Arizona Sen. John McCain says President Obama made history "for all the wrong reasons" Thursday after following through on his threat to veto legislation authorizing Defense Department programs over the next year.

In a scathing op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the notoriously hawkish Republican senator accused the president of "playing politics with national defense" and "taking down the military's welfare" by blocking the National Defense Authorization Act.

"Before Thursday, such bills had been vetoed by only four past presidents — in 1978, 1988, 1995 and 2007," McCain noted in his reaction piece published Thursday evening. "In each case, the president objected to an actual provision in the bill, and each time Congress's Armed Services committees were able to find a compromise that earned the presidential signature."

Obama, however, told members of the press Thursday that he vetoed the bill because he thought it fell "woefully short" since it included existing budget cuts and prevented him from closing Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, which he's repeatedly promised to accomplish by the end of his second term.

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