Defeated GOP lawmaker blames McCain for losing House — in Veterans Day op-ed

Defeated GOP lawmaker blames McCain for losing House — in Veterans Day op-ed
© Greg Nash

A GOP lawmaker who was defeated in last week's midterm elections wrote in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal that the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Anti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid McCain's family, McCain Institute to promote #ActsOfCivility in marking first anniversary of senator's death MORE (R-Ariz.) deserves the blame for the GOP losing its majority in the House.

Rep. Jason LewisJason Mark LewisThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Republicans must push through genuine health care reform MORE (R-Minn.), who lost his reelection bid to Democratic challenger Angie Craig, wrote in the op-ed that McCain's vote last year to kill a repeal of the Affordable Care Act "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.'" 

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"That line was the Democrats’ most potent attack in the midterms. It was endlessly repeated by overt partisans in the media," he wrote.

The op-ed was published on Sunday, which was Armistice Day. Sunday was also Nov. 11, the day Veterans Day is traditionally observed. McCain in 1967 was captured in Vietnam and held as a prisoner of war for five years.

Last year, McCain cast the decisive vote to reject a GOP effort to pass the American Health Care Act, which would have repealed part of the Affordable Care Act. With McCain's vote, the bill died in the Senate after having passed in the House.

"House leadership had done an admirable job herding cats. ... Then McCain’s inscrutable vote against the Senate’s 'skinny repeal' killed the reform effort," Lewis wrote.

McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, called the op-ed "abhorrent" in a tweet on Monday.

Lewis won a narrow election victory in 2016 before losing his bid for reelection to Craig by just over 5 percentage points last week. 

--This report was updated at 12:02 p.m.