‘An Unlikely Friendship’: Cindy McCain Speaks of Her Late Husband’s Relationship With Joe Biden

August 19, 2020by Arit John, Los Angeles Times (TNS)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), left, receives the Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on October 16, 2017. (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images/TNS)

“They would just sit and joke, it was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them,” Cindy McCain said of her husband’s friendship with Joe Biden. The widow of Sen. John McCain spoke in a video, “An Unlikely Friendship,” that aired during the second night of the Democratic convention.

With her appearance at the virtual Democratic event, the wife of the Arizona senator joined a growing list of high-profile Republicans willing to cross party lines to help Biden’s presidential bid.

A central theme of this year’s Democratic convention has been the need to unify America, and a number of Republicans have had featured appearances, including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and California billionaire Meg Whitman, both of whom have endorsed Biden.

Cindy McCain praised Biden’s ability to reach across the aisle to work with Republicans like her husband. “It was a style of legislating and leadership that you don’t find much anymore,” she said in the video.

Earlier this year Meghan McCain — Cindy and John’s daughter — made clear she also plans to vote for Biden in November.

“There’s one man who has made pain in my life a living hell and another man who has literally shepherded me through the grief process,” Meghan McCain said in April during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”

John McCain and Biden met in the 1970s as Biden was serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and McCain was the Senate liaison officer for the Naval Legislative Office, tasked with accompanying members of Congress on overseas trips.

The Democratic convention video describes how those trips led to a lifelong friendship that brought the two families closer together. That relationship has withstood politics, even when McCain competed against Barack Obama — with Biden as his running mate — for the presidency in 2008.

Biden delivered an emotional eulogy for McCain following his 2018 death from brain cancer. “My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat. And I love John McCain,” Biden said.

The late senator’s relationship with President Donald Trump was strained. During his first presidential campaign, Trump said McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in a North Vietnamese camp, was only a war hero because he was captured. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said in 2015.

Two years later, McCain voted against the GOP’s bill to repeal Obamacare, angering Trump. When McCain died, Trump faced criticism when the flags at the White House were lowered to half-staff for only two days. The president was not invited to McCain’s funeral.

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©2020 Los Angeles Times

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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