Sen. John McCain hosted a town hall meeting in downtown Tucson Monday, asking business owners to tell him how the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” has affected hiring and other business decisions.
The Arizona Republican spoke to about 60 people, including many business leaders, at Tucson Electric Power, 88 E. Broadway. Here are excerpts from what he said about Obamacare and other topics.
“What Obamacare is really all about is spreading the wealth around. In other words, taking money from young, healthy individuals and transferring it to seniors. … What Obamacare really was about is social engineering.”
ON IMMIGRATION REFORM
“I’ve tried very hard, as you know, and worked with seven other senators on a comprehensive reform bill that passed the Senate. The House of Representatives has not moved. We have pleaded with our House colleagues to take up any aspect of the bill so we could go to conference. … We’re willing to compromise. We’re willing to negotiate. And so far the House of Representatives has failed to act. There are some signs that they are beginning to at least think about it.”
ON THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
“It was a fool’s errand. We were not going to defund Obamacare because of the 2012 election re-elected Barack Obama. It would have taken 67 votes in the United States Senate to override a presidential veto even if we had passed laws repealing Obamacare.”
“It did terrible damage to our state. I was outraged by it. I argued against it. Six hundred thousand people were turned away from our national parks in Arizona during that period. … The collateral damage of what it did to innocent citizens of this state was infuriating to me.”
ON MILITARY SEQUESTRATION
“I’m doing everything that I can to at least give the military some flexibility as to where to make these cuts rather than it be an across-the-board meat-ax fashion. (Sequestration) not only has an impact on the men and women who are serving, but also on the contractors who work at the bases and on civilian personnel. It sooner or later it is going to have an effect on the economy of our whole state, particularly Southern Arizona.”
ON THE F-35
“I didn’t make the case to the secretary of the Air Force or the secretary of defense, ‘Hey, you’ve got to send the F-35 because of the economy of my state to Yuma or to Davis-Monthan.’ I made the case with the Goldwater Ranges and with the weather and the facilities that we have. I made the argument for the F-35 in that fashion. The A-10 is a very valuable aircraft. I don’t think they’re going to buy as many F-35s as they can. I will continue and have continued to make the case that Davis-Monthan and the A-10 are valuable, and (the A-10 is) much more capable and less expensive than the F-35. If you think I’m going to say send anything to a base in my state just because it’s in my state, you’ve got the wrong senator. I make the case for our nation’s defense. That’s my obligation.”
ON IRAN DEAL
“This is a terrorist nation and one that has continuously cheated on this whole issue of nuclear weapons. … This is not a good deal.”