Lou Dobbs: Political criticism of McCain 'not an exhumation of his body'

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs on Thursday again defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE for his recent criticism of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era Earth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing MORE (R-Ariz.), arguing such criticism "is not an exhumation of his body" but "a review of his record as a politician."

Dobbs pointed to several pieces, including from The Hill and The Daily Caller on Wednesday, that said the longtime host was defending the president for his controversial comments.

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“The Daily Caller said ‘Lou Dobbs defends Trump against GOP critics over McCain comments,' ” Dobbs said in an interview with New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin and Republican strategist Ed Rollins. “I do, I did, and I will. As I said, the president is speaking out about what he sees as betrayal by Senator McCain when he voted against the repeal of ObamaCare.”

Dobbs was referring to the president's criticism of McCain's infamous "thumbs down" vote against the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. Trump says McCain had campaigned on repealing the law and then flipped while in office.

“He went thumbs down, badly hurting the Republican Party, badly hurting our nation and hurting many sick people who desperately wanted good, affordable health care,” Trump said on Wednesday during a speech at a tank manufacturer in Lima, Ohio.

New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin evoked not speaking "ill of the dead" in pushing back on Dobbs, adding he would prefer that Trump also avoid the topic of McCain. 

"I did criticize the president for the attacks on McCain because, not because I don’t think he’s right, I think he is right about the facts," Goodwin said. "It’s just that McCain is dead and it seems to me an old custom that would not speak ill of the dead. So I would prefer that he let that one go."

Dobbs shot back that it "is not an exhumation of his body," but a review of his politics.

“You talk about John McCain being dead. I don’t think that that in any way," Dobbs responded. "It is not an exhumation of his body, for God sake! It is a review of his record as a politician. Not as a war hero 35 years ago, 40 years ago. It is an honest assessment of who he was and what he did. And what he did is as clear as a bell." 

Dobbs joined Fox Business in 2011 after an extended run at CNN. He has hosted the most-watched program in business news for 34 consecutive months, averaging 376,000 viewers per night.