The Maricopa County Republican Committee voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain, the widow of six-term Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., according to the Arizona Republican Party.
Cindy McCain very publicly came out in support of Joe Biden’s presidency, endorsing him in September. With her help, Biden became only the second Democrat to carry Arizona since 1948. She appeared in a prerecorded video at the Democratic National Convention that emphasized the longtime friendship between their families.
According to a McCain ally, her name was added to an existing resolution to censure one-term U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, who declined to run for reelection in 2018. Flake also endorsed Biden over Trump.
The committee passed the resolution to censure Cindy McCain in a 1,190-to-291 vote that was followed by cheers from the audience.
Some of the meeting’s speakers also falsely said that President Donald Trump won the Nov. 3 election, with some maintaining that he would prevail despite having acknowledged President-elect Biden’s win on Thursday.
Most in-person participants at the county GOP meeting at Dream City Church in Glendale did not appear to follow the committee’s request to take COVID-19 precautions, including wearing a mask and physically distancing.
The censure is meaningless beyond a statement of disapproval from the party’s conservative base activists who now control the organization.
In a Twitter message, the Arizona Republican Party suggested that a state party vote on a Cindy McCain resolution is coming, too.
“The Arizona Republican Party has no comment on the county’s resolution. The state party will vote on a similar resolution at our annual meeting on January 23, 2021,” the state party tweeted.
Saturday’s January 9, 2021, censure wasn’t the first go-around between the McCain family and further-right Republicans in the state. The county and state GOP rebuked John McCain as too liberal several years ago.
Arizona Republicans censured John McCain in 2014, citing his “continued disservice to our state and nation.” The party painted him as being too liberal on issues such as immigration reform, gun control, and health care.
“If anything, it fires me up,” John McCain told Politico after the censure, which came two weeks after the Maricopa County Republican Party also passed a resolution to censure him on a 1,150-to-351 vote.
Cindy McCain Has Said She Endorses Biden’s Character
While Cindy McCain endorsed Biden for president, she said she would remain a registered Republican in an interview with The Arizona Republic. She attributed the decision in part to the character she sees in Biden, whom she has known for four decades, as well as his alliance with military families.
“I am a proud lifelong Republican and will continue to support candidates who put country over party and stand for the rule of law,” Cindy McCain tweeted after the resolution was adopted.
Trump publicly criticized John McCain prior to and after his death in August 2018. The Republican resolution called Cindy McCain’s condemnation of Trump, on the basis of his criticism of her husband, “unjustified.”
“President Trump was truthful in his criticism of Senator McCain, who has become known for serious wrongdoing during his military service, and his service as US Senator,” read part of the resolution.
McCain was known as a Republican maverick, a nickname that stemmed from his reputation for bipartisan politics. He often took stances against his party, including his 2017 thumbs-down vote against scaling back the Affordable Care Act.
The Congressional Management Foundation posthumously awarded McCain its Lifetime Achievement Democracy Award in 2019, adding to a slew of other awards, honors, and military decorations that have been bestowed on him.
Meghan McCain responds
“Oh how will she ever survive such a thing?!?” daughter Meghan McCain said in a Saturday tweet responding to the county GOP’s censure.
“And this is THE REAL problem facing the Arizona GOP, my mom! A few days after a domestic terror attack led by maniac Trump supporters,” her tweet went on to say.