Former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, once fierce rivals of the late Senator John McCain, praised him in eulogies on Saturday and joined his daughter at a memorial service in subtle and not-so-subtle rebukes of President Donald Trump. Linda So reports.
Without naming the president, who didn’t attend the service, McCain made a forceful statement condemning Trump, who feuded publicly with the late senator and mocked his military service even after he grew ill.
“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. 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 live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served…The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”
BARRACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT,
“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult, and phoney controversies, and manufactured outrage… It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born in fear.”
“He loved freedom with a passion of a man who knew its absence. He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators. Perhaps above all, John detested the abuse of power. He could not abide bigots and swaggering despots.”
Nearly every major U.S. political leader, including the Clintons, attended McCain’s memorial service while Trump spent the morning tweeting and taking a trip to one of his private golf clubs in Virginia.
McCain’s family had made clear Trump was not welcome at the funeral.