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. Gnomepark

    You and Mrs. Obama are not going to run our country. Please just stay on the sidelines and observe.

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. David

    This is just more rhetoric. This is just more political manuevering by the McCain campaign to distract from the important issues. Any normal thinking person knows she is not unpatriotic. his is more of the fear tactic being used and anyone who doesn't agree with Republican policies and speaks out against it is unpatriotic. Just another example of John McCain fully endorsing Bush policies.

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Ben

    cindy..come on..you should know better as your husbands 2nd wife. Why dont you hold it against him for not being loyal to his first? vindictive you are!!!

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. D Murray

    I really didn't want to go there with Cindy McCain but it looks like I'm forced to do so; tell us Cindy how proud are you of stealing another woman's husband? didn't John meet you while still married to his first wife? didn't he marry you just a month of divorcing his first wife? didn't you abuse drugs and stole from from an organization you started? So, who would I like for my daughter to be most like? you or Michelle Obama? and the winner is? you guessed right, Michelle Obama.

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Betty Boop

    Can you get any more bland than Cindy McCain? Yuck.

    She makes Laura Bush look like Hillary Clinton. lol

    June 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. s

    Let the mudslinging begin. What ... it already has?

    June 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. Heidi

    Cindy, should back down. All those skeltons in her closets are fighting to get out.

    Cindy do you recall John McCain was married when you met him?
    Cindy do you recall you destroyed the McCain's marriage and this is why your step-kids wanted nothing to do with you? ( I know he was separated from his first wife...whatever)
    Cindy do you recall saying you would never ever release your tax filings?

    June 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. The Lady

    Ms. Cindy I really don't think you want to start talking about Michelle, then people will start bringing up your past. if i had to chose between what Michelle and what you have done ??? I would rather be Michelle.

    June 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Voter, Omaha NE

    What a bunch of malarky–Michele Obama put her foot in her mouth–let her take the heat for her misguided comment. Couple her comment with her graduate dissertation and I think her PR group is feeding the fanatics a lot of propaganda. Go McCain!

    June 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Audrey Fryer

    Isn't this woman's husband the one that just finished saying "it's tough to be proud of America". Run with this statement for a while to contrast with the one you run of Michelle Obama all the time.


    June 19, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. He Said It First

    Careful there, Cindy-

    Do you REALLY want America to go through your baggage?
    Yours may be Louis Vuitton, but you have an awful LOT of them-

    You may want to take the high road on this one, before the addictions and the stealing from charities and the adultery jumps out of your skeleton-filled closet

    June 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    As Michelle said on "The View" yesterday, Laura Bush is a one of the nice people, she doesn;'t fan the fire out of nothing to try to make something. On the other hand Cindy you are a a wicked woman, and ugly at heart. You are the one who started all this and are still going on with it. No amount of charity can erase your wickedness. You keep faning the fire, it will bring both you and your husband down. It is a pit you have chosen to dig and will burry both of you. Keep on fanning.

    June 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Brendan

    This is just another sad attempt by the McCain campaign to gain any ground in this race. The Obama movement is just that, a movement, not a political campaign. The McCain campaign is failing to include the real "people." It's time the Republicans stopped using patriotism as an excuse.

    June 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Agnostic Democrat

    Stepford Wife, surgically enhanced, plagiarizing "housewife", lying homewrecker and husband stealer from a sickbed first wife, drug-stealing addict; all the qualities of a amphibian-looking, outdated Barbie Doll and a First Lady to be.

    June 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Latha

    I would LOVE to see a debate between Miss I'm-a-Felon Rich Size Zero and Ms. Harvard-Educated and Intelligent. Michelle Obama has fully explained her words – Cindy is just too dumb to get it.

    June 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Linda Esen

    She scares me.....

    June 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. ls

    And Cindy still goes to the grocery store with $5 bucks and expects to buy a grocery cart full of food to last her for the whole month.

    Figure of speech – go figure.

    June 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. JIM

    Great job Cindy,I don't like the idea that every time something is said about Obama or his wife that everyone is told to back off!!!!!!!! Democrat for McCAIN

    June 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. jen

    Pretty sweet for a women who had an affair with McCain, and then stole from a childrens charity to support her drug habit.

    June 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. John Smith

    This woman, like some "blind and bitter" Hillary supporters, give Blond women a "bad name!"

    The dictates and laws of God are bigger and better than the laws and rules of nations! Not everyone has and continues to be ALWAYS proud of America. I can never be proud of a nation that:
    1. goes to war, and disrupts the lives of others in the name of .....
    2. practices 'bigatory, racism, sexism...
    3. has no regard for the poor and the weak...

    There are alternative ways of serving a nation– teachers teach our youth on a daily basis; they are part of our present and future.

    When Cindy MCain learns to speak "good English" and not "emotional language," maybe I might listen to her!

    June 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Breaking News:

    Cindy, please understand that if you "GO THERE" we will have to reveal somethings you hope would not come out. Hint: McCain's first wife, step children, taxes, face work, drugs...

    I respect you as a citizen but not as our first lady. You give our enemies too much to use against us.


    June 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. The Bush Twins : George and John

    Excuse me Cindy, but lets not forget your husband was married to his first wife when he was serving in Vietnam. You know, the wife he had when he was fooling around with you, the wife he left for you, after she had a car accident that left her crippled. You didn't even know him when he was in Vietnam.
    Oh, and your comment about always being proud of America, please, you played on Michelle's comment. As I said before anyone with half a brain could understand what Michelle was saying.
    Go away puppet you are annoying !

    God bless Barack and Michelle

    June 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Theresa in Minneapolis

    I find it funny that Cindy wants to put Michelle in a bad light. Or to make herself appear to be "the better woman".

    Cindy has skeletons and is VERY lucky that the Obama's don't resort to dirty politics. She may want to keep her botoxed mouth shut, IMO. Just in case the Obama's don't treat the McCain's as kindly as they treated the Clinton's.

    June 19, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    It took her 20 years to realize her pastor was a racist, bigoted, hate mongerer.

    Even with the cadre of highly paid consultants the DNC is writing the check for to "brush her up on political savvy" it would probably take her at least 1/4 of that time to graduate from the Dean et al Finishing School.


    June 19, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. ps

    Cindy McCain did explain that she had an emotional reaction and said what came to her mind. Remember that at that time her son was serving in Iraq.

    David Axelrod is just doing old politics by trying to attack Cindy McCain and trying to drive up sympathy for Michelle Obama.

    June 19, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8