Meghan McCain delivered a heartfelt eulogy for her father John McCain at his funeral today. The speech included fond memories of the longtime senator and Vietnam war hero. But it also seemed to slam President Donald Trump.
“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness,” she began. “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.”
Later in the speech, the Trump references became more direct.
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said at one point.
Those words are an obvious reference to the Trump campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Her words were greeted with virtual applause on Twitter.
“Meghan McCain nailed it,” wrote Twitter user Cathy Wood. “She gave members of Congress a good lesson, hopefully, they will take heed. Beautiful speech Meghan.”
“Meghan McCain showed the Republican party the difference between an American hero who sacrificed for his country and a demagogue who sucks the life out of a great nation for his own selfish needs,” user Eugene Gu, MD tweeted.
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." pic.twitter.com/KMI9v6LiUA
— ABC News (@ABC) September 1, 2018
"The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great" – Meghan McCain speaking at memorial service for her father https://t.co/9xRcIT3NBm pic.twitter.com/AASBw29zqD
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 1, 2018
Donald Trump notably poked fun at John McCain’s military history during his 2016 presidential campaign. But according to TIME Magazine, he started making those types of comments about McCain in 1999 when the senator was vying for a presidential nomination from the Republican Party.
“He was captured … Does being captured make you a hero? I don’t know. I’m not sure,” he said during an interview with 60 Minutes.
Trump repeated the same sentiment during his campaign. As TIME notes, he said those words almost verbatim during an appearance at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa in July of 2015.
McCain became a critic of Trump but it doesn’t seem like he was motivated by the comments against him. He supported Trump when he was chosen as the Party’s candidate. That support ended abruptly when the Access Hollywood tape of then-candidate Trump was released. On the tape, Trump is speaking with Billy Bush and making derogatory comments about women and talking openly about grabbing them “by the p**sy.”
The senator from Arizona took offense to the statement and was open about it, TIME reports.
“He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”
President Donald Trump was not invited to John McCain’s funeral. Trump has received a lot of criticism for his response to his death. Today, he tweeted about the Steele dossier and other contentious issues and has not mentioned the McCain funeral as of the writing of this article.