During his keynote speech at a National Rifle Association convention Friday, President Donald Trump took another shot at the late Republican Senator John McCain for his decisive vote against repealing Obamacare—just minutes after newly announced Democratic candidate Joe Biden comforted the senator’s daughter Meghan McCain on national TV.
Trump told NRA members in Indianapolis at the organization’s annual Leadership Forum for its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), that he has “cut regulations more than any president in the history of our country.” He added, “We gave you the largest tax cut in the history of our country, the biggest ever.”
The president then bragged about one particular aspect of his tax reform—the removal of a financial penalty for taxpayers who hadn’t obtained healthcare during the previous year.
“We got the individual mandate, the absolute worst part of Obamacare eliminated, now we’re going for the rest,” Trump said, then referred to John McCain without naming the Arizona senator who passed in 2018.
“And we had it done except for one vote,” Trump said, pointing a finger up. “You know what I’m talking about. One vote.”
Though the senator died nearly eight months ago of brain cancer, Trump has not let go of McCain’s deciding vote against the White House-backed plan to repeal the majority of the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare. Trump has reenacted John McCain’s thumbs-down gesture several times since that fateful vote in 2017.
Trump’s veiled attack on the senator took place shortly after former Vice President Joe Biden comforted Meghan McCain on the show she co-hosts, ABC’s The View. Meghan McCain welcomed Biden, who officially announced his 2020 presidential bid on Thursday, with a hug.
The co-host asked Biden, whose son Beau died of the same form of brain cancer as John McCain’s, “Does death ever get easier?”
“There will come a time when you walk by that closet or smell that fragrance or sit out on the porch at that ranch,” Biden said, bringing up memories of the senator, who was his friend. “You’re gonna get a smile before you get a tear, and that’s when you’ll know you’re gonna make it.”
Biden also told Meghan McCain, “There are lots of people who go through worse than what we have, and they get up and do it every day without the help we’ve had.”
Meghan McCain asked Biden how much his son, who had hoped his father would run for president in 2016, was part of his decision enter the 2020 race.
“There’s going to come a time when you think of your dad… you’re gonna get a smile before you get a tear.”@JoeBiden, who lost his son Beau to the same cancer as Sen. John McCain, discusses grief with @MeghanMcCain after the loss of her father. https://t.co/h9YkkB1s9Z pic.twitter.com/4jDlYXBCkH
— The View (@TheView) April 26, 2019
“He’s not why I’m running,” Biden said tearing up. “But I hope he’s proud.”
As Trump has kept attacking John McCain, even in death, the late senator’s daughter has continued to defend her father’s legacy and criticize the president.
Trump said John McCain’s “book bombed” in a private lunch with television anchors six months after the senator died, according to a New York Times report.
“The president’s obsession with my father 6 months after his death is pathetic and telling,” Meghan McCain tweeted in February. “Even at a time when he should be focusing on his message to the American public and the state of our union—the greatness of my father’s life and legacy haunts you.”
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