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 McCainChoking — not cheating — was Trump's undoing Gabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in McConnell in tough position as House eyes earmark return MORE (R-Ariz.) deserves the blame for the GOP losing its majority in the House.

Rep. Jason LewisJason LewisRep. Angie Craig defends Minnesota House seat in race clouded by legal confusion Smith wins reelection in Minnesota Klobuchar 'feeling good' about Democrats taking control of Senate 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.'" 


"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Last year, McCain cast the decisive vote to reject a GOP effort to pass the American Health Care Act, which would have repealed part of the Affordable Care Act.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.