Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) tore into fellow failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her decision to publish a lengthy post-mortem of the 2016 campaign — saying “the hardest thing to do is just to shut up.”
“What’s the fucking point? Keep the fight up? History will judge that campaign, and it’s always a period of time before they do,” McCain said as part of a lengthy interview with Esquire published Sunday.
McCain was speaking from his experience of losing to the 2008 election to President Barack Obama. He said that while he was tempted to publish his own account of what went wrong, particularly as his reputation was damaged by tell-all book Game Change, he resisted.
His decision stands in stark contrast to Clinton, who has spent much of 2017 at speaking events relitigating the election and has also published her 500-page account of the election, What Happened.
Clinton’s book retreads many of her familiar reasons she cites for having lost the election, including alleged Russian interference and former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation into her private email server in late October.
McCain said such attempts are likely to be futile:
“You’ve got to understand that you can’t rewrite history,” he told Esquire’s David Usborne. “One of the almost irresistible impulses you have when you lose is to somehow justify why you lost and how you were mistreated: ‘I did the right thing! I did!’ The hardest thing to do is to just shut up.”
McCain is planning a memoir of his own, almost a decade after his 2008 campaign. But his advice to Clinton is that she has to find something to do, and to move on with her life.
“You’ve got to move on. This is Hillary’s problem right now: She doesn’t have anything to do,” he said.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.