May 9, 2018
In recognition of the continuing ill will between Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and President Donald Trump, the ailing legislator and war hero—age 81 and battling aggressive brain cancer—has let it be known to the White House that he does not want the POTUS to attend his funeral. Vice President Mike Pence has been invited in Trump’s place.
The beef between the two men began during Trump’s presidential campaign, when the candidate said of the former Navy pilot, who had been held as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese at the Hanoi Hilton, “I like people who weren’t captured.”
But the relationship became truly icy last summer, after the Senator cast a pivotal vote that defeated GOP attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act at 2 a.m. on Friday, July 27.
Following that vote, McCain’s favorability rating rose to 58% among the American public, according to Gallup—with a surge in Democratic favorability more than making up for a decline among McCain’s fellow Republicans.
At the same time, President Donald Trump had a rating of 36%, after he made remarks questioning McCain’s military service at the Family Leadership Summit on July 15.
“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump told moderator Frank Luntz—a remark that was followed by some boos from the nearly 2,000 attendees of the event on the campus of Iowa State University, ABC News reported.
McCain spent five and a half years as a P.O.W.; deferments enabled Trump to dodge service in Vietnam entirely.
Trump also did not attend the recent funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush in Houston, Texas—supposedly in order “to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service,” the White House said last month. First lady Melania Trump attended the service instead, along with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton.
Now, NBC News reports, Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have been requested by McCain to be eulogists at his funeral service, which is to be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C..
Research contact: @RebeccaShabad