Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, expressed support for Joe Biden at the all-virtual Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night in a video that highlighted her late husband's decadeslong friendship with Biden and his famous vote against repealing Obamacare.
Unlike other Republicans, who used their slots at the convention to rebuke President Donald Trump, McCain's spot focused on how Biden, as well as her late husband, practiced what's now seen as a rarity in Washington, D.C. — bipartisanship.
"It was a style of legislating and leadership that you don't find much anymore," McCain says in the video, titled "An Unlikely Friendship."
A moment later, the video's narrator recalled John McCain's history of bipartisanship, detailing the moment when McCain, R-Ariz., voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act with a thumbs-down gesture that has enraged Trump for years.
"When million of Americans were faced with losing their health insurance, it was Joe's friend who saved Obamacare by crossing the aisle," the narrator said in the video.
Earlier in the video, McCain recalled the camaraderie between Biden and her husband, who died in August 2018.
"They would just sit and joke," McCain said. "It was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them."
McCain, in a tweet before Tuesday night's convention proceedings that included a clip of the video, wrote: "My husband and Vice President Biden enjoyed a 30+ year friendship dating back to before their years serving together in the Senate, so I was honored to accept the invitation from the Biden campaign to participate in a video celebrating their relationship."
In the video, the narrator explained that the men came to know each other when McCain, as a young Navy Senate liaison, was assigned as a military aide to Biden for an overseas trip he was taking as a senator. McCain and Biden served in the Senate together for more than 20 years.
The Associated Press was first to report the news of McCain's video, and it also reported that she would not explicitly endorse Biden despite the public show of support.
Other McCain family members have previously spoken of the support and warmth they've received from Biden. Biden, whose son Beau died in 2015 of the same form of brain cancer that killed McCain, publicly consoled McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, during a 2017 episode of "The View."
Cindy McCain, however, was just one of the latest Republicans to appear at the Democrats' convention as the party seeks to provide shelter for disaffected Republicans and independents turned off by Trump.
On Monday night, four prominent Republicans — former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, who was the Republican nominee in the 2010 California governor's race — addressed the convention, urging Americans to vote against the "disappointing" and "disturbing" Trump.
Cindy McCain's statement — which was released while Trump was in McCain's home state, Arizona — also adds to the bitter feud her husband had with Trump. Trump has repeatedly dissed John McCain, a Vietnam War hero, and has on a number of occasions criticized him for voting against repealing the Affordable Care Act.
"He's not a war hero," Trump said at a campaign event in Iowa in 2015. "He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."
McCain volunteered to fight in Vietnam, and after the plane he was flying was shot down in 1967, he was captured and tortured for more than five years. He refused an early release and saw freedom only in 1973 as the war ended.
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In 2017, in an act of defiance against Trump, McCain returned to the Capitol less than a week after his cancer was diagnosed to cast his vote on the Republican effort to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act — the biggest legislative achievement of President Barack Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 election.
McCain first voted in favor of debating the bill but later cast the decisive vote against repeal, enraging Trump.
Trump was asked to stay away from McCain's funeral and only reluctantly ordered the White House flags to half-staff under pressure from veterans groups when McCain died.
Trump continued to attack McCain after his death. In 2019, seven months after McCain died, the president lashed out again over his Affordable Care Act vote, telling reporters that he "was never a fan" of McCain's "and never will be."
Just before that broadside, Trump had accused McCain of sending a Trump opposition research dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele into the hands of multiple media outlets in late 2016.