Trump Critics Use John McCain’s Funeral To Criticize The President — Here’s What They Said
Several speakers threw in jabs at President Trump during Saturday’s funeral service for the late Senator John McCain.
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” said Meghan McCain, referencing Trump’s presidential campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
McCain also called American greatness, “The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
Meghan McCain: “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing. Not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege.” (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/AcDUhhE5OG
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 1, 2018
Former President Obama also took a few shots at the president without naming any names. (RELATED: Obama Delivers Challenge In McCain Eulogy: Be Bigger Than Politics ‘Born Of Fear’)
“John McCain understood that if we get in the habit of bending the truth to suit political expediency, or party orthodoxy, our democracy will not work,” he said.
“John McCain understood that if we get in the habit of bending the truth to suit political expediency, or party orthodoxy, our democracy will not work.” President Obama pic.twitter.com/WSWrevTBk8
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 1, 2018
Barack Obama on McCain: “Our politics, public life, public discourse can seem small and mean and petty. Trafficking in insult and phony controversies…It’s the politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that” pic.twitter.com/fn3NH7ASPN
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 1, 2018
Former President George Bush also delivered what some considered to be a few Trump digs.
“Above all, John detested the abuse of power,” said Bush. “He could not abide bigots and swaggering despots.”
“He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators,” he continued. “John’s voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder: ‘We’re better than this, America is better than this.'”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 1, 2018
Some conservatives noticed the trend and pointing it out via Twitter:
Another day of attacking Trump via McCain weeklong memorial with media amplification. Terrible.
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) September 1, 2018
Watching the endless, days on end, 24/7 coverage of the moving memorials and ceremonies for American hero John McCain, realizing that if he were a strong Trump supporter, this would only get a 90 second piece once every few hours and very few celebrities in the crowd.
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) September 1, 2018
Entire McCain memorial – from the words of Lieberman, Kissinger, Bush, Obama & others, to the applause they receive – is a giant subtweet against Trump. There has never been quite such a spectacle against a sitting president.
— Edward Luce (@EdwardGLuce) September 1, 2018
#McCainMemorial was about two things: Remembering Sen. McCain and hating on Trump.
From the reporting on it, it seems the latter was sadly more important than anything else.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) September 1, 2018
Aretha Franklin and John McCain’s funerals have been political, even spiteful, and it’s actually kinda gross. If Trump is in your head that much, that you want him referenced at your FREAKING FUNERAL, you have issues.
— Chicks On The Right (@chicksonright) September 1, 2018
Liberals and Trump’s critics, on the other hand, saw the funeral as a perfect opportunity to criticize the sitting president. So much so that Wall Street Journal correspondent David Wessell saw the funeral “shaping up as the Washington Establishment’s response to Trump” and wondered if it would “have a lasting impact.”
McCain funeral seems to be shaping up as the Washington Establishment’s response to Trump. Wonder if it’ll have a lasting impact.
— David Wessel (@davidmwessel) September 1, 2018
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, a frequent Trump critic, was quick to weigh in.
McCain points to some of what is best in America, Trump to much of what is worst. It’s up to us to decide which man to emulate, whose path to follow.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 31, 2018
Politico editor-in-chief Blake Hounshell praised Meghan McCain’s rebuke of President Trump as “extraordinary.”
Extraordinary rebuke of President Trump by Meghan McCain at her fatjer’s funeral. What a moment.
— Blake Hounshell (powered by blockchain) (@blakehounshell) September 1, 2018
Meanwhile, as the nation mourns the passing of John McCain, Trump arrives at his golf course, having spent the morning angrily tweeting about NAFTA, the dossier, and his former political rivals.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) September 1, 2018
While Meghan McCain quotes Ernest Hemingway, Donald Trump is quoting Dan Bongino.
— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) September 1, 2018
It wasn’t just that John McCain’s funeral was intended to be an attack on Donald Trump, it’s that it was a celebration of duty and honor and American principles and Trump is inherently the antithesis of those things.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) September 1, 2018
The entire funeral is a rebuke of the sitting president. Pretty wild.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 1, 2018
It may have been McCain’s funeral, but Obama and Bush buried Trump
— Frank Lesser (@sadmonsters) September 1, 2018
Without saying Trump’s name, Meghan McCain, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all delivered eulogies blasting his worldview. Knowing John McCain, he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) September 1, 2018
Others pointed out the fact that Trump was actually doing something else, even though he was clearly not invited to the funeral.
As official Washington gathers for the funeral of John McCain at the National Cathedral, Donald Trump watches Fox News and tweets
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) September 1, 2018
Bill Clinton- Honoring Aretha Franklin at her funeral
George Bush- Honoring John McCain at his funeral
Barack Obama- Honoring John McCain at his funeral
Joe Biden- Honoring John McCain at his funeral
Donald Trump- At a rally in Indiana pointing at cameras & saying FAKE NEWS
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) August 31, 2018