President Trump attacked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on multiple fronts early Saturday morning over McCain's opposition to the latest Obamacare repeal effort.
In a swath of tweets, Trump said McCain was a disappointment to his home state of Arizona and his longtime friend in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is one of the co-authors behind the so-called "Graham-Cassidy bill," an amendment which would overhaul the Affordable Care Act and remove individual and employer mandates required by former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.
"John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill, which his Governor loves. He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!", Trump said in one tweet. He added that Arizona had a 116 percent increase in ObamaCare premiums last year, citing official HHS statistics. Trump also alleged that McCain, who also voted against the last GOP Obamacare repeal which failed to pass over the summer, was influenced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. – something Trump called "Sad."
Arizona had a 116% increase in ObamaCare premiums last year, with deductibles very high. Chuck Schumer sold John McCain a bill of goods. Sad— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
McCain announced in a statement Friday that he opposed the Graham-Cassidy bill because it did not receive sufficient consideration through hearings and markups in the Senate and that he prefers a bipartisan approach. "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," McCain said in a statement. "I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried."
Under the latest GOP legislative effort, the money currently being allocated to Obamacare's exchanges and Medicaid expansion would be given to the states through federal block grants. Trump said these "[large]" block grants to states "are a good thing to do" because they allow "Better control & management."
"Great for Arizona. McCain let his best friend L.G. down!", Trump said, a reference to Graham.
After McCain came out against the latest GOP healthcare reform effort, Graham said he "respectfully disagree[s]" with his friend, adding that his effort, co-authored with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., will "press on."
Trump also repeated his hope that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., might change his mind over his opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill "for the good of the Party!"
Paul has resisted the latest Obamacare repeal measure because he claims it does not do enough to dismantle Obamacare. Still, Saturday marks the second day in a row that Trump mentioned his name as being someone who might still come around.
During a Friday evening rally in Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange, who faces a runoff election next week, Trump leveraged McCain's relationship with Paul, noting how it would "ironic" if Paul replaced McCain as a yes vote for the healthcare legislation because the two "don't like each other."
"They gave me a list of 10 people that were absolute no's," Trump said of his efforts to whip support for the healthcare bill, noting Paul was on the list. "I haven't given up on him, because I think he may come around," Trump added Friday.
Trump's tweets Saturday morning also urged Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to "[come] through."
"Alaska had a 200% plus increase in premiums under ObamaCare, worst in the country. Deductibles high, people angry!" Trump tweeted. Murkowski joined McCain in voting down the last Obamacare repeal effort over the summer.
The White House has joined both Sens. Cassidy and Graham in trying to bring her around this go-around, which has included a number of phone interviews with Alaskan news outlets by Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday.
The Graham-Cassidy plan is expected to be brought to the floor next week. The Senate has until Sept. 30 to use the reconciliation tool that only requires 51 votes to repeal parts of Obamacare.