Vice President Joe Biden managed to flip Arizona from red to blue on Tuesday night, and a former advisor for John McCain speculated the late Senator — whose military service was mocked by Trump — played a role.
Though Arizona has been called by the Associated Press for Biden, McCain’s former advisor Mike Murphy spoke to MSNBC when the call was still up in the air, but leaning toward Biden over President Donald Trump.
“There’s one red state left in the sunbelt that I do think is probably gonna flip to Joe Biden, which is Arizona,” Murphy, who was McCain’s senior strategist during his 2000 presidential bid, said. “Could be the revenge of Sen. John McCain.”
Biden did go on to secure the win — and the 11 electoral votes that go with it — in Arizona, where McCain was first elected to the Senate in 1987. The win was the first time a Democrat has won the state since Bill Clinton in 1996, and only the second time in the last 72 years.
McCain's service as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam was mocked by Trump in the years before McCain’s death in August 2018 at age 81 of brain cancer.
Trump infamously questioned the status of McCain as a war hero, and falsely claimed he graduated last in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa in July 2015. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
The two continued to spar until McCain’s death, and even after, with Trump griping to Fox News Business last year about McCain’s last-second 2017 vote against an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“He was horrible, what he did with repeal and replace,” Trump said. “What he did to the Republican Party and to the nation and to sick people that could have had great healthcare was not good…. I’m not a fan of John McCain, and that’s fine.”
McCain’s family members have been open in their dislike of Trump, including daughter Meghan McCain and wife Cindy McCain.
Cindy endorsed Biden in September, writing that he was the lone candidate in the race who “stands up for our values as a nation.”
Meghan also implied she would vote for Biden.
“There’s one man who has made pain in my life a living hell and another man who has literally shepherded me through the grief process,” she said in April on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, adding that it "shouldn’t be rocket science for people" to figure out who she was voting for.
Though Meghan did not weigh in on Biden flipping Arizona, she did commemorate her first Election Day without her father, and the first with her daughter Liberty, who was born on Sept. 28.
“My first Election Day without my dad is my first with my daughter Liberty. Feeling overwhelmed w nostalgia and warm sentiments about the circle of life,” The View host wrote on Twitter. “I love Election Day, always will. Don’t let ugly fleeting politics remove what’s beautiful about our democratic process.”
The outcome of the presidential race remains uncertain, as battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin continue to count ballots.
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