican leaders to interview, maybe I will listen to CNN and them.

    August 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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