U.S. Senator John McCain takes talkathoner Ted Cruz to woodshed

WASHINGTON Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:32pm EDT

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) leaves the Senate chamber after fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz (not Pictured) held a marathon attack on ''Obamacare'' at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) leaves the Senate chamber after fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz (not Pictured) held a marathon attack on ''Obamacare'' at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator John McCain lashed out at fellow Republican Ted Cruz on Wednesday over a Nazi appeasement comparison he made during his all-night, anti-Obamacare marathon on the U.S. Senate floor.

Speaking after Cruz had the floor for 21 hours and 19 minutes, McCain said he took umbrage at the Texas senator's efforts to pressure other Republicans to get behind his strategy for fighting President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

Cruz, a leader of the conservative Tea Party movement, has been urging his colleagues to join him in using the threat of a federal government shutdown to block funding for Obamacare.

McCain said he was particularly upset that Cruz had compared those unwilling to embrace his methods to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and others who were willing to appease Nazi Germany before World War Two.

McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, said the comparison was inappropriate. He said he had taken Cruz aside privately to tell him, and got a response he did not like: Cruz told him his appeaser reference applied not to distinguished members of the Senate but only media "pundits."

"I resoundingly reject" Cruz's comments, said McCain, a senior Republican and former presidential candidate.

"I think it's wrong and I think it's a disservice to those who stood up and shouted at the top of their lungs that we cannot appease and that we must act," he said.

He said the remarks were a disservice to those, including his father and grandfather, who fought in World War Two.

McCain also objected to the suggestion that Republicans who do not support Cruz's strategy were not fighting hard enough against the law, which most Republicans oppose.

(Reporting By Caren Bohan; Editing by Fred Barbash and Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (29)
Whipsplash wrote:
When you welcome anybody you can get in to your party be it religious fanatics or anti-government extremists, you should expect the kind of ignorance that has been on display from cruz.
The Hawks like McCain will be surprised the day the tea pukes hold the majority in the GOP and decide to cut his beloved military by half or more.

Sep 25, 2013 3:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cordstreet wrote:
John McCain was scared to talk with Cruz for 21 hours but as soon as Cruz was off the podium old kooky McCain comes along characteristically ignores the crux of Cruz’s remarks and settles in on something totally irrelevant. McCain is my Senator unfortunately and I’m embarrassed by him.

Sep 25, 2013 4:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cordstreet wrote:
Obsilutely, you are a liar. I was on his FB page and never were one of my comments deleted.

Sep 25, 2013 4:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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