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Biden announces McCain library in Arizona

Cindy McCain introduced the president and shared her thoughts regarding her late husband.

Published: September 28, 2023 11:21pm

(The Center Square) -

President Joe Biden announced the John S. McCain III National Library in Tempe, Ariz., on Thursday, which will be completed by the McCain Institute and Arizona State University.

Biden focused on the theme of democracy and the legacy of the late Arizona Republican senator, who died in 2018 after battling brain cancer. Both Biden and McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, were friends despite their political disagreements.

“We’d argue like hell,” comparing themselves to brothers in his address.

The president largely focused on McCain's legacy, but he also took numerous jabs at populist conservatives and former President Donald Trump. Biden has made other trips to Arizona throughout his presidency, including a visit to the Grand Canyon area in August. Local officials of varying political affiliations have criticized Biden for skipping a stop at the border while in Arizona. The president has visited the nation’s southern border in Texas once early in his term. The nearest port of entry is roughly three hours south of the Thursday event.

“There’s an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy. The MAGA movement,” Biden said.

"We have to denounce hate, not embolden it," he later added.

Biden then encouraged the importance of voting and civic involvement to counter what he sees as threats to American democracy.

"So the answer to the threats we face is engagement," Biden said.

"We are the essential nation," he said. "The rest of the world is looking."

Cindy McCain, who is currently the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, introduced the president and shared her thoughts regarding her late husband.

"This future library will provide the beating heart and soul to help further the causes John so dearly believed in," McCain said.

Anecdotally, McCain mentioned how she met John by being introduced to him by the Biden's.

“President Biden and Mrs. Biden introduced me to my husband, and I am so grateful for that,” McCain said.

The president landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Wednesday night, and stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Phoenix.

While in the area, Biden is scheduled to do a fundraiser with Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Congressman Greg Stanton Thursday afternoon.

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