Remembering John McCain

August 27, 2018

As you surely know from the weekend filled with tributes, Sen. John McCain passed away Saturday night at 81, just one day after his family announced that he had stopped receiving treatments for brain cancer. 

Since we ran against each other in the 2008 GOP Presidential primary, and I campaigned for and with him after he won the nomination, media outlets asked me for my thoughts and memories.  Of course, he was a courageous warrior who sacrificed much for his country. But he was also a throwback to a time when people could be political opponents and disagree sharply on issues, but still not be enemies. He beat me fair and square, and then we joined forces and never once had a cross word.  He was an incredibly gracious and grateful person, and he put what he believed to be what was best for America above all else.   

I spoke about my experiences with Sen. McCain with Fox News, and this link will take you to that video.  I also want to express my deepest sympathy and prayers to his wife Cindy, his daughter Meghan and all the rest of his family and friends.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/5826911551001/?#sp=show-clips

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Comments 1-7 of 7

  • Mary Richter

    12/28/2018 11:44 AM

    A bit more on McCain ..

    We have all heard how bravely John McCain endured the horrors of the Hanoi Hilton. To me, that wasn't the bravest thing that John McCain ever did.

    The bravest thing that he ever did was to stand fast with the Pro-Life movement throughout three decades in Congress despite a relentless army of voices threatening to decapitate his political career.

    When asked how he could then link arms to work on some unrelated issue with the same shrill women that were clamoring for the blood of their own children, and with the same legislators that support the wholesale destruction of the most innocent and helpless members of the human family, he said … "I stand in the gap for them. I pray that God will forgive them because they know not what they do."

    John McCain was one of the most consistently anti-abortion legislators in my lifetime because he never failed to cast his vote in favor of whatever abortion restrictions were arguably permitted under Roe v. Wade. They included bans against partial-birth abortion, against abortions on military bases, against transporting minors across state lines to obtain abortions behind their parents' backs, and against government funding for abortion both in the United States and abroad. All but the transporting-minors bill became federal law.

    In addition, McCain voted to confirm every "strict constructionist" Supreme Court judge nominated by the various Republican presidents who served during his tenure including Neil Gorsuch under President Trump. In this particular instance, by strict constructionist I mean disinclined to find, à la Roe, a right to abortion and related activities enshrined in the Constitution.

    While running for President McCain did not parse words but rather declared that Roe v. Wade ought to be overturned. He was one of 35 senators who signed an open letter to President Bush earlier that year pledging their support for any veto by Bush of efforts by the Democratically controlled Congress to change federal law on abortion.

    The leading abortion-rights advocacy groups; Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Pro-Choice America, detested John McCain and consistently awarded him ratings of absolute zero on their scorecards. He wore that zero like a badge of honor saying "I wish that I could pin it on my chest."

    He said of all the human rights detailed in the Declaration of Independence, "the right to life is the most sacred of all" because "no other right exists without it." "Opportunities to restrict abortion should improve – not as quickly as we want or as much as we want – but I have to believe that Americans' sense of justice and humanity will eventually prevail."

  • Karin R. Miller

    12/28/2018 10:56 AM

    Tender words about the man -- I cannot say I totally agree with all the good memories. For one thing he betrayed his first wife - no excuse is acceptable to gloss over this fact. She waited for him all those years he was a POW, and her thanks was his cheating. Secondly, he betrayed the Republican party, coming from his death bed to kill the chance to change the deplorable healthcare situation. So he does not go down in history as a hero for me - and I can't for the life of me understand why they permitted him to be buried at the Naval Academy............ How people conducted themselves used to really matter, but I guess with Bill Clinton's behavior in the Oval Office has opened the door to almost anything. But not in my book.

