Democratic House Candidate Apologizes After Controversial McCain Brain Cancer Comment

November 09, 2017Nov 09, 2017

Minnesota House Democratic candidate Dean Phillips just apologized to John McCain. The apology came after he remarked that the Arizona Senator only has the courage to oppose President Trump because of his recent brain cancer diagnosis. 

"First and foremost, I apologize to Sen. McCain for referencing his health, which I should not have done," said Phillips, according to The Hill. "I greatly admire Sen. McCain's service to our country as well as his courage, and have for a long time."

"The point I was trying to make is that too many Republicans in Congress today — unlike Sen. McCain, Sen. Collins and a few others — have shown a troubling lack of courage and willingness to stand up for their constituents, including when it comes to protecting their access to affordable healthcare," he said.

On top of suggesting that McCain is only standing up to Trump because he has brain cancer, the candidate also suggested that Corker and Flake are only speaking out against Trump because they plan on retiring. Indeed, both Flake and Corker, who are both two of Trump's harshest critics in the Republican Party, have announced that they will not be seeking re-election in 2018. 

According to the Washington Examiner, Phillips is running against Representative Erik Paulsen, a Republican from Minnesota. His comments came in the midst of Senator John McCain's brain cancer diagnosis and treatment, which began in July of this year. 

Phillips is the main Democrat running against Paulsen, a five-term Republican. He won in 2016 by nearly 17 points over his Democratic opponent, but Democrats are hopeful that Phillips might be the candidate to finally beat Paulsen. Phillips, a 48-year-old man with a business background, is one of four Democrats trying to get the seat. 

You can watch the candidate's full comments about John McCain in the video below. 

"I've been tweeting on occasion about saluting [Republican Sens.] Bob Corker and John McCain and Jeff Flake—men who have shown a little bit of courage speaking truth to their own party," said Phillips in his original comment. 

"But it shouldn't take brain cancer and the retirement from the Senate to do so," he added.

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