Cindy McCain, John McCain’s widow, has been a dignified central presence at her late husband’s funeral and memorial service. The National Memorial Service on September 1, 2018 was attended by former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton.
However, one person was notably absent and not invited: President Donald Trump, who had a long-standing feud with McCain. Some of that feud was verbal, when Trump questioned John McCain’s war hero status during the campaign essentially because he was captured in Vietnam; some of it was policy-based, such as when McCain killed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
But what has Cindy McCain said about Trump, if anything? Cindy stays out of political polemics, generally, but she has commented once on Trump.
In February 2018, Cindy said on the View that she was tired of Trump’s treatment of her husband, saying, “We need more compassion, more empathy, more togetherness. We don’t need more bullying and I’m tired of it.”
Cindy also said on the View: “We have much bigger things to worry about now than what the president says.” Her comments came in February 2018 after Trump criticized John McCain again at CPAC. That led to this comment from McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, a View co-host, according to Deadline: “I understand the argument he’s talking about policy and that’s the attack. But it’s still incredibly hurtful to have this moment of booing at CPAC, which is supposed to be the mothership of conservatism, and the Republican Party, at this specific moment in time is hurtful.”
Meghan McCain unloaded more on Trump during her eulogy at her father’s memorial service. “America does not boast because she does not have need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great,” she said, earning applause.
“The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege,” she added.
Cindy McCain is a Republican. In fact, as a result, she has been widely talked about as possibly being a replacement for her husband in the U.S. Senate. The feud between the McCains and Trump could make Arizona’s governor pause over that appointment because of impeachment concerns.
The governor of Arizona will appoint McCain’s replacement, and that person must be a Republican under the law because they would be filling the seat of John McCain.
There is precedent; Mary Bono replaced her husband Sonny Bono in the House of Representatives when he died tragically.
John McCain, a Republican, died at the age of 81 on August 25, 2018 of a brain tumor. Right now, the governor, who will get to appoint McCain’s replacement in the U.S. Senate, is being circumspect and saying little to show proper respect to the period of mourning.
John and his second wife Cindy McCain had four children together. He also had three children from his first marriage, Sidney, Andrew, and Doug. McCain and Cindy Hensley married in 1980 and went on to have four children: Meghan, Jack, Bridget and Jimmy. Cindy McCain is the mother of military veterans as Jack, Jimmy and Doug have served in the military. Three of the children were adopted.
Cindy McCain spoke to the Republican National Convention when her husband was running for president. You can read her 2008 speech to the Republican National Convention here.
She “was chosen to represent the state of Arizona at the Republican National Convention as the Chairwoman of the Arizona Delegation” in 2000, according to her bio.
According to Vox, Arizona state law holds that the governor must pick a Republican because that is the party of John McCain. Furthermore, Arizona’s governor is himself a Republican.
The governor of Arizona is Republican Doug Ducey. According to AZCentral, Ducey has been quiet about whom he might pick to replace McCain. The newspaper reported that the only thing Ducey has ruled out is appointing himself to the post.
In addition to Cindy McCain, names floated by AZCentral as possibilities include McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain; Kirk Adams, Ducey’s chief of staff; Barbara Barrett, who ran for governor; former U.S. Senate Republican whip Jon Kyl; Karrin Taylor Robson, founder of a real-estate development company; former Congressman John Shadegg; Matt Salmon, a former Congressman; and Eileen Klein, the state treasurer.