During his address at the “Save America Summit” at Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida, Paul called for the ousting of Senate Republicans who crossed party lines to vote with Democrats against repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“This is our problem: seven Republicans voted to keep Obamacare. You remember John McCain doing it. We won’t name all others, but that’s the thing, this is our problem,” he told the crowd.
“We know the Democrats want to have socialised health medicine and national health care, but the Republicans that say they’re for it, we gotta keep them honest, and you gotta send home the ones that lie to you.”
In 2017, Senate Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare on a 49-51 vote, with three of their own members breaking with the party.
GOP Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined McCain, who passed away from brain cancer in 2018, in voting to quash their party’s lengthy effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
It is unclear whether Paul misspoke when he said there were seven Republicans that voted to keep Obamacare. Newsweek reached out to Paul’s representatives for comment.
“I sat there with Senator McCain. I think both of us recognize that it’s very hard to disappoint your colleagues,” Murkowski said after the vote, according to NBC News. “And I know that there is disappointment because it was the three votes that Senator McCain, Senator Collins, and I cast that did not allow this bill to move forward. And that is difficult.”
She added: “But I believe each of us stood up for the reasons that we felt were right.”
Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said, “We told our constituents we would vote that way and when the moment came, most of us did. This is clearly a disappointment. It’s time to move on.”
“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!” ex-President Donald Trump tweeted at the time.
The senate vote came two months after 20 House Republicans—most of whom were centrists representing battleground states—voted against the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in the chamber. The House narrowly passed the legislation with a 217-213 vote.
On Friday, embattled GOP Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida also spoke at the “Save America Summit,” hosted by Women for America First, a group that organized controversial pro-Trump rallies in Washington D.C. on January 6.