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. Proud of Michelle Obama


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


    June 19, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Really...what is the difference

    Why does the media choose to spin all things Obama in a positive light?

    Do they seriously think Obama is a Messiah? Are they afraid of appearing racist?

    The media doesn't do the same for anyone else.

    The media was brutal to HRC- hideously vile and biased in its criticism.

    They are not hateful toward the McCains.... but they are not gushing all over themselves with praises and justifications and excuses, the way they do with the Obamas.

    June 19, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |

    by the way..John was not her husband while he was a prisoner of war, he was someone elses husband that was crying with thier children every night, worring about him until he came home alive and well (thank God) just to leave them for the beer lady.

    I guess she should be proud of her country!!!LOL

    June 19, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Belinda (California)

    I do not want to start attacking Mrs. McCain but perhap she should listen to the comment again. Mrs. Obama said "really" proud as oppose to the interpretation of "for the first time in my life I am proud...." There is a definite difference in the statements.

    June 19, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Il voter

    McCain family dont own a patent to be proud of country. Everyone is proud of america

    June 19, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Ryan

    Good For Her. From Hillary to Clinton. NEVER Obama or his fake white hating wife.

    June 19, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. RYAN

    I think Cindy McCain should worry about her old wishy washy husband, one who loses his attention in every speech except someone whispers in his ear. Over 50 million people voted for dumb Bush and what did they get- stupidity. Cindy should focus on her drug addiction recovery, stealing of recipe, and illegal business deal in Danfur.
    Cindy! Americans 're not stupid as you and McDumb think– we know who you 're?

    June 19, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Flor

    Cindy McCain has nothing to retract or explain. She just reinstated how proud she is of her Country all the time.

    After I have heard Michelle Obama’s comments, it is clear that she starts being proud of this wonderful Country when her husband begun to run for president. Shame on her; she owes everything she is and has to this Country!

    June 19, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Cindy needs to tell the truth about her drug addiction. She said when her mother found out she was using she quit, NOT TRUE. FACT: Her picture was posted all over the Arizona newspaper in front of the charity she stole drugs from, now was that before her mother found out or when her mother found out along with the rest of Arizona citizens. TELL THE TRUTH CINDY AND DON'T HIDE BEHIND MICHELLE OBAMA.

    June 19, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Eric

    I love this woman for her integrity! I think Cindy McCain would make a beautiful first lady!

    June 19, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. skunkrat The Marine

    She is a SNAKE, as is her husband. She will do and say anything to bolster her chances of getting to the White House.

    June 19, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Student for OBAMA 08!!!

    And another thing to be proud of. Because of this election with Obama and Hillary for the first time on television I see people that look like me. Never before have cable news channels had so much diversity. Cindy McCain should get a clue. The comments were not that big of a deal. Laura Bush got it.

    June 19, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Adam Habib

    Cindy McCain's found an opening and took a swing at Mitchell Obama. Well, its Okay. I do not blame her for that because she mentioned that she was a very emotional woman. However, she should be careful, democrates can unleash quite a few things about her which are not so nice. It is time for spouse not to take a punch at each others and let the candidates play.

    June 19, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. MD

    Cindy McCane should be "proud" of this country. Growing up in a rich family, having everything she ever wanted, are good enough reasons for her to be "proud."

    She is an elitist woman who tries to play down her rich background by making stupid comments like "I'm just a woman from Arizona." That is such an insult to Arizonians. She says that as if Arizona is a dump.

    The pettier Repubs become, the more people flock to Obama. They should look and see what happened to Clinton when she tried to attack Obama's character.

    June 19, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Can we unite please!

    Then we wonder why Obama is leading.

    June 19, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Tom

    Hay Ryan, care to back up your slander againts Michelle Obama, and to offer proof of her being "white hating"?

    June 19, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Mr Fix it (Sanford Florida)

    Oh what a waste of energy.

    I think there should be a debate of spouses on issues.
    Does someone really think Cindy would be a better VP than Michelle if a president could should his / her spouse to be the VP?

    Really I dare someone to set up a Spouses debate nationally televised.

    June 19, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. MoveOn

    What would you expect Axelrod to say? Spin, lie and deny. Spin, lie and deny. Spin, lie and deny. He's a very dedicated Democrat!

    June 19, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. The

    Cindy McCain sound like a normal person.
    I think the Michelle Obama comment was a poor choice of words by Michelle and I am sure if she could take the comments back she would.

    I am not electing the wife, I am electing a President.

    McCain 08

    June 19, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Nia - AZ by way of MN

    I think Mr McCain might want to tap her on the shoulder and let her know that he agreed with Obama that family was off limits. hopefully it will stop here. It would be a shame for her to be attack for her indescretions with pain killers

    June 19, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. mixed messages from Obama

    The Obamas are just lying hypocrits.

    Notice how they want to appeal to Muslims and yet do not want people to see that Muslims support Obama- that is why they removed the 2 Muslim women from view behind Obama.

    At the same time, Obama repeats that he is a Christian. Why does he keep pressing that point? Don't we have freedom of religion? What is wrong with being a Muslim?

    Obama wants to be all things to all people and keeps getting caught in his own trap of hypocrisy.

    What is the UNITY of which he speaks? It does not apply to HRC supporters, or white blue collar white men, or Jews, or Muslims.

    So what IS HIS MESSAGE?

    June 19, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Adam Habib

    To Ryan,

    So you came to conclusion that Mitchell is a hater? Huh! Obama is half white and half black. I guess she hates whites, not hafl whites. Get over Hillary. Go vote for McCain and you will end up with another Scalia.

    June 19, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Pam Corbino

    Michelle Obama is responsible for any words that she speaks. When she said that "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country," she shouldn't later be believed when she says that what Ishe "clearly" meant was something else . . . the public hears what she says, period, and she was very clear in her initial statement as to how she feels about America.

    Pam from Florida

    June 19, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Jim

    Michelle Obama needs to take pattern off of Cindy McCain and become involved in charity work. I think that is where her time, money and efforts would be best spent.

    June 19, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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