Cindy McCain says ‘Our country is not well’
One year after her husband’s death, Cindy McCain said the nation is not well and needs to return to a more civil style of politics.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” the widow of Sen. John McCain said she still misses the Arizona Republican as much as ever, and insisted she was not overly hurt by Sen. Lindsey Graham’s now-close relations with President Donald Trump.
McCain said she is “doing OK,” but could not offer the same sense for America, saying that her husband, who famously feuded with Trump, would be most upset by what is happening in immigration and border security these days.
“Our country is not well right now,” she said. “We need to get our act together, No. 1, and step back and take a breath. This country is made up of immigrants. We’re made up of people of every color, every creed and that’s what makes us special.
“John would be very discouraged about the border situation right now. He would also be the voice of reason in all of this, which is what we’re sorely lacking right now,” she added. “I don’t see anyone carrying the voice-of-reason mantle right now. I’m hoping someone will bubble up.”
McCain could not offer encouraging words about the Republican Party, either. She said the GOP is not the party of former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.
Even so, McCain, who last week called for acts of civility touted on social media as a tribute to her husband, tried to sound an optimistic tone for the future.
John McCain: Biography of Arizona’s senator and political maverick
“I believe this pendulum is going to swing back,” she said. “I don’t know when, but I just don’t believe we’re going to stick right here on the side that’s just disruptive and mean and non-progressive in any way.”
McCain said she remained friends with her husband’s colleagues in the Senate, but reacted coolly when asked specifically about Graham, R-S.C., who was often McCain’s sidekick in the Senate, but who has more recently emerged as a reliable booster for Trump. He is up for re-election next year.
“Lindsey has his own political career to worry about and his own political life,” McCain said. “I would just hope that in the long run everyone would begin to move in the right direction, including Lindsey or anybody else. Lindsey’s a part of my family. He’s a good friend and I cannot and will not be critical of Lindsey.”
For his part, Graham, in an interview Sunday with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” was respectful of McCain and her family and remained steadfast in his support of Trump.
Asked about the lack of civility that McCain has cited, Graham said: “It’s a rough-and-tumble America, but America’s always been pretty rough-and-tumble.”
“Cindy McCain has taken over his job for the family. Nobody was ever better taken care of in an illness than Cindy provided care to John,” Graham added. “She’s doing a great job on her own, in (fighting) human trafficking, and to the four boys and three daughters, they’re doing great. They miss their dad. I miss him, but my job is to carry on and help this president where I can and I will.”
Reach the reporter Ronald J. Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-4493. Follow him on Twitter @ronaldjhansen.
Subscribe to our free political podcast, The Gaggle.