During an appearance on Monday’s episode of “The View,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared to help celebrate his daughter Meghan’s birthday.
During the appearance the panel of women asked McCain about the recent comments he made about those who were able to dodge the draft due to “bone spurs.” Many assumed that it was President Donald Trump he was referring to in the speech accepting the Liberty Medal, because Trump was able to secure five draft deferments for alleged bone spurs.
Co-host Joy Behar asked if McCain found it “galling” when Trump “cast aspersions on your service” after getting deferments.
McCain said it wasn’t as much an attack on Trump as it was a commentary on the system that allowed the wealthy a way out while the poor were forced to serve. He specifically cited the children of farmers or urban youth, “the poor” didn’t have the option to get a letter from a doctor, go to college or disappear to another country.
“That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve,” he said.
He went on to detail heartbreaking comments he heard from veterans in response to Trump’s continuous attacks on Sgt. La David Johnson’s wife and mentor Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL).
“What I cared about was when he was talking about other POWs including WW2 soldiers,” McCain explained. He described a 92-year-old man from Arizona he spoke to, who is one of the remaining World War II veterans. He said that when the man was finally released after the war, he weighed just 109 pounds.
“Senator, why doesn’t Trump like me?” he recently asked McCain.
“We are in very challenging times, my friends,” McCain said. “We should not be fighting about a brave American who lost his life fighting for this country.”
He urged people to maintain a civil discourse, and the panel played a clip from the 2008 campaign in which McCain corrected a supporter who claimed that President Barack Obama was “an Arab.”
“Let’s stop insulting each other,” he urged.
The women of the panel asked McCain what kind of relationship he had with the president. Specifically, co-host Sara Haines asked if they talk on the phone or speak.
“Almost none,” McCain said.
In an earlier part of the conversation, McCain got a little emotional talking about his glioblastoma brain cancer, which has a very low survival rate.
“It does make you appreciate every hour of every minute of every day,” his said, his voice cracking.
In the final segment, Meghan got emotional talking about one lesson she’s learned from her father — that “character matters.”
“Will you allow an old man just to say, I thank you for being here,” McCain said at the close of the interview. “I thank you for being Americans. I thank you for standing up for the things that we believe. There are people all over the world that are watching this program that are inspired by our desire for freedom of speech — for all the good things that America is all about. We are still, as Ronald Reagan used to say, the shining city on a hill.”
Watch a segment of the conversation below:
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