Former Sen. Cindy McCain said Saturday she would not run for President in 2020, endorsing Vice President Joe Biden for the vice presidency, following Donald Trump’s embarrassing visit to a military base and the near-inconsequential way he said he’d exit politics if elected.
In a statement announcing her decision, McCain cited Trump’s failure to invite the families of the fallen soldiers to the White House, the president’s absence from the Democratic convention in July, and her recognition of the President’s disdain for service members and veterans.“As a fellow veteran, Cindy McCain has done more than any other person to recognize the value of our service members and veterans,” McCain said in the statement. “She and I can and will stand together for the well-being of our men and women in uniform. Cindy and I have had the privilege of traveling together with our wives, serving with our wives on our tours and calling our sons and daughters today. I am proud of our Troops, and we will support their cause in every way we can.”
It was McCain’s third endorsement of a potential Democratic candidate for president. While she endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris of California over Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in June, she has never endorsed a candidate herself. She’s instead opted to keep her support for Barack Obama’s presidency.Related Articles Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Calls for Probe of Trump Lies John McCain Attacks White House, Again, Attacks Comey During Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Hearing Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham Declare Indefinite Legislative Hiatus Sen. Lindsey Graham Endorses Kyl for Senate in Nevada Senator Ben Sasse Rejected on House Floor by Trump, Will Run for Reelection
She also endorsed Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and said she will continue to back running-mate governors.
Numerous other Democrats said after Trump’s trip to South Korea Friday that they will now wait to see what is going to happen in 2020 before stepping forward, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden, who left the presidential race after narrowly losing to Trump in 2016, has resisted more recent praise from Democrats for his centrism, calling Trump “unelectable” last year. He has said in the past that he will not run for president in 2020.Biden said Saturday he hoped the negative publicity over Trump’s visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Tampa Bay Times revelations that Defense Secretary James Mattis refused to endorse a North Korean defector had given people pause about Trump’s “unmitigated arrogance and bad behavior.” “I’ve had to say to my colleagues, ‘You’re going to be seeing a lot of Donald Trump’s mistakes, you’re going to see a lot of questions, ‘I don’t know whether to run or not. I’ve asked you to consider yourself independent. Are you going to run for office or not?’” Biden said, according to CNN. “There is a special place in hell for anybody who disrespected our troops and disrespects our president.”
Biden has insisted he has no interest in running again — and that’s likely to make the Democrats’ decision even more polarizing in the 2020 race than it already is.
“What I’m truly focused on is being a human being and not in the country’s position, and even if I’m the nominee, the president is going to be a lot less happy to see me there,” Biden said.
The case of Trump’s response to the veterans’ tour was a shining example of his dismissive attitude toward service members and veterans.“I have great respect for our soldiers,” Trump said in a statement on Friday. “But the overwhelming majority of our vets have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces and come back full of spirit and valor. To people like myself, ‘thank you very much.’ If our soldiers deserve nothing more, but if their loyalty or service is not in question, they should understand that Americans — and I mean Americans of every faith — would like to see them go home soon.”
The White House issued an afternoon statement offering condolences to members of the military, along with a condemnation of Trump’s “disgraceful behavior” and indefinite boycott of the convention.