Ron Johnson suggests McCain’s brain cancer could have affected health care vote

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) talks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Aug. 2. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who voted in favor of the GOP plan to repeal parts of Obamacare last month, suggested Tuesday that Sen. John McCain’s deciding vote against the proposal may have been related to his brain cancer.

“I’m not going to speak for John McCain, you know, he has a brain tumor right now, that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in,” Johnson said on the radio program “Chicago’s Morning Answer.”

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The comments immediately raised eyebrows and prompted some rebukes on Twitter Wednesday after they were first reported by CNN.

In the interview, the radio host asked Johnson to clarify — “Really?” the host asked him, “You really think that that played a factor in his judgment call?” — and Johnson did not recant the comments.

“Again, I-I-I don’t know exactly what — we really thought that — and again I don’t want speak for any senator,” Johnson said. “I really thought John was going to vote yes to send that to conference at 10:30 at night.”

“By about 1, 1:30, he voted no, so you’d have talk to John for what was on his mind,” he continued.

McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor last month and underwent surgery to remove it; he’s now receiving further treatment at home in Arizona.

McCain’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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