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. Aunt Bea and Opie

    John,we wish you would just roll over,your already brain dead.

    August 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Greg

    You have to admire these Blue Dogs. They're not opposed to destroying the country, but they are not going to let the government takeover get in the way of their reelection.

    August 2, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Joan

    Senator McCain has done nothing for Arizona and he thinks he can comment on President Obama after he has been in office for just over six months. Senator McCain has been in office for over twenty years and still illegals are crossing our border into Arizona. I am a Republican but McCain and Kyl have done absolutely NOTHING for Arizona. This Arizona resident speaking.


    August 2, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. mw

    McCain is for Repug rule. Do nothing, Say No, make no progress, look out for the rich only. LOSER

    August 2, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Bobby In Atlanta

    Notice that McCain has noting positive to say about the man who handed him the greatest defeat of his political career. Bitter much John? How could Obama possibly change Washington when the Republicans don't really want change, they just want to be back in charge. As if the past 8 years weren't enough.

    August 2, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Nugent for president

    My health care is just fine. I work and pay into it and use it when I need it. No need to change on my dime. This president is an idiot. If you can't afford health care, GET A JOB!! I hear McDonalds is hiring you lazy bottom feeders.

    August 2, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. mike,texas

    Caring what a republican thinks,is like a Judge caring what an accused person thinks when sentenced to prision.Blah,Blah,Blah.

    August 2, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Linda

    I work for the City of Houston and I believe I have excellent medical insurance. However, I also believe that EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE should have access to good medical care. I support the President. Something needs to be done concerning health care reform. And I don't believe changing the current system is going to hurt the coverage I now have. You GO Mr. President.

    August 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Ken, Arizona

    Once again John McCain proves that he doesn't understand the concept of bipartisan. He still thinks it means adopting the GOP's tax cuts, which is the only proposal they have for any problem. The GOPs only objective is to kill any reform initiatives in hopes of regaining the majority. They did nothing to address rising health care costs the six years that they controlled both houses of congress and the White House.

    August 2, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. John

    Blue Dog Democrats

    Red Pig Republicans 😛

    August 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. NJ indipendent

    The US Treasury is broke and full of debt. All the good paying manufacturing jobs were sent overseas. This was the work of crooked politicians for the past 30 years. The US citizens have been paying the highest taxes in the world and, unlike the citizens in other countries, have received nothing back. It all went to these crooked politicians and to their crooked cronies. They are the only ones that live the good life in this country. Thank god, we now have Speaker Pelosi and President Obama. I hope that they will be able to put this country back on track

    August 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. manhandler

    He's exactly right. These so called "Blue Dogs" posture for their more conservative constituiencies and then roll over at the last moment so they can falsely say "we tried" when it becomes time for re-election. Their positions have nothing to do with what they think is best for the country, and everything to do with waht's best for their hides.

    August 2, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. George in AZ

    Prominent Republican?? You have to be kidding. He's about as prominent as John King. What happened to the days when CNN told both sides of the story truthfully? King ranks below Hannity and Rush for hiding under his wifes skirt.

    August 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. case

    What is McCains goal at this point. Really.

    In the ninties we were warned that health care cost would double or triple if nothing was done. Guess what that happened.

    Now we have a GOP once again pushing for nothing... will we really go for the same song and dance again.

    August 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Geneva Conventions Disregarded

    The most effective and economically viable way to bring about Heath Care Reform is to put an end to frivolous lawsuits, once and for all. There benefit no one, and raise the prices for everyone.

    August 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. JDB

    Well, if anyone is familiar with "ineffectual", it's John McCain. He's spent his entire political career with little positive effect. He's an expert on being ineffective.

    McCains has been reduced to nothing but a grumpy old man who sold his honor and principles to grovel for a few votes from the far right.

    August 2, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Independent from Tx

    McCain using the Rove playbook of vicious personal attacks while pandering to the far-right fringe. McCain hates the Blue Dogs because it would further his personal political goals for all Democrats to be far-left. I guess these personal political attacks are McCain's way of buidling bridges and working for consensus.

    August 2, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Keeth in California

    The GOP knows all about those who bark but don't bite. Ask any conservative who has dared to question the great blowhard Rush Limbaugh.

    August 2, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Blusky

    McCain your favorite spot is to find fault with everything unless its on your side of the isle .
    "You remind me of the fallowers in a pack of dogs" you look at the same view everyday .

    August 2, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. The Lady

    MCcain since you lost I have not seen you put any positive effort into getting this country back on its feet, just complaining, whinning, complaing and whinning.

    August 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Wow a Republican slamming Democrats. That rarely ever happens...

    August 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Cynthia

    John mccain is a loser!

    August 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Theresa. If John King is the best CNN has to offer, CNN is in very deep trouble. King's biases are deep, his reporting is mundane, and his credibilty is all too suspect to be considered a true journalist.

    In other words, King is promoting the lies and deceit that is so common to the GOP. This makes King on par with, say, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and the others. Entertaining . . . maybe. Truthful . . . not at all.

    He should have stuck to what he did best: Statistics.

    August 2, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. Claudia in Houson

    Who gave John McCain a degree in economics. He sure didn't get it graduating at the bottom of his class and hasn't been in a classroom since. When are we going to stop listening to uneducated and unqualified people like McCain who only complain and have no solutions.

    August 2, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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