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. JIM...TX

    Cindy always being proud of her Country???...even during the past 8 years of an illegal war, GITMO, our economy tanking, more jobs lost to NAFTA.......yep I can see her point. NOT !!!!

    June 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Barry

    Well, how come you never said it BEFORE Michelle Obama's comment, Cindy. You'd have more credibiilty if that was what you had done. In fact, it wasn't too long after Obama's comment that you came out with your comments, Cindy. Interesting timing, that...

    June 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Cindy, if you want in, then come in all the way.

    Release your tax statements – NOW!!!!

    Otherwise, Cindy, you're a typical opportunisitic, born with a silver spoon in your mouth/inherited my fortune, rich snot, right-wing blowhard!!!

    June 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Venus

    I hope this Bobbie Doll is not our next first lady!

    I would be proud too if I was born with millions!

    She should watch herself... considering what she has been baking!

    I hope Michelle Obama pay her comments no mind – after all Laura Bush as First Lady have already explained Michelle's comments!

    How many Americans are proud of how America is being run right now with $4.00 gas, high cost for food, and few jobs, lose of homes?

    Go Shell... this will backfire on Cindy!

    June 19, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Independent Colorado

    Cindy McCain is ok knowing that she and her husband can say anything they want about Michelle Obama because the Obama camp won't stoop so low as to insult Cindy. He won't talk about her drug habbits, stealing from sick children, stealing recipes, or stealing another woman's husband. Nor will the Obama camp discuss how John McCain left his wife to be with Cindy after his ex wife was disfigured after a bad accident or the Keating scandal that would test McCain's "experience and judgment". Obama is better than that....But maybe the independent groups will expose this is another ad...

    Obama 08

    June 19, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Flip-Flop McCain

    So if Michelle was to speak her mind then she would coined as an "Angry Black Woman", right? I don't think they need to change anything about Michelle. It's about time someone speaks the mind of what alot of Americans are feeling.

    June 19, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Irish In San Antonio, TX

    Hey, the trophy-wife Speaks!!!!!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Belle2

    Go Cindy! The Obamas want to play this insidious game of politics. Show them you can play the game too. I have always been proud of my country too.

    June 19, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Miss Cindy Lou

    Why should she back down? Miss Cindy has nothing else to say. Her husband is losing big time and she can't for the life of her, understand why. "Isn't my hair blond enough, aren't my eyes blue enough, maybe if I put on some more lipstick America will see that I am the true first lady" –NOT.

    Cindy bores me to tears. She's a washed up junkie who happens to have more money than the rest of us. This does not give her the license to waltz into the White House, which by the way is our house.

    Barack & Michelle Obama 08

    June 19, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Speak first, think later.... luckily the beer queen won't be first lady

    June 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Were NOT your friends!

    IM not gonna comment because I'm not voting for Cindy or Michelle, and I could care less what either of them has to say. I think they both should be off limits. Hey Cindy, do you have any more stolen family recipes for me???

    Obama '08

    June 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Jt

    That is right.

    McCain was not force to served in the military but he did.

    Obama did not even try to sign up for the Reserv Force of perhaps join the ROTC.

    The only thing that I have seen so far, Obama wrote a book and made lots of money. Well the speeches, that is all.

    Obama is blowing smoke.

    June 19, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Venus

    This is great! Keep it up Cindy this will bring you in the center!

    This comment by Michelle is going to look great to what you have in your closets! Breaking up homes is not good!

    June 19, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. David

    Really? Who cares? Cindy McCain is just about the most vacuous, insignificant public figure on record. Let's move on.

    June 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Speechless

    Of course, when Michelle Obama said (repeatedly) that she had not been proud of her country until her husband's candidacy, it is obvious that what she really meant was that America is a downright mean country.

    June 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Why should she?. Michelle had time to air her views amongst a bunch of feminists yesterday. Michelle took "a while" to write to Madam First Lady......give me a break! Sarcastic? And yet she has the gall to say that 'Laura Bush does not add fuel to the fire'. Just the other day Obama's campaign decides to deny a 25 yr old Muslim woman a seat behind Obama at a event in Michigan. She gets a chief of staff like no other candidate because they fear she will be attacked. If the question of race arises its because Michelle Obama started it and the public will end it. It was her platform from day one. Too bad!

