December 3rd, 2009
04:23 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain drills AARP for backing Medicare cuts

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain had some harsh words for the AARP."]Washington (CNN) - The John McCain of 2009 is singing a different tune than the John McCain of 2008.

On Thursday, the Arizona senator hammered the AARP on the Senate floor and on his Twitter account for supporting a proposal by Senate Democrats to cut millions from Medicare to help pay for health care legislation.

"I call on seniors to cut up their AARP cards and send them back to them!" McCain tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Endorsing Democrats in the health care fight seems to have changed McCain's thinking on the AARP, the nation's most influential senior lobby. During his 2008 presidential bid, the Republican nominee praised the group's leadership in some key policy battles.

"I say God bless AARP for everything they are doing, not only for the present generations of Americans, but for future generations," McCain told an AARP audience in September of last year. "That's your duty, that's your strength, and that's why I love to see you at every town hall meeting. And that's why I always try to let you talk."

McCain thanked the group for working with him on what he called "the big fights," citing tobacco legislation and campaign finance reform. "This organization has been an incredibly valuable contributor to the important discourses I just mentioned, and it's been there for decades, for decades," he said at the time.

Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for McCain, said his objection to AARP is based on what the group is doing now, not what they did in the past.

UPDATE: John Ashbrook, a spokesman for the Senate Republican Communications Center, points out that the AARP changed course from some of their past positions on Medicare cuts.

During the Clinton administration's push to reform health care, for example, the AARP expressed concerns about cutting Medicare as a way to pay for legislation.

'If we're talking about Medicare cuts alone as a way of financing health reform, we would fight that with all our strength - we've gone as far as we can go down that road," John Rother, the AARP director of federal legislation and policy, told the Los Angeles Times in 1993.

Filed under: Health care • John McCain
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Right Leaning Independent

    Well what did McCain expect?? AARP and the AMA is run by liberals that make decisions based on their own beliefs rather than the wishes of the folks it is supposed to represent.

    December 3, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Right Leaning Independent

    I would rather have the old moron running our country than the young moron that currently runs it!! If there is so much waste in Medicare, than why has no one stopped it before now? Because the politicians are moving money from one group of contributors to another.. This is all politics folks...

    December 3, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Mark, Phoenix

    Ever since McCain had his prostate removed, he's been able to "accomodate" all Big Insurance lobbyists without wincing. But picking a fight with AARP will hopefully be his downfall. He and Kyl have done less than nothing for Arizona. Time for them to go.

    December 3, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. MaryAnne

    McCain loves to instill fear in especially the's become the Republican way! Be afraid folks, be very afraid!!

    December 3, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Barbara Independent in NY

    John, sit down and shut up. No one with a brain wants to hear from you.

    December 3, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. Geri

    I'm a member of AARP and have the supplemental insurance they endorse. Right now with medicare, supplemental insurance, & the prescription drug (the D program), I pay $325 a month on a fixed income. Do I want to support everyone that doesn't have Rates will be going up after the 1st of the year. The drug programs suck, the presriptions you need the most are the ones they don't cover so you can add anther $75 on and tha puts it at 400.00.

    December 3, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. Jeff

    This is too's a Senator McCain senior moment. "Do I support AARP or not? Hmmm...I can't remember. Where are my car keys? Oh, that's right I walked today. Why am I in Bethesda?"

    December 3, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. Moonbeam

    Career politician married to extremely wealthy socialite tells people who's life he can't even imagine, what to do!

    December 3, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. dwayne

    AARP is great. I'm going to keep my card. If I were as rich and dripping with gold like John McCain; I might think about it.

    December 3, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. joel palmer

    Proves that McCain is what we knew he was a lying weasel and a partisan hack.

    His 180 degree turn on this at the behest of the gop leadership is proof positive that he has never had any lasting conviction except the personal advancement of John McCain the third.

    The gop fears health care reform because they absolutely know that it will
    1. Work and
    2. Be very popular

    Ten years from now they will claim they wrote it

    December 3, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. mms55

    john mccain is a joke!

    December 3, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. Jim, San Antonio

    He's a hypocritical idiot!

    December 3, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Otto

    You go John...Drill Baby Drill...Bumb Baby Bumb...then again; the economy is strong.

    John, do yourself a big favor; go home and rest. You can't remember what you said yesterday. Stop hanging the poor old folks, they are not as rich as you. Remember to collect pension and a salary; they collect welfare and nothing else. Stop disgracing yourself, go spend your millions in peace!

    December 3, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. Obamalism

    The cuts on medicare will help AARP's main profit horse...its extended medicare coverage. 'Medicare Plus' has been AARP's biggest competition for years...of course they support it being cut.

    December 3, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    The man has a right to change his mind about a corrupt organization. I am a used to be AARP member but that was five years ago. I quickly saw what they were all about and that is their supplemental insurance they can palm off to all the elderly. I will not pay back even to the amount of the premiums one pays in for a trip to the Hospital. They are a rip off cluv also. WAKE UP ELDERLY DON'T FALL FOR ANYMORE OF THEIR CALLING FOR MEMBERSHIP DUES. SAY NO.

    December 3, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. joe

    How did John "its just a google" McCain get a Twitter account?

    December 3, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  17. Carl Justus

    Maybe the AARP should summon McCain and drill him on his support of the massive tax cut that added 6 trillion or more dollars to massive republican national debt.

    You say it is not just republican-Reagan added 2 TRILLION PLUS.

    December 3, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    McCain, Graham, and 28 other Republican Senators APPROVE OF RAPE with no penalty.

    Vote them OUT. VOTE THEM OUT.

    December 3, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. bobbymagee

    Hey John!! RETIREMENT is calling you on your blackberry!!! Please, oh please, would you just take the plunge and get the heck out of that hornets nest of Republicans!!! It's no use, John!! The GOP party is over the hill (like you are) and not even a "tea party", isn't going to save it. So, please call home, John! Call home, and tell your wife to get a case of Budweiser beer ready!! You will be returning to Arizona to "roam with all of those bongos" out on the range!!! Oh, and in case you can't find that word in the dictionary, I'll spell it for you R E T I R E M E N T!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Ruty

    John McCain must be a brother to flip-flopper John Kerry.

    December 3, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. Aaron

    I know McKain is really, really old, but is he a typical senior who relies on Medicare and is struggling to make ends meet on his social security check?

    December 3, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  22. Bob of Lompoc

    This surprises anyone? This man gave us Sarah Palin. Please, let's not get to the point where we take him seriously, ever again.

    December 3, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
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