Obama Called McCain to Thank Him for Healthcare Repeal Vote, Senator Writes in New Book

Former President Barack Obama called and thanked U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) for voting against the repeal-and-replace measure of Obamacare last year, according to McCain in his soon-to-be-released book.

The memoir, titled The Restless Wave, delves into McCain's career, but also details the night of the dramatic vote that nearly resulted in the end of Obama's signature accomplishment in office.

However, McCain wrote that while he appreciated Obama's kind words, his "no" vote was not about Obama or his legacy.

"Among the people who called to thank me was President Obama," McCain writes, according to section published by The Daily Beast on Thursday. "I appreciated his call, but, as I said, my purpose hadn't been to preserve his signature accomplishment but to insist on a better alternative, and to give the Senate an opportunity to work together to find one."

McCain also explained that he had not been in contact with Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 election to claim the White House, prior to the vote.

"He hadn't called to lobby me before the vote, which I had appreciated. He had last called me not long after the November election, during the transition to the Trump administration, to congratulate me on my re-election," McCain writes. "He added that he was counting on me to be an outspoken and independent voice for the causes I believed in as I had been during his presidency. I thanked him, and said I would try to be."

The longtime Republican and senator, who is battling brain cancer and has already made plans for a funeral service in Washington, also writes that both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tried to convince him at the last minute to switch his vote, but McCain did not adhere.

McCain's vote made headlines in July not only because of the stance he took against his own party, but for the way he voted. He took to the Senate floor, held his arm out and paused before dropping a thumbs down, denying Trump a key legislative victory on one of his major campaign promises.