Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on America’s Radio News today to discuss the campaign, but about 6:30 into the interview, host Chris Salcedo asked McCain a very pointed question. Back when the Republicans held the Senate, as the leadership threatened to deploy the “nuclear option” to remove the 60-vote requirement to get a bill past cloture and undo a Democratic filibuster, McCain and others created a bipartisan “Gang of 14” to take that option off the table. They did this, they said at the time, in the name of protecting the Senate minority’s rights. But in 2011, as Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened to deploy the nuclear option to undo a GOP filibuster, there was no “Gang of 14” from McCain or anyone else. Reid eventually used the nuclear option. Salcedo asked McCain about that, and McCain agreed, calling it a “failure of us to get together and enforce what we agreed to.”
If that isn’t the story of the Republican Party in Washington over the last few years, I don’t know what is.
McCain segued from that admission to a pledge:
MCCAIN: Probably much more alarming than that, Chris, is the NLRB and Consumer Protection appointment during a, quote, recess and we were not in recess. We’ve got to fight that all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. That’s gotta be one of our highest priorities. That is abuse of executive power. And in my view, it is a clear violation of the Constitution of the United States, because we were not recessed.
Sen. McCain added that Obama’s actions constitute a “very very serious” abuse of his presidential power.