By ERICA WERNER
WASHINGTON In high drama at the Capitol, Sen. John McCain on Tuesday delivered a crucial vote in the Republican drive to dismantle the health care law, a win for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders, and then leveled a broadside at how the GOP got there.
As the 80-year-old McCain entered the chamber, Republicans and Democrats applauded and whooped, with a few hugs for the six-term Arizona lawmaker who is battling brain cancer. “Aye,” he said for the GOP vote to move ahead on debate.
After he voted, McCain stood at his seat and accepted hugs and handshakes from all senators in both parties, drawing laughter from the gallery when he and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders exchanged an awkward hug.
McCain then spoke on the Senate floor, his face pale, cheek bruised and a visible red scar and stitches above his left eye where doctors had removed a blood clot. His voice strong, he offered a bit of self-deprecation before launching into an impassioned speech, saying he was “looking a little worse for wear.”
He bemoaned the lack of legislative action in Congress, the GOP’s secretive process in working on repealing and replacing Obamacare and a plea for Democrats and Republicans to work together.
“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, television and Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood,” McCain said. “Let’s trust each other. Let’s return to regular order. We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle.”
He reminded his colleagues: “Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the president’s subordinates. We are his equal!”
McCain also said he would not vote for the current GOP version of…