1-on-1 with Cindy McCain

Cindy McCain discusses the legacy of her late husband, Sen. John McCain, and her new initiative, Acts of Civility, with Jon Karl.
23:09 | 08/25/19

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Transcript for 1-on-1 with Cindy McCain
Thank you thank you for two I'm happy to be here so it but it's hard to imagine that it spent a year are you do with an okay. And this is a process and my biggest job this past years and Sherman and it's okay. And kids are on very stages. Of grief and and dealing with since I just my job's picture and use such a larger than life presence who often do you think of all the time. On turning Iraq larger than life is a perfect description for him because he he now it was larger than life that he compelled everything in the list. You know we he obviously was for obvious reasons leader are failing at Avis so. Just an amazing persons were active agent in every day every second hired Ernst and and help and hope he's approving of what I'm doing. So now you can have it this new initiative. To. It's because I mean it accepts ability and why I'm asking cable debut. Is to go apps and reform act of stability. Perhaps ago and talked and remember that you disagree. Hands and try and make peace with at and number agreed to disagree and members and posted on social me. Over what I'm going to do is I'd like to go visit my mothers nursing Rashid then I'd spent some time her I didn't really spent any time the people that there. Sounds I was too busy. And I've always felt bad about that time an occurrence in the east and today just as. You know talk this XP with them he just you know we're so well on the part of their day. It is driving instability. That we see. But I think there's a lot of things I think social media's arms for the obvious reason social Munis have been artists. Made the contention on both sides in the I'll. The and he. Lack of civility and news somehow we've been able we've come to wane now where. It's okay to insult someone on the senate explorer or insults on the house floor. Or insult someone anonymously online and then walk away from. Eat eat we've you know we've we've certainly turned a corner in this country and so this initiative. I'm hoping people will post office and then cashed check accessibility. And talk about and maybe eighty encourage other people to do the same thing. So what what would. Soon he talked. To me about right now what would be driving him. Lots of things I mean. He certainly shootings and then going. Certainly be instability that's happening I think he the treatment you know John was always the guy fighting for the little guy. And I think John would be. Very discouraged about the border situation right now we are the are immigrants there are wrecked what refugees coming across the board. And air treatment. I know he in fact I know we need area sat. And and anti generally and of course he would also be the voice of reason acts which is what we're sorely lacking as his points breeze. And his understanding. EP purpose and he. Be the ability to be able to work across the releases news that's how we've worked for some years. And now to just close ranks top and they need to sneak in east. It you know it is an inconsistent as good for the country and he was Republican obviously it was going to stand up to his own party in up to behalf of part right here. Public stand up to his own party whose most concern to me. I don't think anybody has right now. You know that was attacked torch to carry. And as John said there are many lonely days because he would he always said what was on his mind and he was always he was never. Mean as you know he was jest he said but he felt and he lived way out and but he was never did anything deliberately to be hurt and so that it matters to you when carrying voice the voice of reason Torre. I'm hoping some room problem. I believe in this country so much there must be some news Reid stepped up to ranks to step up. You know to the plate and really do something else are you surprised that the way the Republican Party is basically marched lockstep with president room. I'm surprised line news and next time. Why this party is not party of Abraham Lincoln I've seen in the way nor the party right. It's we're who were missing what we stand for. And that is you know in in our country and working together working. Where are the ones that are you should be nonpartisan were the ones that should be working for the good of but there's trouble on both sides pilots just to Republicans is that Democrats have their own problems as well and I know they feel the pressure on your side to. And because they're they're talking about it. I I don't although I believe in America and we've so much in this country. And I know John did too I believe this pendulum is swinging back. I don't win and I just don't believe it wouldn't stick right here scientists just disrupted means. And non progressive. Anyway this two ways to go swing back and then move toward civility what you're talking about or can be yet. A reaction in the opposite to write and it. Yeah unity. It's kind of more instability. Nine hitting back our country says I xmas I hope not because I have to believe it some of these shootings. On though. Aside from the gun laws and I'd I'd have to have someone I want to get into back. But that these shootings are our our response. To this instability and our response. Two things that are occurring around them and so all of this has to be taken into consideration. Country. Our countries is not well one night. And we need we need to get our act together number one in stat can take. In this country and remain. People of every color every creed and that's what access national. Anderson house side. Black writer Fran why whenever he is just wrong. It's not who we are when the crowd the trunk routes currencies and her back I would. How would Senator McCain. Respond the situation that he would and burying me. And he would not have accepted either and I'm I'm quite certain spoke about it. These are American citizens these are our citizens. We are from all walks of life and they had chest as much a right. To be here as as weak U. Pats pats pats not with this this country was founded founding fathers and would be. Be very concerned that he very upset about it that's what they fight to stop. Was