John McCain condemns 'half-baked, spurious nationalism' in dig at Donald Trump

'We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil'

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 17 October 2017 08:47
John McCain appears to rebuke Trump by slamming "half-baked nationalism"

John McCain has denounced "half-baked, spurious nationalism" during a speech at his National Constitution Centre Liberty Medal ceremony, in a thinly veiled dig at Donald Trump.

The six-term Republican senator went further than the night's other speakers, who lamented what many described as a fractured political climate.

"To abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems," he said, "is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."

He continued: "We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil."

EU condemns Donald Trump's decision to decertify Iran nuclear deal

He made the remarks after receiving the award for a lifetime of service and sacrifice to his country, going on to recall more than two decades of Navy service and his imprisonment in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp.

None of the speakers, who included former Vice President Joe Biden, mentioned any current or former government officials during their remarks.

But many referenced a time when bipartisanship — namely, the friendship between Mr McCain and the Democrat Mr Biden — wasn't out of the ordinary.

"We often argued — sometimes passionately," Mr McCain said of himself and the former vice president. "But we believed in each other's patriotism and the sincerity of each other's convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in."

Mr McCain joined the Navy in 1958 and rose to the rank of captain during his 22 years of service.

In 1967, his plane was shot down over Hanoi, Vietnam, during a bombing mission, and he spent years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp.

He recently revealed he is fighting brain cancer.

Additional reporting by AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in