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)

    HEALTH CARE REFORM is TOO IMPORTANT to let politics get in the way.

    Too many people are being hurt by the current system! Insurance companies are not out for YOUR BEST INTEREST! The insurance conmpanies are out to make MONEY! The less care they have to pay for the more MONEY they get in BONUS'.

    The public option is not going to FORCE ANYONE TO CHANGE.

    You can keep your current system if you want to.


    The fact that the republicans even made that statement proves they are desperate and afraid that Obama will achive something that has never been done before get reqal health care reform.

    August 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. barrystash

    Jan – gives us some very interesting facts, too bad they are not true. Obamots are entitled to their opinion, as every one else, but NOT to their own facts. If we are going to survive the plunder of our country Obamots are going to have to be honest with themselves. Continuing with their "obamthink" will destroy us all.

    August 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Zero.

    "The Puppy-Dogs. `Suckers out in the Cold,
    `They thought it said Gold...

    August 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Xuxo Garcia

    not a fan of McCain...never been...but this Obama guy...hmmm...not shaping up to be a good thing. It is sad to see that if you disagree with Obama you are automatically a 'right-wing' bigot and that is not true. I just simply didn't drink the proverbial Kool-Aid

    August 2, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. ready99

    Danny-I weather would want the unknown than the wanted to be or the previous known devil that left office. At least he is working and trying to improve the lives of ALL CITZENS,instead of the NO party!

    August 2, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Ancient Texan

    Good Grief John. Have you lost your mind? Since the Republicans don't have the muscle to stop this total disaster of a health plan, I thank God the Blue Dog Democrats have the backbone to stand up to the far left that wants government control over every thing. Pelosi and Reid, along with Obama, may eventually beat them down but, they've slowed the process enough for the people to see what the far left is proposing. If senility is beginning to cloud your judgement, refrain from public forums.

    August 2, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. welches, oregon

    my my McShame's attacks are getting more vicious all the time..

    August 2, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Jeffrey in Marietta, GA

    Dear Republicans. My advice to you – start eating your wounded. Especially before they alienate the only Democrats that will vote with you.

    I'm actually glad this is happening, if the entire Republican party collapses before the next election, we might actually be able to vote in some true conservatives.

    August 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. True Alaskan

    Common sense. Bush got us into this mess by overspending. What's making the idiots (democrats) think we can get out of this mess by spending even more?

    August 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. barrystash

    OBSERVER – No, Obama is not going to kill old folks, he is just going to let them die a slow death pretty much unattended. Read the bill.

    August 2, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Independent Voter

    John King is is a Right-wing partisan. Listening to him is like watching him interview for a slot on Fox News. It worked for Glenn "liar" Beck.

    CNN, are you listening? You lose credibity as a NEWS organization when you allow a stage for him and Lou"Birther" Dobbs.

    No wonder why the media is receiving a failing grade.

    August 2, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. barrystash

    ready99 says that Obama care will improve health care for all. Not true. It will improve for a few, but generally it will be much worse for the majority of Americans. And it will bankrupt us. Read the bill.

    August 2, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Fla.

    How is McCain helping change the tone he mentioned with this nonsense? Hypocritically, he is not helping anything.

    I agree with the first poster. The Blue Dogs are at least providing some constructive opposition with alternative ideas.

    August 2, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. welches, oregon

    Do the 'Christian conservatives' really think NONE of you have ever had an abortion and was glad to get it? If you think not, you are as out of touch as the rest of the Party of NO If you 'Christian Conservatives" think that NONE of you are homosexual, you are more out of touch than you realize.

    Do NO people on the liberal side think that abortion is wrong? Do NO liberals agree that gay marriage should not happen? Are there NO people of race that think the President is wrong? If you think you're all in agreement, you are wrong.

    WE are Americans people – together – let's act like it !

    August 2, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    Has anyone else noticed how often Barrystash gets comments posted? Looks like a CNN republican plant to me.

