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Brain tumor affected McCain vote, GOP senator suggests


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) arrives for work on Capitol Hill hours after voting NO on the GOP 'Skinny Repeal' health care bill, on July 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) arrives for work on Capitol Hill hours after voting NO on the GOP ‘Skinny Repeal’ health care bill, on July 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has suggested fellow Republican Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor and the after-midnight timing of the vote were factors in McCain’s decisive vote against the GOP health care bill.

Johnson’s comments in a radio interview Tuesday with AM560 “Chicago’s Morning Answer” drew a response from McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo. She said, “it is bizarre and deeply unfortunate that Senator Johnson would question the judgment of a colleague and friend.”

Johnson, however, has since spoken out regarding the tone of his comments.

“I’m disappointed I didn’t more eloquently express my sympathy for what Sen. McCain is going through,” Johnson said in a statement to CNBC. “I have nothing but respect for him and the vote came at the end of a long day for everyone.”

McCain said he voted against the bill last month because it fell short of the Republican promise to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act with meaningful reform.

Johnson said in the interview McCain had “a brain tumor right now. That vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning. Some of that might have factored in.”

CNBC.com contributed to this report.

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