Cindy McCain Presses Obama on Patriotism

Wife of John McCain says her husband is about "making America stronger."

ByABC News via logo
June 19, 2008, 8:20 AM

June 19, 2008 — -- At a hospital off the coast of Vietnam, Cindy McCain, wife of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, has traded in her designer suits and pearl necklaces for hiking boots and a baseball cap.

In the coastal town of Nha Trang, she is helping Operation Smile screen children with cleft palates and cleft lips for life-changing surgery.

McCain says the faces of the children remind her of her daughter, who was adopted from Bangladesh. She got involved with the group years ago, after adopting Bridget, who needed the same operation.

"It also reminds me of what a simple $286 surgery can do to a child. Change their life forever," McCain said in an interview with ABC News' Kate Snow.

Be sure to watch "Good Morning America" on Saturday, June 21 for more information on Operation Smile

Back in the United States on the '08 trail, Sen. John McCain, D-Ariz., has been actively courting the female voters left without a candidate since former Democratic contender Hillary Clinton exited the race. Over the weekend during a virtual town hall meeting, McCain promised a "dramatic increase" in the numbers of women in government if he is elected.

Women's groups challenged McCain's efforts, saying that once women learned that McCain opposes abortion rights, they'll change their minds.

Cindy McCain says voters don't have to look past her husband's support of the troops to realize that he is "pro-woman."

"Supporting our troops the way he does, supporting our young men and women right now who are serving so gallantly is pro-woman, because every mother, every wife, sister, aunt feels the way I have felt.," Cindy McCain says. "The things that he does doesn't make him any more pro-woman, pro-man, anti-anything. He is about America, making America strong."

As a mother with a son who has served in Iraq, when asked if she understood why people want the troops home, McCain replied, "I want a leader who will bring them home with dignity."

On the subject of patriotism, while Laura Bush may be ready to give Michelle Obama the benefit of the doubt, Cindy McCain is not.