The widow of former Sen. John McCain, Cindy McCain, says President Trump’s nationalist-populist Republican Party is “not the party” she and her husband “belonged to.”
During an interview with Politico‘s Women Rule podcast, McCain said the party of Trump — centered around a pro-U.S. worker agenda — is not what she and her late husband were a part of.
“We have, on my side of the aisle, on the Republican side, we see a local party in Arizona that’s not functioning well,” McCain said. “And it’s excluding people. And it’s excluding people for the wrong reasons.”
“If you’re not walking the line, then you’re out,” she continued. “That’s just not right. That’s not the party that my husband and I belonged to.”
McCain also seemed to take subtle jabs at Trump’s way of communicating with his supporters, bypassing the establishment media and pundit class.
“I think we’ve seen the end of men like my husband. At least for right now,” McCain said.
“The inability to even discuss issues — differing issues — it’s degenerated into name-calling and Twitter responses, and all of these things that not only do they not help the argument, but they don’t help foster good relationships with people,” McCain said.
While McCain’s husband lost the 2008 presidential election running on the decades-long Republican establishment platform of neoconservative foreign interventionism, extending the Bush-era tax cuts, and amnesty for illegal aliens, Trump swept to victory in 2016 with his “America First” agenda of a travel ban from terrorist-sponsored countries, a promise to bring U.S. troops home, and a commitment to pulling out of multilateral free trade deals and global agreements like TPP and the Paris Climate Accord.
Trump’s economic nationalist platform won him majorities in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — states not won by Republicans in years.
In a March 2019 poll by Harvard/Harris, about three-in-four U.S. voters said they support a nationalist-populist approach to trade, immigration, and foreign policy — that is, tariffs on foreign imports to protect American industries, less immigration, and less foreign intervention overseas.
Last year, former presidential candidate and columnist Pat Buchanan said McCain’s preferred part of former President George W. Bush’s party had “become a Trump party” on all the defining issues of the time.
“The Bush party has become a Trump party,” Buchanan said. “… On the new issues, the populist conservative issues—control of the border, immigration, economic nationalism versus free trade, staying out of foreign wars that get us entangled and bleeding and accomplish nothing, ‘America First’—[the GOP] has become the Trump party now.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.