February 19th, 2008
03:27 PM ET
12 years ago

Cindy McCain, Michelle Obama in patriotism flap

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/19/art.maccindy0219.ap.jpg caption="Cindy McCain said she was proud of the United States during a campaign event Tuesday."]
(CNN) - Tuesday morning seemed to bring the debut of yet another McCain-Obama flap – this time, Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama.

As she introduced her husband John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, at a campaign event, Cindy McCain told the crowd I “am proud of my country. I don’t know about you, if you heard those words earlier - I am very proud of my country.”

The comment seemed to be a response to a remark from Michelle Obama the day before. On Monday, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told a Wisconsin audience that “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback… not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."

After Tuesday’s event, the McCains were asked if the Arizona senator’s wife had been responding to that comment. Cindy McCain did not directly answer the question, responding: “I just wanted to make the statement that I have and always will be proud of my country.”

On Monday, Obama spokesman Bill Burton released a statement in response to the controversy: “Of course Michelle is proud of her country, which is why she and Barack talk constantly about how their story wouldn't be possible in any other nation on Earth.

“What she meant is that she's really proud at this moment because for the first time in a long time, thousands of Americans who've never participated in politics before are coming out in record numbers to build a grassroots movement for change.”

UPDATE: In an interview with San Antonio radio station WOAI Tuesday, Barack Obama said his wife's comment has been taken out of context.

"Statements like this are made and people try to take it out of context and make a great big deal out of it, and that isn't at all what she meant," he said.

"What she meant was, this is the first time that she's been proud of the politics of America," he also said. "Because she's pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she's not alone. But she has seen large numbers of people get involved in the process, and she's encouraged."

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Cindy McCain • Michelle Obama
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    People need to relax. Its politics. Its a game of words. It always has been and always will be. You are a fool if you take it as anything more than a little poke. People who judge character based on one line are same naive electorate that put Bush in office in the first place.

    February 19, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. john miller

    I know you have 24 hours to fill each day, but how about some real news? Surely somthing happened today somewhere that was more important than this.

    February 19, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Brian

    When are the Tories moving to Canada?

    February 19, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. K. Smith Minneapolis,MN

    As long as Cindy McCain is trying to "one up" Michelle Obama, why doesn't she mention she abused drugs more than her too????

    February 19, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. Peter

    I have not been proud of my country for the last 8 years. Maybe more. I agree with Mrs. Obama.

    February 19, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Titus

    People please,,,,

    I think you knew what Mrs.Obama meant, we are still being arrogant Americans again, Of course she is proud, but admist all the stuff going on in America you knew in your hearts what she meant,,, Global Warming, Kidnappings, School Murders, War, Poverty,Recession, Voilence, and Racism against Race, Gender, Nationality, and Religion. You have single mothers, you have outrageous gas prices, you have foreclosures, what are you proud about. The only time I felt proud is when our country stood together against the 9/11 attacks, where we all stood together , our soliders gladly stood up, and everyone were brothers, and not colors. I love America with all my heart, I would not go anyplace else, but we need to acknowledge the wrongs, and hopefully push for a better future.

    I don't know who you are voting for, but you need to really consider who can change America , if not for yourself, your children.

    Proud American Awaiting Change, Titus

    February 19, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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