Cindy McCain says US needs 'a strong leader, not a negative Nancy’
Cindy McCain pauses while presenting the inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service to the People of the island of Lesbos, Greece, at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax. (Darren Calabrese /The Canadian Press via AP)
Cindy McCain, in an interview broadcast Friday, said that she hopes President Trump learns from the midterm elections and realizes that “our country needs a strong leader, not a negative Nancy.”
"It's very humbling to lose and I hope he learns from it," McCain, whose late husband, Sen. John McCain, sparred regularly with Trump, told CBS News. She said she hopes the midterm results will take Trump "back to basics."
"I hope he learns from it and realizes that our country needs a strong leader and not a negative Nancy, if I can put it in such a basic term," she said. "We need our president. We need a White House that's strong, we need a White House that's not sparring with each other. And right now I think we're -- things are in disarray, and I would hope through this that he does learn."
Senator McCain -- a six-term Arizona senator, 2008 GOP presidential pick and Vietnam War hero -- died in August after a fight with brain cancer. Trump did not attend McCain’s funeral after a lengthy feud that apparently went unresolved. In 2015, after McCain had said Trump's platform had "fired up the crazies," Trump mocked McCain's imprisonment in the Vietnam War, saying: "I like people that weren't captured."
Trump had also fumed about McCain's vote last year in the Senate to kill off a bill to reform ObamaCare, and returned to the topic frequently in public.
Cindy McCain told CBS that Trump nor first lady Melania Trump reached out to her after the funeral, but she said it was OK, as that "was not what I needed at the time. I needed my family, and I had them."
She also said she did not know that Meghan McCain, who also co-hosts ABC's "The View," would use her tribute to her father to hit Trump by saying that “the America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great."
"I will say that our children obviously took this very hard. All of them did, especially Meghan. And Meghan is certainly entitled to and speaks her mind just like her father did," Cindy McCain said.
"And I respect her for that, and I had not read her speech. I did not know what she was going to say but I was very proud of her, very proud of her that day. It was hard to give."
But McCain also said that “it’s, at times, been hard for me to listen to [Trump] about my husband, I’ll be honest.”
In terms of political rhetoric, she said her husband would be “terribly frustrated and terribly distraught at just the denigration of all of this."
"He was the one that was kind of the conscience of the Senate, I believe, and his ability to at least bring people together and talk about it in whatever way he could was very important, and we've lost his voice," McCain said.