Sen. John McCain, who is suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer, now says he wishes he hadn’t chosen former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign. Instead, he says he should have chosen Joe Lieberman.
McCain is also saying he does not want President Trump at his funeral. And while he does not want Trump there, he does want Vice President Mike Pence. In addition, former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been asked to deliver eulogies at McCain’s funeral, sources close to both former presidents and McCain told CNN.
McCain writes in his new book, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and other Appreciations,” that he really wanted to pick Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat turned Independent and former senator from Connecticut. The two had worked together on many bipartisan bills and have been longtime friends.
In his book, McCain doesn’t pull any punches about Trump. “He seems uninterested in the moral character of world leaders and their regimes,” he writes of the President, according to the Times, which obtained a copy of the book. “The appearance of toughness or a reality show facsimile of toughness seems to matter more than any of our values. Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity.”
McCain is now 81 and in the final stages of terminal brain cancer. As a Republican, he was dubbed a “maverick” by the media for his penchant to buck the party line. He was never a real conservative and he forgets that Palin was the one who even got him close to winning the presidency against Barack Obama. He said his advisers told him not to select Lieberman. They feared his support for abortion would put off staunch Republicans. It would have. Palin energized the Tea Party who would have never gone for McCain otherwise. “It was sound advice that I could reason for myself,” he writes. “But my gut told me to ignore it and I wish I had.”
His longtime friend Lieberman told the New York Times that he never knew McCain felt that way. I’m sure Palin didn’t either. “It touched me greatly,” he said. After McCain picked Palin in 2008, the economy tanked and the GOP pair went on to get defeated by Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Trump and McCain began feuding early in the 2016 presidential race. McCain took issue with Trump’s criticisms of Mexican immigrants. About three weeks later, Trump called McCain “incompetent” and discounted his experience as a war prisoner in Vietnam. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump told an Iowa crowd. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” Bitter to the very end, McCain is now lashing out at those he doesn’t like politically. He loathes President Trump so much that he plans to diss him from beyond the grave.
McCain, a bonafide war hero who was held as a prisoner of war by the Vietnamese for five horrific years, is reportedly planning his own funeral. He has been at his home in Arizona for several months as he undergoes treatment for his cancer and recently had surgery to deal with an infection. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here,” he said in an audio excerpt of his forthcoming memoir, The Restless Wave, as NPR reports. The senator is also the subject of a nearly two-hour HBO documentary.
He writes, “I’d like to go back to our valley and see the creek run after the rain, and hear the cottonwoods whisper in the wind. I want to smell the rose-scented breeze and feel the sun on my shoulders,” McCain said. “I want to watch the hawks hunt from the sycamore, and then take my leave bound for a place near my old friend Chuck Larson in the cemetery on the Severn back where it began.”
A stream of supporters and politicians have been visiting McCain at his Arizona ranch and at a nearby hospital in recent weeks, according to published reports. Former Vice President Joe Biden has been spending hours at the McCain residence in Arizona, which apparently included a bit of veiled Trump bashing. “Here John knows he’s in a very, very, very precarious situation, and yet he’s still concerned about the state of the country,” Biden told The Times. “We talked about how our international reputation is being damaged and we talked about the need for people to stand up and speak out.”
As McCain passes, he should be afforded respect. But to preemptively exclude a sitting President from your funeral strikes me as petty. Instead, I would think that McCain would make his peace with God and put politics aside. You can’t take it with you after all.
Going home to Arizona to be with my family – will be back on @TheView Tuesday. Thank you all again for your prayers, patience, understanding and compassion during this time. It means the world to me and my entire family. ???
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) May 4, 2018
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