Sen. Ron Johnson: maybe John McCain voted down the health care bill because of his brain tumor

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) (C), Ron Johnson (R-WI) (L) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
 Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has already explained why he chose to vote against the Senate’s health bill, but Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) had a different theory: Maybe it was his brain tumor.

“I’m not gonna speak for John McCain — he has a brain tumor right now — that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in,” Johnson said in a radio interview last week, first surfaced by CNN.

McCain announced he had been diagnosed with brain cancer the week before the health care vote, after having surgery to remove a blood clot from behind his eye. He is currently at home in Arizona undergoing treatment.

In coming back to Washington to vote, questions around McCain’s health were largely around the dangers of flying cross-country mid-recovery from brain surgery. Johnson, however, continued to assert that McCain’s medical condition potentially compromised his vote:

Again, I-I-I don’t know exactly what — we really thought — and again I don’t want speak for any senator. I really thought John was going to vote yes to send that to conference at 10:30 at night. By about 1, 1:30, he voted no. So you have talk to John in terms what was on his mind.

Needless to say, McCain’s team was shocked by the comments.

“It is bizarre and deeply unfortunate that Senator Johnson would question the judgment of a colleague and friend. Senator McCain has been very open and clear about the reasons for his vote,” McCain spokesperson Julie Tarallo told CNN.

The backlash prompted Johnson to expand on his earlier interview with an apology of sorts — stating he was “disappointed” in his own lack of eloquence about McCain’s medical condition.