June 19th, 2008
12:39 PM ET
13 years ago

Cindy McCain not backing down on Michelle Obama comment


Watch a clip of John King's interview with Cindy McCain.

(CNN) - As the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama tangle over which is unfairly dragging the prospective first ladies into the general election battle, Cindy McCain sent a signal this morning that she’s not about to step out of the fray.

The wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain stood behind her initial response to Democratic counterpart Michelle Obama’s comment that for the first time she was “really proud” of her country. She told CNN’s John King that her own remark – that she had “always” been proud of her country – had been a spontaneous response, not a planned attack.

“I’m an emotional woman when it comes to service to our country. I’ve watched many people’s children leave and go serve,” she said. “This is something that is the fiber of the McCain family. It was nothing more than me just saying, look, I believe in this country so strongly.”

“I think [Obama is] a fine woman and a good mother” but that both women were just “in an interesting line of work right now.”

Watch King’s full interview on The Situation Room at 4 p.m. ET

She repeated her defense of her initial reaction in an interview that aired on ABC News Thursday. "I don't know why [Obama] said what she said,” said McCain. “All I know is that I have always been proud of my country."

McCain is in Vietnam, where her husband spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, on a humanitarian mission.

Several days ago, first lady Laura Bush defended Obama, telling an interviewer that she believed her original remark by the wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama had been misinterpreted as unpatriotic. On Thursday, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN that Cindy McCain’s response had not cleared up matters from the campaign’s perspective.

“Well, I didn't hear an explanation,” Axelrod told CNN’s John Roberts in an interview on American Morning. “She just said that the McCain family feels strongly about America. And I think the Obama family does as well. I think most Americans do.”

Filed under: Cindy McCain
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Gabrielle, SC

    Its easy to always be proud of your country when you are a rich white woman....

    Of course you don't understand why she said it. You don't want to try to understand that comment. As long as you want to see something one way, that is the way you will always see it. Regardless of evidence to the contrary.

    June 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. JBY

    If I was worth $100 million without working a day of my life, I'd be proud of my country too.

    June 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. EDW

    I don't want the Stepford wife in the White House, I want the 2008 Huxtables.

    Dems '08

    June 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. T Williams

    Be careful Cindy. Your history is a LOT worse than Michelle's.

    June 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. park more

    Cindy McCain is your turn now and on 2012 will be Hillary. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo Michele..... Read her thesis and you will be outrage ....... All democrat and muslim, please vote McCain

    June 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Franky

    No offense but who do I believe??? Someone who's a millionare or someone who basically is normal???? Hmmmmm, tough choice. But on the other hand, I want my woman to show me she's smart not..........well, you know, LOL!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Real Change

    Cindy describes herself as "being in an interesting line of work right now." Really Cin; and what would that be? Discusting, rabid attach dog and lie leader for the extreme right-wing. It this the sort of "service" we can continue to expect from the McCain Family?

    June 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. McCain08

    We know you are proud of America Cindy. We know you love your country and you are PROUD that your sons serve in the military. Only the brainwashed Obama supporters will beleive any of the nonsence that is written on these blogs. You work so hard for charities and you are a very caring person.

    You will make a great first lady and i really pray that we get to see you in the white house.

    June 19, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. obamabot

    she is so sad.many of us have not been "REALLY" proud of this government,since we grew up and found out how republicans have lied and misled us into supporting illegal invasions of other sovereign nations.michelle was really proud of the way americans were turning out for the primaries,as am i.little miss silver spoon,and her philandering husband have no concept of pride.they are only proud of their personal elitism.proud of their standing in the nation as wealthy,unamerican thieves.

    June 19, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Charise

    Cindy please leave it alone. All you do is stand next to McCain looking like some made up Barbie doll. Truth be told I've always thought you looked like you used to make "movies" if you get my drift. Please get off of Michelle, she and her husband will talk you & John in circles. You are way out of your league.

    June 19, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Sharon

    I think most Americans understood exactly what Mrs. Obama was trying to say and Mrs. McCain could take some lessons in grace and humility from Mrs. Obama. After so many years of negativism in politics, it's time someone said something honest, and she shouldn't be criticized for it.

    June 19, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. judi in NJ

    I do believe Laura Bush is just a much nicer person than Cindy McCain. I find Cindy cold as ice and not very likable and I guess she has no problem with saying negative things even though Barach has said he would not about her. Michelle is very down to earth and I can see why Laura came to her aid. Good for Laura!

    June 19, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    is this not the same woman who stole drugs and had an affair?

    June 19, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. LET IT GO

    Why would she, stepford wives don't think for themeshelves. Poor oh Poor Cindy lol she a hot mess.

    June 19, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Chipster

    This pettiness reflects badly on Cindy McCain and she should be more gracious and understanding. It's the same kind of pettiness as those who compare her to some sort of Stepford Barbie. It makes them look foolish and childish, not Cindy McCain.

    It is clear that most Americans understood how much more proud Michelle Obama is, as we all are, that our country has finally is moving beyond race and gender in the selection of our top leaders. It's incredible that it took us this long and that we still have far to go. The United States should be the shining example of equality and opportunity for the world Why has it taken over 200 years? Perhaps because of the sort of pettiness that Mrs. McCain has shown. I hope she will open her mind, especially since she has also misspoken or had her words misinterpreted and will most certainly do so again in the future. We are all human.

    June 19, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Bridget

    Cindy; saying that this wasn't a planned attack is bogus....you know what you did and your advisers know what they advised you to do.

    Michelle Obama who grew up in the South Side and went to Harvard should have more to be proud of her country than a beer heiress anyways.

    June 19, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Swampy

    I believe Ms. McCain. She reacted in the same way that the other right wing brain-damaged nitwits did by spontaneously misinterpreting Ms. Obama's comment. That's what happens after several years of drug abuse.

    June 19, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. V,CA

    I am proud to be an American until now. NOBama!!

    June 19, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    I'm not always proud of members of my family, but I always love them. I feel the same way about my country.

    June 19, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    cindy, watch what you say because you are going to be sweep boat too

    June 19, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Godwin

    It's unfortunate that we still play politics this way. This generation is smarter than all that personal attacks. We all know what Michelle meant. "Son, I've never been more proud of you", does this sound familiar to all the parents out there??

    June 19, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. sd

    cindy mcwar is sick she is a fool blood rub attacking maching like her husband.

    June 19, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. April Brown

    All I want to know is was Cindy Mc Cain proud of America before the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Or, was she proud of America when it led us into an uneccesary war in Iraq? Or, what about the government's response to Katrina?

    I think that it can be said that there are many things to proud of America for, but there some things that we should be ashamed about.

    A. Brown

    June 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    I am sick of Cindy McSane, If I was worth $100 milliond Dollars and didn't have to lift a finger for it "I WOULD LOVE MY COUNTRY " too, She is a poor excuse of a woman and a mother she needs to HOOK up with Michelle Obama and learn how to be a strong WOMAN and not allow her husband to call her the "C" word be voicefull about that put him in check. She could NEVER be the Woman Michelle Obama is, NEVER. and last but not least PLEASE Cindy take all of that make up off that's caked on your face.

    June 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. webster208

    If Obama supporters do not want to drag Michelle into the fray, why do they ask her to campaign and give speeches for him? If you speak in public, if you endorse your husband for the highest public office in the land, be prepared to be applauded or criticized for waht you say. If you make a mistake, apologize and learn from it. I wonder why this is so difficult for Obama supporters to do, and why Michelle can't just apologize (instead of trying to rationalize the slip) and move on.

    June 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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