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McCain Offers Rebuke of Trump in Liberty Medal Speech

by Countable | 10.17.17

What’s the story?

Monday night Arizona Republican Senator John McCain was awarded the Liberty Medal by former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. In his acceptance speech he denounced the "spurious nationalism" that has overtaken the country and those who would rather find “scapegoats than solve problems.”

Though he did not mention President Trump by name, critics and supporters agreed the president was the focus of his remarks and had strong reactions.

Here is an excerpt of Biden’s introduction:

And here is an excerpt of his most pointed words, seemingly directed at the president and the current administration:

Former President Bill Clinton honored Sen. McCain, calling his a "true American hero":

Former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich praised Sen. McCain for his words and his service:

Former President Barack Obama also congratulated McCain:

But Fox News commentator Sean Hannity was less impressed, focusing his attention on McCain’s predicted moves on the Republican budget:

Former congressman and political pundit Joe Walsh challenged McCain and argued he’s been in office too long:

And the president, as reported by the Associated Press, warned Sen. McCain that he will "fight back."

What do you think?

Was McCain’s speech an inspiring repudiation of the current administration or a betrayal of his conservative constituents? Was he talking about white nationalism and not the president? Must his words be followed by further action in order for them to really matter, or do the words alone matter in the present political moment? If you disagree with McCain’s opinion, why do you disagree?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

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