Senator McCain Claims American Leadership Better Under Barack Obama

During the 2016 Presidential race, McCain also opposed Trump at various times and during the primaries called the now-President a “danger to democracy.”

Senator John McCain told the British Guardian newspaper that America’s leadership was better under former President and Democratic rival Barack Obama.  In recent weeks McCain has emerged as one of the strongest Republican critics of the Trump administration. The statement is likely to draw criticisms from many Republicans in Washington D.C., at home in Arizona, and across the country.

The comments came after Senator McCain criticized Trump for alienating America’s allies. Trump’s off-the-cuff approach to geopolitics has created numerous frictions, both at home and abroad, and McCain has repeatedly railed against Trump as a result. Specifically, McCain was asked if the United States standing on the global stage was better under former President Barack Obama. To this, McCain replied “as far as American leadership is concerned, yes.”

Elsewhere, McCain has also raised serious questions about Russia, its alleged interference into American politics, and potential links to the Trump family. During the 2016 Presidential race, McCain also opposed Trump at various times and during the primaries called the now-President a “danger to democracy.”

Infamously, Trump lambasted Senator McCain for being a prisoner of war, stating that he “liked people who weren’t captured.” Later, McCain would endorse Trump after he won the Republican primary, but then revoked his endorsement in October, just weeks before the election, following leaked tapes of the President bragging about his sexual liaisons.

Arizona was one of the more competitive traditional Republican races in the 2016 election. Donald Trump locked up just over 49% of the vote, compared to Clinton’s 45.5%. Libertarian Gary Johnson had a relatively strong performance, securing more than 4% of the vote.

McCain also dominated newspapers last week during the Comey hearings. While asking former FBI director James Comey various questions, McCain seemed to become confused and flustered. Some have suggested that the 80 year old Senator is suffering from health problems.

Trump Riling Up Allies Near and Far

Several of President Trump’s foreign policy decisions have irked American policy makers and foreign counterparts alike. Trump’s claims that Mexico would build a wall and pay for it caused outcry from America’s neighbor to the south. Further, threats to rip up or renegotiate NAFTA have led to denouncements from both Canada and Mexico. So much tension among America’s neighbors is rare.

Meanwhile, in Europe, some European leaders feel that the United States can no longer be relied on as an ally. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also recently mocked Trump’s wall while visiting Mexico. Incoming French President Emmanuel Macron has lambasted President Trump’s climate change decisions, and got into a handshake war with him.

President Trump has drawn especially intense criticisms for his Twitter attack against London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan as well.

Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is a political consultant and has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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