    August 2, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Lenny, Dallas, TX

    First of all, lets recap why we need healthcare reform. In 2007, we spent over $2.4 TRILLION on healthcare in the economy. In 2008, healthcare consumed $686 billion of the national budget representing 23% of the budget. In five to ten years, the country will be broke because of healthcare. YET, republicans say we don't need healthcare reform. Or we can reform healthcare by providing "tax-cuts" without dealing with the excessive profits being generated by health insurance companies. United Healthcare (one of the major health insurance providers) had revenues of over $80 BILLION last year during one of the worst recessions in history. The republicans want us to believe they can somehow get these companies to be more responsible without a public option. Yeah right!

    August 2, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Theresa

    John king is the best CNN has and they know it. King gets closer to real reporting than most on this network.

    August 2, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. william gair

    Yes John, Because this (me) conservative Dem. thinks the Blue Dogs are screwing up. As a Dem. (Former Rep.) I write them and call them and tell them to cut it out. If they stop their obstruction it will be because Americans like me have insisted on it.

    August 2, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    barrystash Wrote:
    "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".

    "Enslave the workers of this country???" You have no logical, reasonable, ethical, moral basis on which to make that moronic claim.
    If ignorance is bliss, you must smile all day long!
    To the contrary, I want to FREE UP Americans enslaved by corporate greed.
    I am self employed and well past 50. I work HARD, every day and have to make hard choices that my employees (Congress, the President) don't have to make. I want what they have, or I want them to have to fight like I do, every day to make ends meet, or at least get them close.

    If I insult, it is because your premise is insulting... You spout unsubstantiated "Ditto Head" opinion as fact and expect to have it respected.
    However, your bluster sounded like you might have to pay the "Rich guys" tax... I would understand wanting to try and keep THAT money, but you won't be affected by what President Obama wants to do, because, like me, you don't make enough money. I call people like you "WalMart Republicans," because I believe you just don't understand how badly, in how many ways we are being screwed by Republicans and Democrats alike...
    At least with Obama, he is TRYING to give us ALL a more level playing field. What Congress does with it is yet to be seen, but when the bills come out, you can BET that no one is going to delighted. Unlike the last administration where "Big Business" of EVERY kind got to stick their hands in middle class pockets.
    Do you know that the richest Americans continue to get richer while the middle class disappears and the poor grow in numbers and in depth of poverty?

    August 2, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. sue

    CNN has nothing to offer, as well as John McCain has nothing to offer.

    August 2, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. ready99

    barrystash–One question? In previous REPUBLICIANS adminstations what have the NO party ever tried,sponser,or supported a universal health that equal what they have , as taxpayers we pay. for. The war that BUSH started with monies that was spent would have been a good start for a national health plan. However the party of NO believe in supported funeral parlors with the return remains of our dead soilders!

    August 2, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    barrystash Wrote:

    "ready99 says that Obama care will improve health care for all. Not true. It will improve for a few, but generally it will be much worse for the majority of Americans. And it will bankrupt us. Read the bill.

    I assume your post to indicate that you actually HAVE read the bill.
    If that is the case, and if you have the goods, tell us what pages you think prove your statement...Please

    August 2, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Dean

    It appears that CNN has become a Republican mouthpiece. Why are you constantly focusing so many "stories" on McCain and Palin??? Have you heard that there are other newsworthy people and events you could cover? Your bias is becoming completely transparent. I used to enjoy your coverage of national and international news, now I cringe every time I open your webpage. Time for me to move on, I think.

    August 2, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. kishen c.rao

    jesus!!!what can he do other than slamming blue dog dems....after humiliating defeat...this dude needs to shut up....and work on health care room for people first and talk...further...ok...

    August 2, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. A Wyoming Democrat

    Who cares what McCain says anymore? He has lost the respect of most Americans. He was a great military man. Now it's time to retire and go home to Sedona, AZ.

    August 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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