Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ripped into the president on Sunday for abandoning his pledge to foster bipartisanship in Washington, accusing Obama of creating a more toxic political environment than that which existed during the Clinton administration.
"In some ways, of course, yeah," McCain told Fox News Sunday when asked if the Obama White House was more partisan than Bill Clinton's. "At least under Hillarycare they tried to seriously negotiate with Republicans. There has been no effort that I know of -- of serious across the table negotiations -- such as I have engaged in with other administrations. And that was the commitment that the president made."
McCain, who squared off against Obama during the 2008 campaign, harped on two main issues: the deal the White House made with the pharmaceutical industry to secure its support of health care reform, and the fact that no C-SPAN cameras had been brought into Senator Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office as the majority leader tinkered with the health care legislation.
"There has never been serious cross-the-table negotiations on any serious issue that I've engaged in -- and that I and others have engaged in -- with other administrations both Republican and Democrat," said McCain.
If blame for the partisan environment was to go mutually to Republicans as well as the president, McCain wasn't offering it. The Arizona Republican never mentioned the role played by the GOP (nor was he asked by host Chris Wallace) in overtly trying to derail health care reform. He was, however, asked if he had grown more conservative and combative in the 11 months since the election.
"I, unfortunately, have always been combative," he said, adding that's he's always been conservative as well.