Administration

Cindy McCain says late husband wouldn’t recognize GOP today

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation Agencies in Rome Cindy McCain and the late former Senator John McCain in 2017.

Cindy McCain said the Republican Party has lost its way and that her late husband, former Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), would be pushing back if he were still alive.

“I don’t believe my husband would recognize it,” McCain said of the GOP on “MSNBC Reports” Thursday morning. 

“I do know one thing: He would be fighting like the dickens to pull it back together and bring it back to what it was during previous Republican administrations and previous administrations as well.”

McCain now serves as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

President Biden, who nominated her for the role, will award John McCain with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday.

The across-the-aisle gesture from Biden, Cindy McCain said, is an example of the bipartisanship that her husband pushed for during his tenure in the Senate — and the bipartisanship that today’s GOP is lacking. 

“I’m still a Republican. I believe in the party, and I believe in what we stand for,” McCain said, “but right now, we’ve lost our way.” 

The House Jan. 6 select committee’s hearings, which have revealed numerous instances of misconduct from Trump administration officials, are “hard to watch,” McCain said. “We’re not being good examples for our children with what this represents right now.” 

She lauded Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee who was ousted from the House GOP leadership over her criticism of Trump and the GOP, for “her ability to look beyond the now and work on what’s good for the country. … She can sleep at night and know that she did the right thing.” 

John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, is among 17 recipients of the Presidential Medial of Freedom. The list also includes former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Olympic athletes Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe, Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington and the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials, Sandra Lindsay.

“I believe in what President Biden’s doing. I hope, I’m hoping that he can help right this ship a little bit but, you know, we have a long way to go,” McCain said. 

“I’m hoping as the years go on perhaps we can right ourselves and do what Republicans do best and that is work for smaller government but work in a bipartisan fashion.”

Tags bipartisanship Cindy McCain Cindy McCain Democratic Party democrats Denzel Washington Gabby Giffords Gabrielle Giffords GOP Jan 6 hearing Joe Biden Joe Biden John McCain John McCain Liz Cheney Liz Cheney Presidential Medal of Freedom Republican Party Steve Jobs Washington D.C.
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