Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 25, 2013
Arizona Sen. John McCain, an outspoken critic of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is confident that he would also be able to ‘filibuster’ for 21 straight hours like Cruz did Tuesday.
“Oh sure, listen, I won’t tell you sometime how long I had to stand on my feet a couple of times a long time ago and far away,” the 2008 Republican presidential nominee told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Wednesday, alluding to the torture he went through during the five years he spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
The senior senator from Arizona also pointed out that he’s spent far more time over the past five years campaigning against the Affordable Care Act that Cruz, who was just elected to the Senate in November.
“But I also want to point out that in 2009, I spent more hours on the senate floor fighting against Obamacare than I have on any issue. Twenty-five days we fought – we fought even until the morning of Christmas Eve. And to somehow say that ‘Well, these guys, they’re not against Obamacare, they don’t fight hard enough” – I fought on the floor when it really mattered, when I thought we could beat it but we didn’t because they [the Democrats] had the votes just as they have now.”
Cruz took to the senate floor shortly before 3:00pm eastern Tuesday afternoon to delay a vote on the continuing resolution that would fund the federal government beyond September 30, as the resolution in its current form provides funding for Obamacare. McCain told Cavuto that his opposition to Cruz’s ‘faux filibuster’ had nothing to do with the topic at hand, but rather from the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) already had the votes to pass the continuing resolution in the chamber.
“We’re not going to succeed because we ultimately don’t have the votes,” McCain continued. “Eighty percent of the American people say that they do not want the government shut down,” adding that he saw the reaction of the American people first-hand when the government last shut down in 1995.
“The American people literally rebelled because Americans don’t like government – but they don’t want it shut down,” he added.
The senate ultimately passed the first of the procedural votes to pass the continuing resolution unanimously on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, the moderate Republican nicknamed Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan “wacko birds.”
“It’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone,” McCain told the Huffington Post in March. “I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They’re not.”
He does claim, however, to have a very good working relationship with the junior senator from Texas, even telling Cavuto that he “admires” him.
Watch McCain’s comments below.