Cindy McCain says the GOP has "lost" its way and is "rewarding bad behavior" by booting Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHow Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to Donald Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Supreme Court rejects Trump's bid to shield records from Jan. 6 committee MORE (R-Wyo.) from her post as House Republican chairwoman while elevating an ally of former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' On student loans, Biden doesn't have an answer yet Grill company apologizes after sending meatloaf recipe on same day of rock star's death MORE.
"Our party is in such disarray right now," McCain, the author of the new memoir "Stronger" and the wife of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Redistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race MORE (R-Ariz.), said in a Monday interview with Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Amid multiple crises, Biden runs to NBC's safe space with Jimmy Fallon Biden to appear on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' on Friday MORE on CBS's "The Late Show."
"It's odd now, our party seems to be rewarding bad behavior and then trashing those who tell the truth and are honest about what's actually going on," McCain said about Republicans voting last week to replace Cheney, a frequent Trump critic, with Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse GOP leaders vow to end proxy voting despite widespread Republican use House GOP campaign arm rakes in 0M in 2021 JD Vance raises more than million in second fundraising quarter for Ohio Senate bid MORE (R-N.Y.).
Cheney, McCain said, has "handled herself beautifully."
Saying she has "great faith in the human spirit" and the Republican Party, McCain told Colbert, "I believe we'll find our way back. But I think it's going to take awhile."
Asked if her late husband, who died in 2018 of brain cancer, would be surprised by "how hard it is to break away" from Trump, McCain replied, "I feel deep in my heart that John would be very disappointed in what's going on and the lack of courage on the part of so many of our senators and congressmen to stand up for what this is."
"What we're seeing is the demise of the party of Abraham Lincoln right now," McCain continued. "We've been compromised in so many different ways and we're no longer practicing what we used to be, and that was the party of inclusion, the party of decency and debate that was not personal. But we're so far astray right now, it's awful."
"That was one of the reasons I endorsed Biden," McCain said. "There was a lack of character, a lack of decency, a lack of empathy — all the things it takes to be a good leader, and it was nonexistent in the White House."
McCain was censured by the Arizona Republican Party in January for endorsing then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion The Fed has a clear mandate to mitigate climate risks Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' MORE, rather than Trump.
McCain quipped Monday of the censure that she shares that "badge of honor" with her spouse, who was rebuked by the Arizona Republican Party in 2014.
"We're probably the only husband and wife team that have completely been thrown out of our party," McCain, 66, said with a smile.
"It's the way it is right now. Doesn't bother me," McCain said.