Cindy McCain tells WFTX why she's backing Biden for President

Posted at 11:23 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 23:32:41-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla — The wife of the former GOP presidential nominee tells WFTX she's "remained Republican" in her endorsement of Democrat Joe Biden.

"But I really felt like this was the time," Cindy McCain told us in a Zoom interview.

"We need a leader that is not only bold but who will listen to experts on various issues and not just talk about them, she added.

Her late husband, Senator John McCain, and his running mate, Sarah Palin, lost the 2008 presidential race to Barack Obama and Biden.

One of her late husband's campaign mottos in 2008 was "Country First," and she said Biden exemplifies that.

"There's a difference between a politician and a party," she said.

"Joe Biden is a man that puts country first, not party first."

"That's why I believe he'll be a president for all people."

McCain's endorsement comes after years of Trump's public disparagement of her late husband, who was a navy pilot when he was shot down over Vietnam, taken a Prisoner of War, and tortured.

In 2015, Trump said McCain "was not a hero," adding "I like people that weren't captured."

President Trump did not serve in Vietnam after receiving medical deferments.

More recently, Fox News' National Security correspondent, Jennifer Griffin, reported multiple sources confirmed recent reporting by The Atlantic magazine and other media that the President has referred to American soldiers - even dead ones - as "suckers" and "losers."

Fox News later denied the reporting from its own correspondent, and the President called for her to be fired.

But the reporting was apparently enough to convince Mrs. McCain not to put it past the President - who's repeatedly called her late husband a "loser" - even after he died.

"The Biden family and our family shared a great deal in common," said McCain.

"And one of those issues that we shared in common was, of course, the military."

John McCain's sons both enlisted in the military.

So did Joe Biden's sons.

McCain says Trump "really doesn't understand the military."

"These men and women in many cases give the ultimate sacrifice, and denigrating their service is not something that should ever be done," she said.

"It's just wrong."

She also commented on when Trump dismissed Joe Biden's comments about his late son, Beau, who served in the military.

"That was wrong," she said, calling Beau "an amazing man."

"And so are the hundreds and thousands of others that have done the same thing and served."

We asked McCain the President and First Lady testing positive for the coronavirus.

"I pray they come through well," she said.

"I feel for them. I really do."

But she also pointed to the President's repeated mocking of Joe Biden for wearing a mask.

She said Biden "is a man who is not only willing to but is listening to the experts and the scientists on what this issue is how to manage it."

"That's a stark difference between candidates," she said.

"Like everybody, I was little scared when this broke out," McCain said of the pandemic.

"But I didn't feel like the President had my back."

"I felt like he didn't really care about me, and I feel like Joe Biden does in many, many ways," she added.

"Not just for me but for the general American electorate."

"He will be a president for all for all America. Not just his party," said McCain.

The President tweeted about McCain's endorsement repeating he was "never a fan" of her late husband and that she "can have Sleepy Joe."

He's not the only Republican criticizing McCain for endorsing the Democratic candidate for President.

The head of the GOP in her home state of Arizona, and others have had harsh words for her.

But McCain is unbowed and said so when we asked about the negative reactions she's getting.

"I don't care. I really don't care," she said.

"What I care about is electing Joe Biden to the presidency because he is the man that has the character, the leadership, the values that make a good president."

"I think a lack of empathy is not good," she said.

"And Joe has that empathy."

She said she hopes voters in Southwest Florida and the rest of the country will take her lead in crossing party lines to support Biden.

"I'm hoping some - women in particular - might see me do this and if they're on the fence think 'Well if she can do it, then I can do it.'"

When asked what her late husband might say about her endorsement, she was reflective.

"I would hope that I'm making him proud," she said.

"That in some way, he's watching over me in all this and, more importantly, watching over the country."

"We sure need a good leader right now."

Key Dates and Deadlines in Florida

Tues, Nov. 3: In-Person Voting
Fri, Nov. 13: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date