it lack inclusion. And you. Senator McCain's friends and we you know its weekly review could come solely it's insurance in you know and ciller my friends. But we nursery or you are you all disappointed we see some really Lindsey Graham basically. Become the president's most steadfast defender. This. Well Lindsay has is his own political. Career to wary of and his own political life. I would just hope it in the long run every one way would intend to move the right direction. Including Lindsay or anybody else and lynch is part of my keys and good friend and I I cannot be critical to you saw the it's news when the president has trip to Japan and there were somebody in the White House who. Directed that the USS McCain be and sign which beat. What struck me was that the president when he was asked about it said it. That the person's blown. Who would dress I don't know who directed it. I I what concerns me is that it happened. As a united states naval warfare ship. And under any circumstances. I've heard it various reasons I've heard I've talked to everybody and that was in charge of that whole thing. And they're good. He heads of the military Saturn that. Once it did it and and nobody really knows how it happened or why it happened. I'm listening USS McCain I have to be if you assist McCain about two weeks later. For her to change of command in for the the celebration the 25 anniversary. To hang a portrait. Ownership of what has been as announced named after all three of them. Those fine young man government in men and women on that ship did not deserve that they deserve to should be treated as as our our military. Folks that had to give us the highest honor by serving our country will be tell you about news. On the net and ship did not talk I'm tired of people spoke to me back ones that work you know back Hollis or if there was color. And then I realized that I just never find out so if you know it happened the ship was commanded. And since has had his change commandos commanded by former navy followed my husband's. I'm. It and it was a great day McCain and unity that we I was struck by something that made him tweeted after one of the president's attacks. Saying. It makes my grief and there. He fields and when we hear the president blockers now I ain't right. My daughter is as she knows and grief stricken from this and is doing well she's prost and she's process. Erin when Hester injury in this. Now it is. Did it bothers me it somehow. Some folks could be verbally mistreated me anyway not just from us I mean folks on the US is chicanery patty house. But now I don't give it back kind of and Eunice those kinds of words out way past that years ago. I am I happen to be at the White House the right after the standard. Of course that the flight went right back up to. You know up from half mast. And I asked the president on ten different occasions on updated. Say something about senator McCain's legacy didn't say anything. We struck well you know I knew about it Albania since you crimes are tied after hammering what was and now occurring around me. And it's kind payments attention. And grateful. That the country did warn my husband's lives I'm grateful for. He now an outpouring that I receive and I am I received. And an ice ice ice flags half mast everywhere and it's. Talk to me about that memorial that was and that was a moment of unity and he really wives. I knew I knew John was special and something special obviously I guess why marry him and but the day at national conceived. And when something. You eat it was. He did bring our country together it was a week and unity. Warning has since Los Knauss of celebrating life. Yeah I don't think this country seems like ten years. And we say at least not my lifetime Nina asked me afterwards. So how engaged we'll see you. The play out Harry H never ending that yes McCain announced today. Now this it was interesting because it. In the beginning on I have to be be very honest with you I was unsettled to hide I was. Because I hadn't come to the term it's a termed the fact that this is gonna happen. So I I kind drifted in this bad and that he was very engaged in new. What he wanted he knew I need some additions to it that he knew what he wanted. He knew the kind of music he won he said I I just wanna be a part in this country for one last time and that was his view this and I. I think he did a beautiful job and I think the folks how disorganized did an amazing. What was the message she was trying to send of the country this was not. Just about memorializing one. Eight it was. Common ground it was a message. Decency a message of honor. A message that service more importantly. You know his life was a life of service and for him at 67 years thinking this is really the message he was leaving two people in the country that it serviced your country is on them. And is a decent thing to do you are right thing to do. And you had president bomb wrong. President Bush again. President Clinton was is there mr. Carter was there. And vice president gore it's there facts and chains there. And I'm sure mr. Koppel is that yes they were it was when I looked down the row cousins ams coming up with time. And mileage on the row I'm stunned. At how many repairs and I think all I'm there. Except for its pressing for senior. Aid Aniston. Was released. And president Bob that great. I mean it in Australia and his policies if it. Senator McCain asked me just read it at full George Bush and Barack Obama expected. And they were both. Exactly. You. Exactly now and and President Obama made the comment about. Somehow only John comparing us altogether we don't wanna be here to act like having something in those words anyway. At that and that was John that was used the great communicators anyway he can bring people together. And world leaders were the ones that. I mean people. Leaders from around the world really respect him but would call him. You know on weekends to serve points talkback you what was going hunter went. What they could work on how we we do differently you know he knew that he would give him an honest answer and they knew that he read. He that they would be treated fairly here. So game. Many weekend. Not listen to bid in the room it's stuff was happening so was it was senator McCain's desire not presidential. He part one. No it wasn't I. You know I