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. Gobama

    Is Cindy doing meth? lol

    Why is she so ungracious?
    Can Cindy not take a cue from Laura Bush, and do the dignified thing?

    Who would want an ungracious First Lady?
    Little wonder McCain call her those unprintable words in public. lol

    June 19, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Wal

    When did you know Mccain?
    before or after he divorced?
    where is your tax return?
    everyone love his or her country. people who don't change the nationality. That is and never a question.

    June 19, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. What if?


    McCain, upon returning from Vietnam had numerous affairs during his marriage to his first wife (who was disfigured in a car accident on Christmas Eve while McCain was staying at the Hanoi Hilton), before setting his sights on the current Mrs. McCain who was younger, prettier, and richer than his current wife at the time. He then divorced his wife and the mother of his children for Cindy, whom he married one month after his divorce was finalized. Cindy thought nothing of messing around with a married father of three.

    June 19, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Robert

    The Obama campaign really should go against it's instincts and stay out of this one. Just let the media and who ever else go after her. Stay out of the fray. If you shoot back, it will come back to haunt you. Let the McCains look petty on this one.

    June 19, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Eric

    I think Cindy is just mad because she won't be First Lady. Don't hate Cindy!

    June 19, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. RC

    so much drivel.

    June 19, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. JWB

    I'm happy that Mrs. Obama has refused to comment on Cindy's complicity in McCain's adultery and former drug addiction. Too bad the press who is willing to continue to publish Mrs. Obama's comment is not willing to discuss the second Mrs. McCain's drug abuse and relationship with a married man.

    Personally I prefer the woman who is really proud of her country as first lady lady.

    June 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Peter in CA

    Is Cindy McCain also VERY PROUD to be a home wrecker?

    June 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Beth

    If my background was as "interesting" as Cindy McCain's, I would not be so quick to point out other's mistakes.

    June 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Jonathan

    GOP can you please get together and have this woman be quiet? She needs to stay away from the limelight. A normal person can never find anything in common with this one. She travels the globe looking for kids to adopt and for communities to help but fails to go to American commmunities. Take a look at Downtown Miami, I see many people who need help. Instead this one is off to Vietnam for whatever reason. We are going to lose this election with her. At least Laura worked as a librarian.

    June 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Wayne

    Typical Republican ploy-attack and name call after distorting and misinterpreting and then persist at it. Apparently husband has well-taught these techniques to wife. Shame on them.

    June 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Felice Judkins

    Give me a break!

    June 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Loretta from California

    We really need HER opinion. He who is without SIN ,CAST THE FIRST STONE.

    June 19, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Cindy?

    Wow, bring back Hillary, at least she was fair game. Any adult who goes by the name Cindy, doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Next, I'm bored.

    June 19, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. ProundToBeADemocrat

    Who cares she is in drugs she does not know what she is talking about I do not take this woman serious.

    June 19, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |

    I am so sure that she has seen many people leave to go an serve thier country..she has also seen a man come back from serving his country and leave his wife and children for her. She is a fake as they come.

    She comes from a background of money and believes in getting her way at any cost and hurting anyone (that is proven by her privious actions)

    I want someone in the White House with family values that Americans can look up to not someone that would leave his wife and kids for a younger woman ( that uses all her money to try to stay that way)

    Yes he was a POW (granted) what else. He is ok with our men and women dieing in a foreign country for another 50 to 100 years. He has know idea about the economy. His wife has money (boat loads) so he will never really worry about gas prices or losing his home or job!! so what does he have in comon with the American Public? How will he do things to better our lives if he will never understand our lives. Proud of our country I think not as the rest of the world has no respect for us and we are no longer this super power because we have not aillies thanks to GWB and we want to continue this with McCain!!!! (WHY!!)

    June 19, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Cynthia

    Cindy McCain doesn't have room to talk. Some of the things that are known about her are not very American. I would rather have a 1st lady whose words were misinterperated than one who has done things that are questionable.

    June 19, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Sweetfriend

    Michelle said it all very clearly and it is her problem.Can she go back in time and furnish some proof that she had been proud of America before.

    June 19, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. JC from NJ

    Now I have another reason not to vote for senator McCain. Doesn't anyone in the republican party believe in taking the high road? No wonder you guys are blowing it this year! Petty, Petty.

    June 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. Cooper

    "I believe in my country so strongly." Of course, where else could power and money keep you for doing jail time for using your non-profit to steal drugs. At the same time , McCain was pushing for more punishment for drug-related crimes. I guess he saw his wife as an exception. How un-American. Cindy McCain is such a fraud.

    June 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. David in Illinois

    No to Mr. AND Mrs. McCain. They're poison for this country. We need healing and forward-looking policies and action, not another 4 years of nastiness, war, and economic incompetence. Please go back to the sidelines Mrs. McCain.

    June 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Lucy in Chicago, Illinois

    This is the only statment that Mrs. McCain knows how to make. Did she go to college?

    June 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Morgan, NY

    If she's going to attack Michelle Obama, bring it on. We're ready.

    June 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. darren

    why doesn't this woman shut up? shes irrelevant, Michelle Obama's big toe has more relevance than Mrs. McCain.

    June 19, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Yupik1

    What about the humanitarian needs of your fellow Americans Cindy McCain? People all along the Mississippi River are being ravaged by floods and you're thousands of miles away! A person genuinely PROUD of her country would be IN her country helping the needs of fellow Americans being displaced by natural disasters. I suppose Cindy McCain's eating cake in sunny Vietnam, while thousands of Americans are struggling to save their homes from the floods.

    June 19, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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