In a tear-filled eulogy at her father’s memorial service, Meghan McCain, one of the daughters of the late Senator John McCain, took on President Donald Trump.
Although Meghan did not mention the president by name, to many in the room, the subtext was clear. “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 a round of applause despite the somber environment.
The comment was clearly a reference to Trump’s campaign slogan, Make America Great Again. Trump tweeted later in the day:
Donald Trump was conspicuously not invited to the memorial service for McCain on September 1, 2018. Three former presidents did attend: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
“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,” Meghan added.
For his part, Trump spent the day at his golf club and tweeted about Canada and NAFTA. You can read about his tweets here. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, did attend the funeral; critics accused Ivanka of texting during the service, although it’s not clear what she was looking down at in a widely circulated video.
Most of Meghan’s eulogy was focused on her love for her father. When her father died, Meghan McCain, a co-host on the View and one of McCain’s best known children, released a lengthy statement praising him as a father.
“All that I am is thanks to him,” she said. “His love and his care, ever present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman.”
In her eulogy, Meghan said, “His love was a love of a father who mentors as much as he comforts. He was endlessly present for us.”
The McCains and Trump have feuded for years, since Trump essentially said during the presidential campaign that he didn’t think McCain was a war hero because he was captured. There have also been policy differences, with John McCain casting the vote that avoided an Obamacare repeal.
The McCains Have Criticized Trump in the Past
It’s not the first time that the McCains have directed negative rhetoric toward Trump. In February 2018, Cindy McCain, Meghan’s mother and John McCain’s widow, 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.”