McCain praises former rival
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attended an event Wednesday to honor the victims of the Arizona shooting
January 14th, 2011
04:48 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain praises former rival

(CNN) - Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain issued high praise for President Obama's Wednesday address that honored victims of the Arizona shootings.

In an op-ed set to publish in the Washington Post Sunday, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee said his former rival gave a "terrific speech" and echoed the president's sentiment that political discourse should be "more civil than it currently is."

"Our political discourse should be more civil than it currently is, and we all, myself included, bear some responsibility for it not being so," McCain writes. "It probably asks too much of human nature to expect any of us to be restrained at all times by persistent modesty and empathy from committing rhetorical excesses that exaggerate our differences and ignore our similarities."

He added that it is not beyond America's "ability and virtue to refrain from substituting character assassination for spirited and respectful debate."

Filed under: John McCain • President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Debbie from Arizona

    I'm certainly glad Senator McCain made this statement, but I take it with a grain of salt. I watched him closely during the Memorial in Tucson. He sat through the whole event looking very sour, and when the rest of those in attendance gave our President a standing ovation, John McCain was almost the last to stand up. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

    January 14, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I had a dream two nights ago that Glen Beck referred to Barack as MR PRESIDENT....twice.....humbly and respectfully.
    Now this with John McCain.
    Politics and politicians......

    My arms hurt from being a puppet on a string..................................

    The only truth is that we MUST STOP THE HATE people. And only WE can do that.

    January 14, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. LeftCoastMike

    Finally, he shows a little class. He still is accountable for unleashing Palin on the nation, which was nothing more than a cheap political ploy, offensive to and cynical of the American electorate. His next move should be to pow-wow with his buddies in the "R' party and release a statement that SHE is not helping menmd the wounds of the nation and should tone down hetr rhetoric. They don't have the balls to do it and she doesn't have the brains to do it .... but it was just a thought.

    January 14, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Jill

    I will forever question his reasons for choosing Palin as his VP pick and I do not agree with many of his stances when it comes to policy, but he makes an extremely valid point... Discourse in this country needs to change by EVERYONE! Not just those in office but every citizen of this country. General respect is a thing of the past and it makes me sad to know that I'm raising two daughters in this type of vitriolic environment. I'm hopeful that this horrible tragedy will cause us all to look inside ourselves and make things better... And I think Sen. McCain did shake Pres. Obama's hand after the memorial... I saw the Pres shake two people's hands and one of them appeared to by Mrs. McCain who was seated right next to the Senator... I could be wrong but I had read a lot of people commenting on the fact that there was no exchange between the two of them so I watched closely (I DVR'd it) and that is what I thought I saw...

    January 14, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. they call me "tater salad"

    Certainly a step in the right direction.....We've spent the last 2 years pointing fingers at each other like a bunch of kids and look what it's accomplished..........That's the kinda change I can get behind, no problem!

    January 14, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. CBrown

    I hope that Senator McCain continues to speak with reason. It is time for every American to realize that we are all Americans and start solving the problems of this country.

    January 14, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. w l jones

    That good saying from Mr.McCain but we have some tell the NAACP what to do at a time we all should be coming together. Some people have fogotten where they came from in this country. If you were poor and White instead of degrade the naacp should be thanking them for freeing you.

    January 14, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Normagene

    Thank you Senator McCain. The proof of course will be in the pudding. Will both sides restrain themselves when the going gets rough. We used to be able to count on your as a voice of reason amid the hate. Let's hope you will become that again.

    January 14, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Our political discourse should be more civil than it currently is, and we all, myself included, bear some responsibility for it not being so," McCain writes."

    Nice words, John. Hopefully walking the walk follows.

    January 14, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    A Republican admitting he was part of the dangerous and caustic rhetoric?

    I will give him credit for admitting it, instead of producing an eight minute video called "Oh Woo is Me".

    January 14, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. ArooMadazda

    Funny how an article about bringing civility to political discourse generates so many posts that are not civil at all.

    January 14, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. The Choobs

    I heartily support and echo John McCain's words today. Unfortunately, those words come from one of the senate's most disingenuous, opportunistic, disconnected members of the body.

    January 14, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Norma Williams

    I'm glad he said what he said but I still in my heart of hearts cannot and will not forgive him for unleashing that Wicked Witch from Alaska on us. Until McCain AND the GOP FINALLY put this woman down and shut her up, then and only then will we be able to start to heal. But he and they won't. Their rapidly dwindling base needs her polarizing yet equally dwindling constituency. They made their bargain with the she-devil the moment they thrust her into the public spotlight, now they are stuck with her. Unfortunately so too are we.

    January 14, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. JackieInDallas

    A glimmer of the 'old' McCain. Now, can he do something about the tornado that he helped unleash in the election? Like telling her that attending a gun show/convention just after a major tragedy involving a hand gun might not be a wise idea? He, on his worst days can be Presidential, she on best days cannot even come up to the bar of being good as an infomercial spokesperson.

    January 14, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. Gabe

    John McCain – far too late – too many flip flops and you did give the US the poor victimized Sarah as a warm and fuzzy gift . How can the American people ever trust you again. Shame on you!!!!!!

    January 14, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. shoegazer

    Better late than never I guess.Maybe some of his fellow GOPer's(you know who they are)will take heed.

    January 14, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. B

    McCain has, and will, say anything that suits the occasion to reflect well on himself as we have all witnessed for some time.

    He is a classic representation of the typical politician. Say and do whatever furthers your position with respect to your current audience. His inconsistency is the difference between real and false and he is a fraud as his history shows.

    January 14, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Dr Platinum

    I am a hard core liberal I love the president, and I will vote for President Obama again, but John McCain is a CLASS ACT!

    January 14, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  19. james

    That is a..well i was going to say ICBM up sarah's skirt...but since we are civilizing ourselves i will just say she ain't gonna like that one bit.

    January 14, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. amanda

    Although I don't agree with most of McCain's political stances and ideas, I've always felt that he was a decent and honorable person. I'm glad everybody is getting to see that side of him again. Just imagine what we could accomplish if more Republicans (and Democrats) followed suit........

    January 14, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    people don't seem to remember but one fo the first things President Obama did when he took office was give a party for Sen McCain. While Sarah Palin was giving rallies where people where shouting out things like "triator", "terrorist", "Muslim un-American" and some cases even WORSE and she did nothing but reveal in it, I recall Sen McCain telling a rather mis-informed woman that Sen Obama was a NICE respectful family man not an Arab. And he was BOOED for it. Yes you can be civil during the heat of an election. I just think there are those who really don't want to.

    January 14, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. Tish

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. However I will not forget that he unleashed that horrible monster SP on the American people. I also think it would be hard pressed for him to say otherwise since the tragedy did occur in HIS state. God Bless America

    January 14, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. shamgar50

    Now the rightists will brand him a "RINO", if they haven't already. You need a score card to keep track of everyone they hate!

    January 14, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    What McCain has to recognize, is that Obama himself, is the main person responsible for partisanship, in Washington, today.

    January 14, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. Looking at one side of the aisle is not productive

    Seriously, Sniffit. Even after an honorable thing is said, you still can't give credit where credit is due, if it's due to a Republican.

    January 14, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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