Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday turned emotional while defending his longtime friend Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) from President Trump’s criticism.
“John, if you’re listening … nobody respects you more than I do,” he said during a CNN debate. “He is one of my dearest friends in the world.”
“John McCain can do whatever [he] damn well wants to,” Graham continued. “He’s earned that right.”
Graham than seemingly blinked back tears as he discussed McCain’s opposition to the GOP’s latest legislation for repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“So to any American who’s got a problem with John McCain’s vote, all I can tell you is that John McCain was willing to die for this country, and he can vote any way he wants to, and it doesn’t matter to me in terms of friendship,” he said of the Vietnam War veteran.
Some Twitter users on Tuesday criticized Graham for speaking favorably of McCain, while others praised the move.
For Lindsey Graham to make a statement about John McCain. Can vote any way he wants is CRAZY!What a friend!! With him who needs enemies !!!— Vicki Atkins (@VickiAt21339339) September 26, 2017
3. Simultaneously respect Lindsey Graham's defense of John McCain & hate his bill & defense of his bill. Both are possible.— Caring For Us (@caring_for_us) September 26, 2017
I truly do appreciate Lindsey Graham standing behind John McCain and his decision to vote against Graham's bill.— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 26, 2017
Trump on Monday shared footage of McCain vowing to repeal and replace Obamacare before accusing him of a “complete turn from years of talk!”
McCain announced last Friday he would oppose the latest Republican proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, essentially killing the party’s last shot at healthcare reform in 2017.
“The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them,” he said of Graham and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain added. “I believe we can do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not really tried.”
Republicans had been hurtling towards a Sept. 30 deadline for approving the measure on a majority vote before McCain’s decision.
Trump has long vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, and his fellow Republicans have repeatedly failed this year in accomplishing that goal.
McCain made an emotional return to the Senate floor after his brain cancer diagnosis.