“Make America Great Again” was in the crosshairs of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) memorial service on Saturday as daughter Meghan McCain, former President Barack Obama, and former President George W. Bush blasted President Donald Trump in their eulogies.
“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness — the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly,” Meghan McCain said during the memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great,” Meghan McCain said to applause.
Trump wasn’t invited to any of McCain’s memorial services, and yet the snubbed president loomed large over the cathedral because Meghan McCain, Obama and Bush made sure of it.
“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty — trafficking and bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage,” Obama said in an allusion to Trump’s presidency. “It’s the politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear.”
Obama added that “perhaps how we honor [John McCain] best, by recognizing that there are some things bigger than party or ambition or money or fame or power, that there are some things that are worth risking everything for — principles that are eternal, truths that are abiding.”
Bush seemed to allude to Trump’s strict immigration enforcement policies when he said, “John was, above all, a man with a code” who “respected the dignity inherent in every life — a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators.”
“Perhaps above all, John detested the abuse of power. He could not abide bigots and swaggering despots,” Bush added. “There was something deep inside him that made him stand up for the little guy, to speak for forgotten people in forgotten places.”
Trump took to Twitter after the service, tweeting, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2018
McCain died August 25 after battling brain cancer for a year. He was a Navy pilot and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam’s “Hanoi Hilton” hellhole. McCain served in the Senate for more than 30 years and was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee against Obama. Bush also defeated McCain in the GOP presidential primary in 2000.
Although Obama and Bush had long ago set aside their differences with McCain, Trump and McCain had a tense and often hostile relationship.
The two never reconciled and McCain specifically directed that Trump not participate in the memorial services, which otherwise lauded McCain’s ability to bridge differences.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at McCain’s service on Friday in Washington’s Capitol Rotunda, while Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, adviser Ivanka Trump and senior adviser Jared Kushner, represented Trump at Saturday’s services at the invitation of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), according to The New York Times.