  • Sue Palakst

    12/28/2018 10:03 AM

    I am not the "Sue" who wrote a comment to you. However, I agree with her. Let me just say this, I respect he was a war hero, what he did to stand for his men in Viet Nam truly an act of defiance against the regime and not use his "status" to leave. HOWEVER, I cannot connect that heroic act to how he led his life after that heroic act and what he did to snub Pres. Trump, the Trump family, and, "The American People" and, on how he voted last minute on Obama's signature HCA. He was a "rebel" all his life, but it was not all good rebellion! We could have had much better health care at this point in time if it had not been for his last minute jump to the other side. Was that rebellion? Was it, to pardon my expression, the use of the middle finger to our President AND the deplorables? A funeral is NO PLACE to disrespect the country and its people, and that is how I felt. Disrespected myself. Yes, over blown on everything. I miss my father too, a remarkable man, a hero in my eyes, but I would never use his passing as a political statement to disrespect the deplorables, our grass roots in America. May John McCann rest in peace. My condolence to the family for their loss. But, there are many other heroes in this world who have done far more and sacrificed far more, and took huge risks with tremendous acts of courage, those who were horribly tortured and have lived humble lives without the fame and glory OR, lost their lives! Just look at the grave sites here and in Europe of the blood shed. Many stores left unknown and unrecognized. God Bless those unknown, unrecognized Heroes! I felt no "humbness" coming from that funeral. I felt the gloating by many attending. I feel sorry for the McCann family in their loss. I know loss too...deep loss. He seemed a wonderful father and his wife a wonderful humanitarian from her heart. Only his family knows who this man really was. Maybe the making of a Hero is in the eyes of the beholder, sometimes.

  • Cheri Miller

    09/03/2018 06:41 PM

    I love your piece on the McCain funeral. I wish we could have all put our political comments aside and work together as one. We have a saying in my church. Love, Everyone Always. Hard yes but we must because that is what Jesus wants us to do. Why can’t we just get along

  • Sue

    09/03/2018 12:35 PM

    Governor, I do respect the fact that you have sympathy for Mr. McCain, however, all the flowery words, are nothing but hot air, except for maybe a few. There were many of us, who felt that his funeral was so OVERBLOWN, it was disgusting. My deceased husband, was a Viet Nam vet and he could never speak about McCain without ANGER in his voice and there are many VIet Nam vets that feel the same way. The other thing about his overblown funeral, which we the tax payer have to pay for, was Meghan McCain comment, that 'America was always great', a dig towards Trump, but it is just amazing how quickly these people forget how obama almost brought America to its knees, or how McCain fumbled every attempt to make America great again. Trump NEVER said America wasn't Great, but that he, and the deplorables that voted for him, wanted to bring America BACK to its greatness that it was so close to losing. There are so many examples of how obama almost ruined this country, starting with 'his apology tour'. And of course, ALL the dirt coming from obama's administration, with Klapper, comey, mccabe, orh, etc. They think we don't remember or that we are NOT knowledgeable enough to make INFORMED decisions, how little they know us. I for one am Sick and Tired of the demon-rats, never trumpers, and media's attempt to propagandized everything in a negative light, and politicize every thing that should have nothing to do with politics, like McCain's funeral. This country DOES need a sharp pull back to the middle, and that is why we VOTED for TRUMP. Thank you for reading my vent, however, I do not expect you to respond.

  • Sue

    09/03/2018 12:30 PM

    Governor, I do respect the fact that you have sympathy for Mr. McCain, however, all the flowery words, are nothing but hot air, except for maybe a few. There were many of us, who felt that his funeral was so OVERBLOWN, it was disgusting. My deceased husband, was a Viet Nam vet and he could never speak about McCain without ANGER in his voice and there are many VIet Nam vets that feel the same way. The other thing about his overblown funeral, which we the tax payer have to pay for, was Meghan McCain comment, that 'America was always great', a dig towards Trump, but it is just amazing how quickly these people forget how obama almost brought America to its knees, or how McCain fumbled every attempt to make America great again. Trump NEVER said America wasn't Great, but that he, and the deplorables that voted for him, wanted to bring America BACK to its greatness that it was so close to losing. There are so many examples of how obama almost ruined this country, starting with 'his apology tour'. And of course, ALL the dirt coming from obama's administration, with Klapper, comey, mccabe, orh, etc. They think we don't remember or that we are NOT knowledgeable enough to make INFORMED decisions, how little they know us. I for one am Sick and Tired of the demon-rats, never trumpers, and media's attempt to propagandized everything in a negative light, and politicize every thing that should have nothing to do with politics, like McCain's funeral. This country DOES need a sharp pull back to the middle, and that is why we VOTED for TRUMP. Thank you for reading my vent, however, I do not expect you to respond.

  • Darrel Ames

    08/29/2018 09:44 AM

    So.... His wanting the United States to be a part of the One World Order was what he believed was best for America? I'm sorry but I do not accept that. Trumps wanting the US to be a sovereign power and not turn that over to a group that would not have the best interests of the US in mind is more to my liking. I think too much greatness has been heaped upon McCain and his working to put the US under the control of a globalist group has totally been ignored. If I am wrong, please show me where I am wrong in my thinking. I am not alone in this thinking if you read the comments to your post of McCain's farewell letter. Love most of your other posts, but really am disappointed in this one.