Cindy McCain, the late Sen. John McCain's widow, formally endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday, rebuking President Donald Trump for his reported comments where he called members of the military 'losers.'
'My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost. There's only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is @JoeBiden,' she tweeted on Tuesday evening, a few hours after Biden made the surprising announcement about her endorsement during a virtual fundraiser.
Biden said Cindy McCain was endorsing him because of comments Trump was reported to have made about those in uniform, calling them 'losers' and 'suckers' in an article from The Atlantic that the president has denied.
Sen. John McCain's widow Cindy is endorsing former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate revealed Tuesday
'Maybe I shouldn't say it but I'm about to go on one of these Zooms with John McCain's wife, who is first time ever is endorsing me because of what he talks about with my son and John's who are heroes, who served their country, you know he said they're losers, they're suckers,' Biden said on the fundraising call.
Beau Biden, the late son of the former vice president, and McCains' two sons - John Sidney McCain IV and James McCain - have all served in uniform.
Cindy McCain, who has largely stayed out of politics after her husband's death, told the Arizona Republic her endorsement had nothing to do with John McCain's treatment at the hands of the president.
'It had nothing to do with John McCain at all; it had everything to do with how I felt and how I'm feeling, especially during these tough times,' she said, pointing to Biden's respect for the military.
'That's really important to my family,' she said. 'Our members of the military are not losers. They're not losers. You call one a loser, you call all the members of the military losers, including my son.'
In her statement endorsing Biden, she noted their political differences but praised him as a fellow parent who has sent a child off to war.
'Joe and I don't always agree on the issues, and I know he and John certainly had some passionate arguments, but he is a good and honest man. He will lead us with dignity,' Cindy McCain wrote on Twitter.
'He will be a commander in chief that the finest fighting force in the history of the world can depend on, because he knows what it is like to send a child off to fight,' she added.
Biden responded to her tweet with one of his own: 'Cindy — I'm deeply honored to have your support and your friendship. This election is bigger than any one political party. It requires all of us to come together as one America to restore the soul of the nation. Together, we'll get it done.'
Her decision caps a years long feud between the McCain family and President Trump.
McCain was one of the most prominent, respected Republican senators in the nation but repeatedly butted heads with Trump before his death in 2018. The relationship was so bad the bickering continues to this day. Now his widow is endorsing the Democratic candidate for president.
Biden, served in the Senate for decades with McCain and the two had overlapping interests, particularly in foreign policy.
The men became close and Biden gave one of the eulogies at McCain's funeral service in Arizona.
The Biden campaign did not immediately provide specifics about Cindy McCain's endorsement other than what Biden revealed on the call.
Cindy McCain vouched for Biden during the Democratic convention
Cindy McCain also cut a video for Biden at his mostly virtual convention last month. She spoke about how Biden met McCain back when he was assigned to be a military aide on a congressional trip overseas. The two became friends and the families would picnic together.
'They would just sit and joke. It was like a comedy show, sometimes, to watch the two of them,' she said.
She did not appear the convention but made sure her voice was heard.
Joe Biden said in late August he planned to visit Arizona, the McCain's home state, after Labor Day. No visit has been announced but it would make a likely location for Cindy McCain to appear in public with Biden.
Democrats are hopeful they can pick up Arizona this year.