US election results: Why Arizona’s Cindy McCain could seal Trump’s loss
Friday - 06/11/2020 08:08
The crucial state of Arizona should’ve swung Trump’s way. But his war of words against one man may have not only cost him the state, but the election.
Out of America’s 15 battleground states, it should’ve been a safe bet that Donald Trump won the 11 electoral votes up for grabs in Arizona.
The state, in the nation’s south west, has only once since 1952 been called for a Democratic candidate – Bill Clinton, in 1996.
But the constant attacks of the US President on one man – the late Senator John McCain – may have contributed to huge backlash in Arizona that will not only see it flip blue for Joe Biden, but likely cost Mr Trump the presidency.
As Fox News and The Associated Press called the state for Mr Biden, the fury of Mr Trump’s supporters was quickly turned toward Mr McCain’s widow Cindy, who endorsed Mr Biden back in September and, in the words of conservative Mark Levin, “helped cost us Arizona”.
To understand how Ms McCain could’ve played a role in Mr Trump’s undoing, we have to go back to the 2016 election – when, during his campaign, the now-President disparaged the Arizona senator, declaring he was “not a war hero” despite serving – and being captured and tortured – during the Vietnam War.
“He’s not a war hero,” Mr Trump said of Mr McCain in 2015.
“He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
And for those who believe that “revenge is a dish best served cold,” Cindy McCain played a major role in making sure that Trump lost Arizona, home state of her beloved husband, an American hero. What must John McCain be thinking as he looks down and watches this happen tonight?
During a Republican Veterans for Biden-Harris panel, Ms McCain said that in the months leading up to Mr Trump’s election, “I listened to him denigrate my husband, and then denigrate my husband again while (John) was on his death bed.
“And John kept telling me, he said, ‘Don’t. It’s just politics. Don’t react to it.’ And I didn’t.”
But it was the further derision of Mr Trump this year – allegedly referring to Americans who had died in service as “suckers” and “losers” – that lead to Ms McCain finally taking a stand.
“You know, I'm the mother of two veterans and a wife of a veteran, and my father was a veteran. They were not losers and suckers by any chance,” she told 60 Minutes.
“It angered me a great deal. It angered me. And so I thought, you know, I can either sit here and be angry or I can do something.”
Mr Biden has been a longtime friend of the McCain family, bonding not only as the parents of children who have served in the military, but also over glioblastoma – the aggressive brain cancer that killed Mr Biden’s son Beau three years before Mr McCain succumbed to the same disease.
“A president who will lead with courage and compassion, not ego. A president who will respect the sacrifices made by our service members and their families, a president who will honour our fallen heroes and a president who will bring out the best in us, not the worst.”
Ms McCain said Mr Biden would “always fight for the American people, just like John did”.
After Ms McCain announced her support for Mr Biden, the President (unsurprisingly) took to Twitter to not only disparage his opponent, but also Mr McCain once more.
“I hardly know Cindy McCain,” he wrote.
“Joe Biden was John McCain’s lapdog. So many bad decisions on Endless Wars & the V.A., which I brought from a horror show to high approval. Never a fan of John! Cindy can have Sleepy Joe!”
Late last month, Ms McCain said during an interview with WCVB she believed the President’s record in office would cause traditionally red states – like Arizona – to flip come November 3.
“I never would have thought I’d be living in a time when Arizona would go blue, but I think this administration, what they have done to this country, is exactly why it’s going to go blue,” she said.
And it’s very possible her prediction might come true.
“For those who believe that ‘revenge is a dish best served cold,’ Cindy McCain played a major role in making sure that Trump lost Arizona, home state of her beloved husband, an American hero,” author Michael Beschloss wrote on Twitter.
“What must John McCain be thinking as he looks down and watches this happen tonight?”