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. Slick Hilly

    Do we really need another Stepford Wife in the White House? I shouldn't say that. Laura is starting to show some personality.

    Actually, Cindy looks more like a Praying Mantis.

    June 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Mike

    This woman fakes receipes. She's not strong enough to withstand pain. She is pathetic!!

    June 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. aware

    Go Cindy! 🙂

    Give it up Axelrod! You are part of the reason that I will never vote for Obama. 🙁

    Cindy has much higher positive ratings than Michelle and a fix the Michelle image will not help.

    Remember the Kerry spouse problem!

    June 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Phil Newton, Murphy OR


    But she didn't pilfer downers from her own charity.

    Now, did she?

    June 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. spinners

    Obama and his wife are both manipulative frauds that keep re-tooling their words to perfect their message- depending on who the audience is.

    And the media keeps spinning for them. Refusing to be critical of the Obamas in any way.

    We are losing our free press and our democracy.

    June 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I believe that McCain has been quoted by Tim Russert as saying that he didn't truly discover his American sense of pride until he was a POW.

    Somehow I got the impression that Michelle Obama was expressing a similar sentiment. After listening to Cindy's sage advice to Michelle on how to be a politicians spouse, this denial of an attack rings a little hollow. The statement itself was the standard company line these days.

    June 19, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Jonathan G

    Wow, is this really all she has to attack with... this topic has been worn out. The statement was taken out of context anyway. Claw as hard as you can McCains... money wont buy this election!! 🙂

    June 19, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Susan Cusson, Mohave Valley, Arizona 86440

    Maybe someone should get their hands on Michelle Obama's Princeton Thesis as I have. Read it!!!! It speaks for itself. I went to college twice and never thought it necessary to write about racism. It was always a non-issue for me. I never saw color. I don't measure people by the color of their skin. Michelle, get over it. It is old news in a progressiv world. I vote McCain. We will be proud and safe!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Scott, Charlotte

    Notice you never see Cindy Mccain and Monty Burns in the same room at the same time.

    June 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. mkn

    Well okay, so when do we talk about your issues Cindy?

    June 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. She Enjoys Being A Girl

    "When I have a brand new hairdo
    With my eyelashes all in curl,
    I float as the clouds on air do,
    I enjoy being a girl!"

    -by Rogers and Hammerstein

    June 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Bill Obama = 2nd Carter Term

    To those that say something about of wife and then get mad for someone saying something about the other one: grow up.

    Both women are not running for office.

    June 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Bill From Florida

    Cindy McCain

    "YOU GO GIRL" You are right on, you will make a great
    First Lady that America can be proud of.

    June 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. beverly

    she can not back down on michelle, she won't be able to go home at night, she appears to be afraid of old mac. cindy does what she told to do nothing more, mac gave her permission to be on the attack, and not to let up or else. don't forget mac was a ( WAS A POW FOR 5 YEARS, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT GOES ON BEHIND CLOSE DOORS.

    June 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. al


    June 19, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Letha, SD

    Good for her. She should never back down. The messiah and his wife are public enough in their comments and criticisms.

    June 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Bradley In Colorado

    You're a fine woman, Cindy. If only your idiot husband could be so tolerant...

    June 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Skott

    Cindy McCain has proven that she is just as willing to get in the mud with other mean-spirited Republicans. Spontaneous?! What a liar. She is taking her talking points from her husbands angry campaign. Go take your multi-millions and put it toward something useful for the poor, disenfranchised, abused or homeless if you want to prove you love this country. Otherwise, your words remain just hollow Republican smear points.

    June 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. tito valentino

    She should be ashamed of herself. Instead of visting places displaced by flood in the United States, her first agenda is to run to Vietnam. misplaced priorities. Charity begins at home. Mccain's agenda has always been other countries first before the United States all in the name of wanting to seem that they have a lot of foreign policy experience.

    June 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. John

    Just because she has money doesn't mean she is a bad person. Heck, the Obama's have PLENTY of money. Go Cindy! Go Cindy! We all know who the REAL two-faced unpatriotic liar is.

    June 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Stop the lies!

    Why would anyone interpret McCain's comments as a dig on Mrs. Obama? please!!!! Of course she was trying to highlight some alleged difference between she and Michelle Obama on patriotism. Funny how she's quick to mention her emotions about our country but no comment on how she was cheating with John McCain while he was very much married!!!! Oh, those are just the little details....

    June 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Linda31

    FIrst of all, Michelle Obama has ALWAYS been proud of her country. She said she is really proud now or like Laura Bush said, more proud. She did not say she was not proud of her country. So take the wax out of your ears. Also Obama was talking about the political process & how engaged people were.

    Cindy McCain should think twice about trying to throw stones, especially unwarranted ones. Was she so proud of her country because she was able to avoid jail time for STEALING drugs from her own charity?

    June 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Shasta

    Pam- I don't know how many times this has to be said, but I'll try again. Michelle did not say "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country," she said that for the first time she was "really proud." One word, yes, but it makes a world of difference. Get over it.

    June 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. silas

    ridiculous, and this is a news to me ? even barbara bush understood what she meant .

    June 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Tanya, GA

    To Pam from Florida:

    If you're going to quote someone, you should do so accurately. The actual quote is as follows "....for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country..."

    As people like you already know (because it's what you're doing), you can remove one word from a quote and turn it into something totally different from what it was intended to be.

    June 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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