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Tipsheet

Defeated GOP Congressman Blames John McCain for House Losses in Veterans Day Op-ed

Wall Street Journal readers were stunned to see a recently defeated GOP congressman accuse John McCain of costing Republicans the House in an op-ed on Sunday. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), who lost to Democrat Angie Craig in his re-election bid in Minnesota's second district, says McCain really ruined it for all Republicans by voting against the skinny repeal of Obamacare in 2017.

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The Republican Party lost its House majority on July 28, 2017, when Sen. John McCain ended the party’s seven-year quest to repeal ObamaCare. House leadership had done an admirable job herding cats. On the second try, we passed the American Health Care Act in May. Then McCain’s inscrutable vote against the Senate’s “skinny repeal” killed the reform effort.

McCain’s last-minute decision prompted a “green wave” of liberal special-interest money, which was used to propagate false claims that the House plan “gutted coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.” That line was the Democrats’ most potent attack in the midterms. (Wall Street Journal)

Yes, it's true McCain became infamous in conservative circles for voting against and derailing the skinny repeal of Obamacare, but he can hardly be blamed for all those GOP losses in the midterms. According to election analysts, Democrats just started using health care as a "political weapon." More than half of Democratic campaign ads in 2018 mentioned health care. In a POLITICO/Morning Consult survey, 48 percent of those surveyed said they trusted Democrats on health care, as opposed to only 35 percent for Republicans.

Lewis's critics shared their "disgust" in Lewis's choice to blame McCain for all of it. Did he forget that two other Republicans - Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AL) and Susan Collins (ME) - also voted "no"?

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Others say the op-ed was especially jarring because of the unfortunate timing. It was published on Veterans Day Sunday.

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