Cindy McCain says no one in GOP seems willing to carry husband’s ‘tough torch’ and take on Trump

Cindy McCain criticized President Donald Trump’s administration and claimed the current Republican Party is “not the party” of Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan.

The widow of the late Sen. John McCain spoke with ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl in an interview nearly one year after the death of the Arizona Republican.

(Video: ABC News)

McCain noted her late husband’s legacy of bipartisan cooperation, as she saw it, and said she doesn’t feel anyone is carrying that on.

“That was a tough torch to carry and, as John said, there were many lonely days because he always said what was on his mind,” she said, adding that her husband “never did anything deliberately to be hurtful or anything. … I don’t see anybody carrying that mantle at all, I don’t see anyone carrying the voice — the voice of reason.”

McCain did not speak of Trump by name but did denounce some of his administration’s policies, notably those on immigration.

“You know this country is made up of immigrants,” she said. “We’re made up of people of every color, every creed, and that’s what makes us special.”

She also believed her husband “would not have accepted” the “send her back” chants at a Trump campaign rally North Carolina.

“I’m quite certain he would have spoke out about it,” she said. “These are American citizens — these are our citizens.”

“We are from all walks of life, and they have just as much a right to be here as we do,” McCain added. “That’s not what this country was founded on.”

She appeared to connect Trump, as many on the left repeatedly did, to the recent mass shootings in the nation, including the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio incidents earlier this month.

“These shootings are our response to this incivility, and our response to things that are occurring around them,” she said. “All of this has to be taken into consideration in our country. I mean our country is not well right now, [and] we need to get our act together.”

“I believe in America. I believe so much in this country, and I know John did too,” she said. “I believe this pendulum is going to swing back. I don’t know when, but I just don’t believe that we’re going to stick right here on the side that’s just disruptive and mean and non-progressive in any way.”

The McCain family has launched an “Acts of Civility” campaign to use the late senator’s story to address the “commitment to civility that has been sadly absent from our national dialogue,” according to a video announcing the initiative.

But while McCain became the Democrats’ favorite Republican, he publicly disagreed with and denounced Trump on repeated occasions. His connection to the infamous Steele dossier and all the subsequent Russian collusion attacks on the president did little to endear him to Americans who supported Trump.

Plenty of Never-Trump Republicans continue where McCain left off, casting a longing eye on the past while warning of a doomed future under the current administration. One such GOP operative, Frank Donatelli, warned in a recent op-ed that the party of Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower must seek globalism and reject Trump’s “America first” views if it plans to survive.

Notably, Donatelli was hand-picked by McCain during the 2008 presidential election to serve as the deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“What is clear is that the GOP of the future will become less focused on technological change, budget discipline, small government, and alliances and trade abroad and more committed to populist rhetoric, job and lifestyle preservation, culture wars and an ‘America first’ policy,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Cindy McCain’s remarks in the ABC News interview sparked a wave of reaction on Twitter.


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