Cindy McCain Becomes Second Republican to Join Joe Biden's Transition Team

Cindy McCain, the wife of late Senator John McCain, is taking her support for former Vice President Joe Biden beyond an endorsement to join his team.

Cindy will join Biden's transition team as a member of its advisory board, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. She endorsed the Democratic nominee for president on Tuesday, saying that her husband lived by a code of "country first," and that Biden is the "one candidate" that stands up for "our values as a nation."

She won't be a paid staff member, but will instead offer her counsel to the transition team, the WSJ reported. Cindy is the second Republican to join the board, with Obama's former Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald being the first.

While Biden and Senator McCain were friends who spent afternoons picnicking in the former vice president's backyard, there's no love lost between the McCains and President Donald Trump. In 2015, Trump, then a candidate for president, dismissed McCain as a "war hero" because he was captured. He's also called him "incompetent," a "dummy."

cindy mccain joe biden transition team
Cindy McCain speaks onstage during the U.S.VETS Salute Gala on November 5, in Los Angeles. On Monday, McCain joined former Vice President Joe Biden's transition team, days after she endorsed the Democratic nominee for president. FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Getty

The senator's daughter, Meghan, who was close to her father, has pushed back on Trump's comments, calling them "vile and disgusting." After the senator's passing in 2018, past presidents honored him at his funeral, an event the family didn't invite Trump to attend.

"Even though it was a very public funeral, we are still a family," Cindy told BBC. "It was important to me that we kept it respectful and calm and not politicize it."

As a member of Biden's transition team, Cindy is expected to offer counsel on issues affecting women and children.

Newsweek reached out to the Biden campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Transition co-chair and former Senator Ted Kaufman told Axios the transition is "like no other" and needs to be prepared during a pandemic and struggling economy. Cindy's experience as "a businesswoman, philanthropist and longtime advocate" for issues impacting women and children are "all the more valuable," he said.

"Diversity of ideology and background is a core value of the transition, and today's announcement is another step demonstrating the importance of unifying the country under a Biden-Harris administration," Kaufman said.

In endorsing Biden for president, Cindy acknowledged that the two disagreed on some issues and that her husband and the presidential candidate had some "passionate arguments." But, she called Biden a "good and honest man" who will lead the country "with dignity." Having experience sending a "child off to fight," she added that he will be the commander in chief that America's military can "depend on."