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Dem Rep: McCain Will Make ‘Good Choices’ on Health Care Because He’s ‘Staring Death in the Face’

(Updated)

• September 21, 2017 10:23 pm

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Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright (Pa.) told a group of voters he does not think Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) will vote for the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare because "he's staring death in the face right now."

The comments, flagged by the Washington Examiner, came at a town hall meeting Tuesday at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Tamaqua, Pa.

"McCain I'm worried about. Also because the governor of Arizona came out in favor of the Lindsey Graham-Bill Cassidy bill so that puts pressure on McCain," Cartwright said.

Then, Cartwright said that he has hopes for Arizona's senior senator.

"But, man, something tells me McCain, he's staring death in the face right now, so he's probably going to make good choices and he's not going to bend to political pressure," he said.

The comment comes two weeks after McCain returned full-time to the Senate after receiving treatment for brain cancer. McCain's diagnosis became public in July.

Cartwright released a statement Thursday night apologizing for what he called an "insensitive" remark.

"I want to express my deep admiration for Senator McCain and gratitude for his service to our nation," he said. "I have reached out to apologize directly to him and his family for my statement about his illness, which I agree was insensitive, and which has clearly offended the McCain family. I know he will continue to fight for the people of Arizona and this country during his courageous battle with this disease. I wish a full and speedy recovery."

McCain joined two other Republicans in voting against the "skinny repeal" of Obamacare in July, dooming the measure as Republicans could only afford to lose two GOP votes.

McCain's daughter Meghan McCain slammed Cartwright's initial remarks on Twitter.

UPDATED Friday, 7:02 A.M.: This article was updated with Cartwright's statement and Meghan McCain's response.