    June 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. T. Stephen Cody

    If Cindy keeps harping on her interpretation of Michelle's statement, perhaps Michelle should ask Cindy if she's equally proud of her role as a home-wrecker.

    June 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Barbie Lives

    This Barbie Doll will never be my first lady. She looks as if she is afraid of her husband, and afraid to open her mouth. The only reason John married her is so he could tap into her millions, and she doesn't seem very bright. No, Barbie is not for me. No way–not when we have Michelle as an alternative.

    Obama 08

    June 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Craig Nazor

    So is Cindy McCain proud of they way our country tortures prisoners? Is she proud of America's use of napalm and agent orange in Vietnam? Is she proud of the way European Americans sometimes have treated Native Americans and African Americans? I love America too, but sometimes America does things that I am not proud of – as a matter of fact, I am ASHAMED of. If a candidate (or his wife) can't admit that publicly, how can there be change? Look at George W. Bush – he won't even admit that we tortured people! I am ashamed that America tortures people, and I will not vote for anyone who doesn't get and can't admit that fact!

    June 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. RyVA

    Cindy loves the USA.
    Where else can you have an affair at 24 with a married 42 year old, start up your own charity to illegaly steal prescription drugs, plead guilty to multiple felonies, and not serve any jail time because you're rich and pay off the sentence?

    June 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Student for OBAMA 08!!!

    First of all I guess it’s easy to be really proud of your country when you were born with a platinum spoon in your mouth and this country glorifies people like that. Michelle Obama has literally worked from the bottom up to get where she is today. To be the first African American women to be standing where she is and seeing her husband the first African American Presidential Nominee, that is quite a milestone for this country and something that should fill her with pride like never before.

    I am a 21 year old African American college student and I too feel a pride for this country I have never felt before. That does not make me any less patriotic than Cindy McCain or any other American. Not only the fact that Barack is an African American is something to be proud of but young people are getting so involved with this election like never before, turn out (at least on democratic side) is historical, the amount of people donating to his campaign is historic. This is absolutely amazing to be watching and I am truly blessed to not only witness this but be active in it.

    So Cindy McCain can shove her comments where the sun don’t shine for all I care. I am sure she would not appreciate people bringing up her scandals like being an adulteress, a drug addict, then stealing drugs.

    Her inability to see where Michelle Obama was coming from shows to me her inability to accept that people grow up with different experiences in this country that leads them to different perspectives. Does not make one person right and the other wrong. And does not make someone more patriotic than the other, it makes this America.

    June 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. Molly Weasley

    I wonder if she felt proud of her country when she was stealing drugs from her family's charity. I guess if I were the richest woman in Arizona and the wife of a U.S. senator, thus able to reach a plea agreement instead of serving time in jail, I would be proud, too.

    June 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Venus

    This should be a pecfert target for Hillary to take on!

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Why try 08

    I have been observing alot this election. It is funny to me how the most patriotic people seem to care more about the country than the people of this country. And label people unpatriotic who care more about the People of this country than the country. Forget worrying about a symbol why don't you care about your neighbor.

    How can you talk America the beacon when your willing to tare up our Constitution. We are one step away from marshal law. Why are we trying to rebuild Iraq when New Orlean is still wrecked. What is so patriotic about helping the poor everywhere else but letting citizens starve on your own streets.

    Welcome to the two America's. One is rich and beatiful and never has to fight for rights. Because they are given freely and other our sent to die for your this America.

    The other America is not so rich and has to fight for the right just to be recognize as american. And is sent to fight for wars it doesn't even believe in. But they do it proudly.

    Depending on which America you live in may determine how you view America.

    True patriotism is not whether you agree with our country but are you willing to fight for it.

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Generation X

    Cindy McCain better stay quiet before all hell breaks out about her affair with John and her drug history and stealing. Ms. money bags needs to shut the hell up!!! LMAO

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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