Soon after Cruz finished his 21-hour marathon speech on defunding the Affordable Care Act Wednesday, McCain rebutted portions of the Republican Texas senator's comments, which McCain said didn't recognize that "elections have consequences," ABC News said.
McCain bristled at Cruz's comparison of those who think Obamacare will not be defunded to Nazis.
"If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany," Cruz said Tuesday during his discourse. "Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, 'Accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them.'"
"I resoundingly reject that allegation," McCain said on the Senate floor. "That allegation in my view does a great disservice, a great disservice for those brave Americans and those who stood up and said what's happening in Europe cannot stand."
He also said many of those leading the fight to strip the healthcare law of funding weren't senators when Republicans tried to stop the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
"Many of those who are in opposition right now were not here at the time and did not take part in that debate," McCain said. "The record is very clear of one of the most hard fought, fair, in my view, debates that has taken place on the floor of the Senate."
McCain, who ran against Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and campaigned for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, noted that Obamacare, as the Affordable Care Act is colloquially known, was a major issue in last year's campaign, but the American people showed their position on the issue by re-electing Obama.
"That doesn't mean that we give up our efforts to try to replace and repair Obamacare, but it does mean that elections have consequences," McCain said. "Those elections were clear in a significant majority that a majority of the American people supported the president of the United States and renewed his stewardship of this country."
McCain is one of several Republican senators who said Obamacare would not be defunded in the Senate, which Cruz disputes.
"The single biggest surprise on arriving to the Senate is the defeatist attitude here," Cruz said in a radio interview with conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh Wednesday. "We don't even talk about how to win a fight. If you had to sit through one Senate lunch, you'd be in therapy."
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Cruz's speech "has actually advanced our cause," ABC News said.
"He has alienated some of his colleagues," Schumer said, "he has united Democrats and he has shown the American people that he is willing to hold them and their well-being hostage unless he gets his way."