The argument over healthcare reform that erupted Thursday between President Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., continued Friday.
McCain criticized Obama Friday on ABC’s "Good Morning America," saying the public strongly opposes his healthcare proposals.
The Arizona senator and other Republicans want to start over on healthcare reform. He urges negotiations on a simpler, less comprehensive plan.
“The president is very good at defining the opposition’s position in a way that’s most favorable to him,” McCain said.
“For example, he said we can’t afford another year of debate. We don’t want another year of debate. What we’re saying is let’s start on these areas we agree on. . . and go step by step.”
Republicans have the public on their side, McCain says: “The American people are overwhelmingly against what they’re trying to do.”
The two combatants from the 2008 presidential campaign argued face-to-face over healthcare at the bipartisan healthcare summit Thursday.
McCain criticized the president for “unsavory” deals with drug and hospital companies. He also opposes the extra Medicare and Medicaid funding approved for states with key Democratic senators.
Obama interrupted McCain’s remarks, saying “We’re not campaigning anymore. The election is over," Obama said.
McCain responded: “I’m reminded of that every day.”
Several factors are at work here. First, the president and senator obviously disagree over what constitutes the best healthcare reform.
Second, there is probably lingering animosity between the duo from their presidential battle.
And finally, McCain challenges a stiff primary challenge for his Senate seat from former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who is attacking from the right.
McCain has played up his opposition to Obama in the Senate campaign.
"President Obama is leading an extreme left-wing crusade to bankrupt America,'' McCain said in one of his radio ads. “I stand in his way every day. "If I get a bruise or two knocking some sense into heads in Washington, so be it.''
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