Cindy McCain said that her husband, the late Sen. John McCain, would be “terribly upset” about several recent events and she lamented the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to speak out.
“I think he’d be disgusted with some of the stuff that’s going on,” McCain told “Axe Files” host David Axelrod in an interview airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.
McCain said that her husband, who had a reputation of occasionally bucking his party during his long Washington career, would “be railing against what’s going on.”
“I think John provided a lot of cover for other members. And when he would do it, then they could get behind him kind of thing. And I’m not seeing that — a real rudder in the Senate right now in all this happening,” McCain said.
Asked by Axelrod why Republicans appear to be afraid to take on the President, McCain said the reason has to do with wanting to be reelected.
“I’m not being critical, because I understand what it means to get reelected. But at some point, you have to do what you were elected to do, and that is represent the country, as well as your local people,” McCain said. “But I think John would be- — I know he’d be terribly upset by this whole thing.”
In the last years of his life, John McCain had been outspoken against President Donald Trump, mainly on foreign policy. In turn, Trump attacked the Arizona Republican, questioning whether he was a war hero and criticizing him even after his passing.
When McCain died in 2018, his family decided not to invite Trump to the funeral, but asked former Presidents George W. Bush, McCain’s former rival in the 2000 GOP presidential primary, and Barack Obama, who faced off against McCain in the 2008 presidential election, to deliver eulogies for him.
Cindy McCain told Axelrod that inviting Trump would have been “very disruptive” to her children.
“I had to worry about my family, and the family was somewhat bitter about things that had been said about their dad,” McCain said, adding, “I just didn’t want any disruption. I didn’t want anything to overshadow John McCain that day because that’s why we were there.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden also delivered a deeply personal tribute at his old friend’s funeral in 2018. Biden and McCain’s friendship dated to their time together in the US Senate that led to their two families becoming close and even consoling one another during difficult times.
Cindy McCain said she was “very disappointed” in Trump’s recent attacks against Biden, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, and his pushing of unproven accusations that the Biden family is corrupt.
Cindy McCain told Axelrod she would vouch for Biden’s integrity, saying, “There’s no reason to, in my opinion, to disparage anyone that’s running just because you disagree with them.”
“I think he’s a lovely man,” McCain said of Biden. “I mean, I really do. I differ with him on his politics all too often, but that’s OK. Our friendship goes way beyond that. I mean, Joe Biden has kept this family together in many ways.”