Sen. John McCain, in his first interview since being diagnosed with brain cancer, said "we did not have a plan" when he voted against the stripped down healthcare bill.
"What we were going to do, and I'm sure that ... I guess (it's) a little arcane, but take a skinny bill as they called it, and give it to a conference of House and Senate people. But no input, no amendments, and then have them put out a product that was going to be an up and down vote in both the House and Senate."
McCain said he was "confident" that a healthcare bill could be put before Trump to sign by the end of the year.
"I believe that there's no doubt in anybody's mind that we can put in the right fixes," he said. "And the best way to do that – have a committee, and by the way I'm not a member of that committee — put it through the committee, have the debate, have the amendments, put out a product, bring it to the floor, have more amendments, and then when we have the final vote, then it would carry. The normal way we're supposed to do business."
Broomhead asked McCain about the speech he gave after the Senate's first vote on a healthcare bill, which marked his return to the Senate following his surgery that resulted in his cancer diagnosis.
"In all the years I've been there, I have never seen the entire Senate sit there and listen to a speech by a senator," McCain said. "And I had many of my colleagues, they have never seen that before. So that, when I started speaking, I looked around and every seat was filled, it made me a bit … I was flattered, I was honored, that they would all sit there and listen to what I had to say, whether they agreed or disagreed.
"It was very touching. And then of course afterwards, they all came over, Repub and Dem, and so it was a very touching moment, and a lot of people say that in some ways it was historic. And despite what someone will tell you, I did not plan it — I did not plan that sequence of events. The reason I came in late to vote was because [Vice President Mike] Pence had dragged me into the VP's office to listen to the pres telling me to vote the other way. But it was very touching, very moving, and ... I am the luckiest person you will ever have on your show ever. And I am very aware of that, and I am very happy. So for a guy that stood at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, we've come a hell of a long way."
McCain also told Broomhead that cancer treatments have forced him to change his diet, and not for the better.
"I'm getting treatment and feeling good and having to eat and drink everything I hate," McCain said. "Everything that you would hate to eat or drink I have to eat or drink. First of all it has to taste bad, and second of all it has to be healthy — neither of which have been priorities in my life."
McCain echoed his hatred of his diet while also expressing his readiness to return to Congress after recess.
"It's a tough challenge, of course, but I'm getting the best care you can possibly have, I'm eating well, I'm feeling fine, getting plenty of exercise," he said. "I expect Congress to go out pretty soon and I'll be ready to go back in September. Part of it is this healthy diet I've been on — I hate it, I hate it."
He also told host Broomhead that he's "doing the things we do during recess. Having meetings, appointments, I'll be traveling a little more around the state. The best thing whenever you're faced with a challenge like this is stay busy. It's good for you, it's good for your health, and the doctors have told me that because of my good physical shape, because of staying busy and all that ... you know, it's very tough. But look — you've just got to go on and do your job, and I'm able to do my job. I must say, if you don't mind if I say this, thank you for all the cards and letters and calls it's been very deeply moving to me — even those that said, ‘I hope you die but you're still a good guy.' "