think that was misunderstand to some degree I mean it. It was. Not a decision that he made I made it was just you currency kind of feeling a lot of people so. I quite frankly stepped that. And just had too much going on it was too overwhelming to me think that what why do you think. Don't throw the so. Focus. On John McCain. Crash and unite I I would hope the president from when woods. Admire my has been as much as several renounced Manson and admire his leadership you know it doesn't agree with it. I would think that I would hope that would be the reason constitutes. He's talked about the stings on this legacy because he voted against the repeal Obama care. I disagree. I am just. I don't. I think civility as a child was and I think. His his his willingness to take a tough stand on something with what was more over riding in that situation. And that was it wasn't political time mr. what he thought was right for the country was not a political obviously. From that speech was a big moment it was a big moment he came back. To the senate floor right. And and and he'd been told not why you've been told not to go for for any number Regis have brain surgery. And again he says I'm gone insist that it and he never having second thoughts about now at any second thoughts. The Sydney and women as John Q second thoughts that he has had he's wound up two things it that he felt he done wrong. Confederate flag difference as as you remember things like that and he he owns up to it. But now we never had second thoughts that was another big moment from the moment I remember. Being with Michigan. Right after South Carolina primary me he told me you go back. With speeches he did the right thing. He and and and that's when the few times I assigned to make quoted political decision rather than the right decision and he learned from. And we busted learn to live ousted from. And I let more importantly we learned lessons and it's it's okay to admit you made made a mistake and move on from two. And that's but he did have a view is that the McCain camp when you were. And me being here children reached out to. The White House to ask the president to stopper. You know. Now that was so we're on. John's legacy we're trying to we're grieving and return to do all the things we're doing that we do as a family. There's more there the only Warner place and hand. And it's just. You know. Just remembering him in remembered his legacy. And doing what he wants us to do this coming week which. It is have a party celebrate me don't warn me and and had a good time and play my plate list. Which. My kids rolled her eyes and I told aware that something. So what are you gonna do you want me. Andy the that this weekend coming up we're going haven't first one's very small intimate dinner it was at a dinner and then we held up north just before he died it was about a month before guide. And part of this ruling more for us and because we they want you want to say goodbye to impact. We needed to be together this group of people it was just is just too hard and we were all facing it. You know facing Hughes and to this whole thing it and so we have party and it was a great cast the part dressed up questions and had a wonderful. John was there although he was Quayle when we hadn't missed. Alert enough to know his friends around in the news. So that was so we have promised and do this every year and this year we're doing it we're doing in Phoenix. Only because the Grammy give me and it. And grandson is so I didn't want to leave Phoenix mixer where every other for now organ do nor. And battery and then. Another witness whose birthday net take hotel California party expert and if that went to check in in the came out there check out. So we're having big hotel California party are forward supporters and campaign folks you know the whole game. You collect some people very nice things during years the playlist in the realty and watching beavis upon Alex Kelly how do you rent here. OK what did your politicians out. Yeah ad network but yet obvious things I mean I watched. Went another one of his favorite topic segments are. The other night and had it here and now this is stupid turn this socked on his wanted to cry don't you miss her so before you go well a little straight talk we're going into another presidential candidate. You have seen not one but two presidential campaigns varies certain clothes. Which are places. It's my advice is to. Him it's not listen to. Naysayers don't don't let. Naysayers get Japan. Do the right thing you speak your mind yes mr. Hart and that he civil and most importantly I think also enjoy it. Never forget your sense of humor. And sense of humor serve John and so many cases including when he is in prison. And acting percent to humors keys it's. Now you've got him since he survived it's quite frankly. And and you set an army you tweeted about Joseph Biden. And you say you're not there not be as important is that he still halting rocket in endorsing candidates. Now I'm going to. I I just wanna watch the process lives. You know hopefully mightn't if I participated. It'll be on the part. Encouraging stability encouraging. People to talk to when there. I you know what I mr. And I miss him. Shepherding along these new senators both Republican and Democrat and new house members. And showing them you know the right way to do things to decency honor and me. He encouragement. For them to do it I mean. Most of all I love the fact that he was Ted Kennedy's best friend and senate floor. I like cats and dogs and and they were best of friends four at two definition a true leader. And. You it was said not long ago he would distrusts the McCain to get involved isms of any update on the they. Well I have several bitter and arrested so we'll see what happens on the right I would. We encourage our markets again and public service as you know in any way shape or form I think they're all finding going. And looking very things fair to and chased two stolen military in. And so there's Cephalon and. So we could see we can see another McCain Q I accept personal. First up. At stopping somewhere Albert doubt went on you know about eight you'll adore our dollar endorsed that went. All right thank you very much as. He.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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