Prominent Republican advocate Meghan McCain visited the LBJ Presidential Library on Friday to accept the LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award on behalf of her father, Sen. John McCain.
A host of talk show “The View” and a media tycoon known for defending her family’s legacy, Meghan said her father instilled in her the beliefs the LBJ award represents — liberty and justice for all.
“I’m honored to even be speaking for his legacy,” McCain said. “My father is obviously a great American hero, but he’s also an absolutely incredible father. I am grateful to be here representing him, and I really, really wish he could be here.”
John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, is taking time to rest at home surrounded by family and friends, Meghan said. Meghan was joined by John McCain’s former campaign manager Richard H. “Rick” Davis Jr. following the award presentation to answer a few questions about her father’s legacy.
Davis said the Arizona state senator was often honorable to a fault, suggesting that McCain may have conceded his chance at the 2000 presidency by pulling negative ads in order to uphold his ideals during what Davis described as one of the “nastiest” presidential campaigns.
“I appealed to him; I said, ‘Senator if we pull these ads, we're gonna lose South Carolina, there’s no way we’re gonna win,’” Davis said.
Davis said that the senator responded by saying, “I want to run a campaign my daughter can be proud of.”
Meghan McCain, who choked up while watching the recently released HBO documentary about her father, ‘John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ during the award ceremony, said she doesn't want people to forget the fun side of her father.
“He taught me at a young age how to play blackjack and poker, and he likes to drink vodka,” McCain said. “He’s a lot more rowdy than people recognize.”
Besides addressing her belief in “American exceptionalism,” the ideology that America is a outstanding nation for its founding values including liberty and individualism, Meghan McCain said the current Donald Trump presidency changed everything in terms of her affiliation with the Republican Party.
Upon accepting the award on behalf of her father, presented to her by Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughters Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, McCain addressed the importance of overlooking party lines for issues of importance.
“You come from a big Democratic family, I come from a big Republican family,” McCain said. “Bipartisanship can still exist in America.”
Meghan McCain beamed as she spoke of her father, her personal hero who she said has fought for the freedom and democracy throughout his career, first serving in the military and then in the House and the Senate.
“He really just loves freedom and democracy,” McCain said. “During this time … when there’s so much division and so much anger going on in this country, for him to receive something that's so hopeful is really amazing.”