After Sunday night’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that featured the heightened discussion regarding Trump’s remarks on women from 2005, it wasn’t long before his comments found there way into the Arizona debate for Senate.
Senator John McCain was asked about his decision to revoke his support of the Republican nominee near the 14:30 mark of the debate, and the senator explained that Trump’s comments on women were the final straw.
Opponent Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick brought up other past insults and blunders associated with Trump throughout the election process, and asked why it took McCain so long to renounce the Republican nominee.
“John McCain has been supporting Donald Trump, over 60 times he has endorsed him,” Kirkpatrick stated. “So, it wasn’t enough when Trump insulted the Khan family, a gold star family, who called on John McCain to renounce Trump. It wasn’t enough when Trump made fun of a disabled reporter and the whole disabled community called on John McCain to renounce Trump. No, he wouldn’t do that.
“He (Trump) even made fun of veterans suffering from PTSD. No, John McCain wouldn’t renounce him. He’s been trying to run from Trump’s disparaging remarks for the last year, while at the same time endorsing him over 60 times.”
Senator McCain addressed the importance of supporting the party’s nominee for president, and reiterated that Trump had won the nomination and the party’s support. However, when his remarks on women surfaced, that was when McCain decided it was time to distance himself from Trump.
“When Mr. Trump attacks women and demeans the women in our nation and in our society, that is a point where I just have to part company,” McCain said. “It’s not pleasant for me to renounce the nominee of my party, he won the nomination fair and square. I have daughters, I have friends, I have so many wonderful people on my staff, they cannot be degraded and demeaned in that fashion. So, I believe I had to withdraw my support, just as I cannot support Hillary Clinton.”
The senator shifted the conversation back toward the controversy behind the Democratic nominee regarding the deleted emails on the Benghazi attack, and insisted that Kirkpatrick renounce her support of Clinton.
“I wonder, since I have renounced my support, when is Congresswoman Kirkpatrick going to renounce her support for Hillary Clinton,” McCain asked. “She has continuously lied, who lied to the families, the parents standing next to the coffin, flag draped, of their son saying, ‘I’m going to get the guy that made the hateful video’. When we know that she was emailing her daughter and others that she knew it was a terrorist attack. She’s lied about her lies, about her lies, about the server. It’s not an accident that most Americans do not trust her.”
Kirkpatrick stated that she would not renounce her support for Clinton.
When asked if McCain thought that his credibility would be damaged by his support of Trump, the senator added that the people of Arizona know and trust who he is and isn’t worried that his connection with Trump will diminish his credibility. McCain is, however, worried about the current state of the Republican party, and what the future holds for it.
“The people of this country and the people of Arizona know me, and that’s why there’s a wide disparity in the polling data,” McCain said. “People of Arizona know me, my service to them, my character to them, my integrity, I just worry, frankly, about the future of the Republican party. We’re going to have a lot of work to do after this election is over.”
When asked by moderator Ted Simons who McCain is going to vote for, the senator jokingly said that he would write in former Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham, who is an old friend of McCain’s and many people like him.
Kirkpatrick interrupted fellow moderator Yvonne Wingett Sanchez to ask McCain if he trusted Trump’s finger on the nuke button, and he stated that he did not envision a scenario where that would happen.
McCain asked Kirkpatrick the same question regarding Clinton, and she responded instantly with an emphatic “yes.”
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