Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain has become increasingly critical of the Trump administration. On Friday, he gave a not-so-subtle speech at the Munich Security Conference where he lambasted the president, although he never uttered Trump’s name.
McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama, currently serves as the senior United States senator from Arizona.
In the speech, which was posted in its entirety on Medium, Senator McCain expressed concern for “the hardening resentment we see towards immigrants and refugees and minority groups — especially Muslims.”
McCain said that the founders of the Munich Security Conference “would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.”
The annual Munich Security Conference first took place in 1963 and brings together leaders from nearly a hundred countries to discuss international security policy and the challenges facing the world.
President Trump, who has pushed an agenda of isolationism under the slogan “America first,” was not present at the conference. McCain referenced Trump’s absence in his speech.
“I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend.”
Senator McCain went on to speak of the importance of international alliances, saying, “We cannot give up on ourselves and on each other. That is the definition of decadence. And that is how world orders really do decline and fall.”
In another shot at Trump, John McCain said, “I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries.”
“I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West, and I believe we must always, always stand up for it. For if we do not, who will?”
According to the Washington Post, President Trump recently “suggested the United States didn’t exactly have the moral high ground on Russia,” an idea refuted by McCain.
The feud between President Trump and Senator McCain has been escalating in recent weeks. On Saturday, just hours after the speech at the Munich Security Conference, McCain took another shot at Trump — this time in response to the president’s declaration on Twitter that the media is “the enemy of the American people.”
In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, McCain responded to Trump’s tweet, saying that this is “how dictators get started.”
McCain cautioned that in the absence of a free press, America “would lose so much of our individual liberties over time.”
He added, “When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”
According to the Inquisitr, the president’s war on the media has “concerned those who view his attacks on the press as attacks on First Amendment rights.”
Trump’s latest Twitter rant against the press has resulted in backlash on the same social media site. His detractors are tweeting in defense of the media with the message “#NotTheEnemy.”
— Phil Williams (@NC5PhilWilliams) February 18, 2017
— Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) February 18, 2017
— James Garside (@jamesgarside_) February 18, 2017
McCain is one of Trump’s strongest critics within the Republican Party. As one of the most senior members of the Senate, his opposition could pose difficulties to Trump’s presidency.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]